A bread machine not only saves you time in the kitchen, it lets you create a healthy alternative to store-bought breads, many of which contain preservatives and high fructose corn syrup.
To get good results from your bread machine, however, you must read all the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly.
Manufacturer’s recipe book
The manufacturer™s all supply recipe books with their machines. The first few times you use the machine, follow one of the manufacturer’€™s recipes to the letter. It’s perfectly fine to use your own recipe, of course, but the included recipes are great for teaching you how the bread machine works.
In baking any type of bread, quantities are important. Measure your ingredients exactly, not by eye or by guesswork. Use the measuring cup and spoon included with the appliance. Even small miscalculations can make a big difference in the final product.
Clean and dry pan
Ensure that the baking pan is perfectly clean and dry. All cookery is based on chemical reactions, and nowhere is this truer than in bread making. Yeast is a living, growing organism, and it can be temperamental. You do not want your yeast to start growing before the appropriate place in the bread machine cycle. If your bread pan is perfectly clean and dry, you will not upset your yeast’s action.
Add ingredients in the correct order
Put your ingredients into the bread maker pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer. The idea is to keep the yeast separate from the liquid and the sugar and salt. If you find that the recommended order does not work, try reversing the order. I personally put the yeast in first, then the flour, then the other dry ingredients and the water on top.
Use good ingredients
Pay attention to the flour that you use. You need strong, plain flour for bread making. Some flours advertised for use in bread makers are not successful. Use one from a well-established company. Also be sure to use good, dried yeast, and do not keep yeast for too long.
Ease of use
All this sounds like a lot of fuss, but it is actually pretty easy. When you make bread in a bread machine, you measure in your ingredients, set the machine for the type of loaf that you want and switch the machine on. The machine mixes, kneads, proves and bakes your loaf for you, and then politely tells you when it wants to come out of the machine.
Read the manual
Like any other piece of kitchen equipment, you need to learn how your bread machine works. Reading and following the manufacturer’€™s instructions exactly, at least at first, will help you to do this. Bread making is an exact science; however you make your bread. When you have learned how to use your particular bread machine, you can experiment with adapting other recipes, and it will take you seconds to weigh and measure your ingredients and switch the bread machine on.
A bread machine is a wonderful and magical machine and the perfect antidote to plastic supermarket bread.