Basic Bread Machine Recipe & Tips for Success
A simple, basic bread machine recipe for new or seasoned bread machine owners. Discover tips for success so you can enjoy your own ‘daily bread’.
This is a basic recipe that I have been using for years, and now it’s yours too. Every week I make 2 – 3 loaves using different flours to give variety and we gobble it up in sandwiches and toast. But before you dive into the recipe, there are a few things to consider. This recipe works for my machine (Breville Bakers Oven). It may need some tweaking for your machine. Here are some tips to help you get great results.
1. Know your bread machine
Every machine is different so getting to know yours is important. Take the time to read the instructions and understand how long it takes to make a basic loaf, the capacity (mine can do 750g or 1kg loaves) and what types of settings are available.
One of the most important things to know is what order the ingredients are added. This can vary from one machine to the next so check the manufacturer’s instructions. In my machine the liquid ingredients are added first, followed by the flour and yeast. This is what it typically looks like…
2. Understand not all flour is created equal
There are many varieties of flour available – white, wholemeal, rye, spelt, kamut – and the list goes on. These all have unique properties and as a result behave differently when they are baked. The machine settings will help to handle the flour varieties (see note 3 below).
But, not only are there different flours, sometimes the same flour may act differently from one day to the next. Flour absorbs varying amounts of liquid depending on the weather. So, while one day the dough may be perfect, the next day it may be too wet or dry (see note 4 below).
3. Use the right setting
Whether you are using a single flour or a mix of flours, the setting chosen can have an effect on the final result. Here is a guide to what has worked for me:
White – basic or rapid
Wholemeal – wholemeal
Rye – wholemeal
Spelt – basic or rapid
Kamut (Khorasan) – basic
Often, I will mix 2 flours together. For example, 2 cups plain, 1 1/4 cups wholemeal or rye. If at any time there is some rye or wholemeal in the mix, use the wholemeal setting. If you are in a hurry, use the rapid setting. Otherwise, the basic setting is always the best starting point.
4. Don’t set and forget
Well not just yet anyway. This will be fine once you really know your machine as I’ll explain further. Once you have added the ingredients and set the machine to work, come back from time to time and check the dough. You want to see a fairly smooth ball that is a bit tacky to the touch. If it appears a little to dry or wet, here’s what to do.
Too dry – add a tablespoon of water and wait for it to be mixed into the dough. If the dough is still dry, add another tablespoon. Keep doing this until all the flour is mixed in and a smooth dough ball is achieved.
Too wet – add a tablespoon of flour and wait for it to be mixed into the dough. If the dough is still too wet, add another tablespoon. Keep doing this until all the flour is mixed in and a smooth dough ball is achieved.
For me, it has reached the stage that I know what ‘sounds’ normal for my machine. So if there is a problem, I can hear it as the machine doesn’t have its regular, smooth rhythm. When this happens, I check the dough and make adjustments as outlined above. Once you have used your machine a few times, you will also be able to pick up on when things may need tweaking.
Basic Bread Machine Recipe
- 1 1/3 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon dry yeast
- Add the ingredients to the bread pan in the order suggested in your bread machine manual (for most machines, the liquid goes in first, followed by the dry ingredients). Insert the pan into the machine.
- Select the best setting based on what flour you have used. (See notes above).
- Press 'Start'
- Once finished, remove the loaf from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack. Or just leave it to cool in the pan (I do this all the time :))
So that’s my Basic Bread Machine Recipe. I would love to hear about any flour combinations you use and any other tips for ensuring each loaf is a success. Please share in the comments below.
Also, if you have any questions about using your bread machine, you can contact me here.