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#1 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7318 posts) -

For some reason this summer I decided I wanted a bread machine. I like building things with kits, and a bread machine seemed like a “kit” type project I could do every week. We it was actually a great success. I make my own bread once a week, and then use that bread all week for sandwiches, toast, and French toast. I like bread, I don't get into this "OMG bread, starch and gluten will kill us all!"

Anyone have a bread machine or a favorite recipe or a poetically tasty mistake? Below are my go to recipes for basic bread.



My Fav Machine Bread - 2 pound loaf

  • 1 and 3/8 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 and 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons dry milk (this is optional but I use it)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast


Country Bread (Bit more heft, and egg adds color) - 2 pound loaf

  • 1 cup warm milk (110°–115°F)
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg (whisked lightly before adding)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast


Place the ingredients in the order recommended by the manufacturer, often wet then dry. Program the machine set for white or basic bread, or for the dough cycle. Press Start.

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#2 Posted by imsh_pl (4208 posts) -

I wasn't aware until now that a bread machine is even a thing that exists.

To what extent does it differ from bread made in a regular oven?

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#3 Posted by Temg99 (32 posts) -

Fantastic start to loving baking bread! It is wonderful hobby. I just started this summer too. Have you tried going more full on bakery and doing it by hand and oven? It takes more work, but the difference in crust alone is mouthwatering. We stopped using our bread machine entirely. Tons of easy to read books there on timing, recipes and so on.

The books I currently follow are:

  • The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

  • The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg

Focusing on the crusty/italian bread right now. I hope to get into Challah, pizza dough and others next.

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#4 Posted by darbish (110 posts) -

@imsh_pl: Bread machines are just a way for lazy people to make fresh bread. My parents have one that was given to them by my grandparents a while back and I got really into using it for a couple months until my interest tapered off. They simplify the process of making bread from "mixing, kneading, proofing, bake" into "layer ingredients in machine, set timer". The bread is still pretty good too; almost indistinguishable from the 100% hand-made stuff. The only thing bad about our bread maker was that the loaf was an awkward vertical shape to match the orientation of the mixing dish in the machine.

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#5 Posted by imsh_pl (4208 posts) -

@darbish: I see. Can it make sourdough bread too?

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#6 Posted by StarFox_Mulder (33 posts) -

I finally got good at making decent loaves in my bread maching but then gave it away when I got a stand mixer.

Tips: Get a digital scale and weigh your ingredients. That includes water. Using cups can make a difference of 20%.

74% is a great hydration level for bread. You might have to tinker depending on your flour and its gluten level so if you get a recipe spot on then it doesn't work another time then work out what works for each flour.

Get a pyrex dish or a Le Cruset type metal pot and make no knead bread. I'm heating mine right now for a loaf that's going in. I pissed about for over a year trying to make perfect bubbly bread then find out that the no knead method works amazingly and you can use dirt cheap flour.

Shaping your loaf is really important and it took me a long time to realise this. It's basically stretching it back on itself so you develop tension in it. All my loaves used to flatten out and I thought I had the hydration too high but it was just that I was ignoring the shaping. This is a 74% loaf I made a while back - look at the lift:

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And it took me ages to get big bubbles. I first got it right using the Bertinet method of kneading but I don't have to do that now. No knead just does it. I love it but I'm so annoyed I did years of graft before finding it. Now I get (if I'm lucky) a bread crumb like this. This was hand kneaded.

The Fresh Loaf is a great site. I don't bother with any of that wholegrain crap, it's white flour every time. I just use flour, salt, yeast, water and usually some oil as that keeps it softer for longer. You can use any type of fat for that - butter, lard or whatever.

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If you're just starting then make rolls as they're a lot easier to get a good bake on and if you haven't got your shaping right then they won't spread as much.

And ignore the recipe on the bag - if the weight ratio of flour to water is around 60% then up it. Maybe 5% at first because working with wetter doughs can be pretty yukky - another reason why no knead is good.

Want to know what that stuff is on your pizza crust when you buy it from Domino's/Pappa Smurf's? It's semolina. Great for making sure things don't stick to your trays or pans.

And get some sesame seeds or poppy seeds because they're awesome on top of your loaves.

And in case you want to know how to make proper takeaway chinese food then search for Khoan Vong on youtube. He's the daddy.

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#7 Posted by viking_funeral (2881 posts) -

@imsh_pl said:

@darbish: I see. Can it make sourdough bread too?

Sourdough requires a good sourdough mother. You can make knock-offs, but if you like your sourdough, you'll notice the difference immediately. It's like Diet Coke vs. Coke.

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#8 Posted by darbish (110 posts) -

@imsh_pl: I don't see why not. Making sourdough by hand is only different in that you add the starter to all the other ingredients, right?

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#9 Edited by 49th (3858 posts) -

I've always enjoyed making bread the few times I've made it but it always feels like too much effort to go to, especially since I don't eat bread that often.

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#10 Posted by oldenglishc (1533 posts) -

I've replaced buying regular-ass bread with the frozen balls of dough that you let you rise and then bake yourself. They taste better and fit right in the sweet spot of the amount of effort I want to put into the thing I use for toast and sandwiches.

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#11 Posted by BisonHero (11514 posts) -

"That sounds like fancy guy stuff. Why can't you just buy bread from a store like a normal person? And none of that ancient grain stuff, just bread bread."

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#12 Posted by ghost_cat (2198 posts) -

Would you do short videos of your baking process? I think that would be fun.

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#13 Posted by StrikeALight (1255 posts) -

Bread machines are great. A bit too great.

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#14 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7318 posts) -

"That sounds like fancy guy stuff. Why can't you just buy bread from a store like a normal person? And none of that ancient grain stuff, just bread bread."

Ha. Well, there is hope for Dan, he drinks tea.

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#15 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7318 posts) -

@starfox_mulder That is some sweet ass bread! Very nice and thanks for the advice. I have some semolina. But, again, that is amazing bread you have there.

@temg99 I have not done much hand kneaded bread recently - I did some as a kid. I'm handy in the kicthen, but lazy! ;-) I do plan to do some hand kneaded bread, but i need a stone.

BTW: my machine is a Oster CKSTBRTW20 2-Pound Expressbake Breadmaker. It makes loafs, meaning they are longer then they are tall or wide. I think the Oster has a great price, yet great features for a variety of breads. There are more expensive models, but I don't think many of them really do a better loaf.

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#16 Posted by BisonHero (11514 posts) -

@monkeyking1969 said:

@bisonhero said:

"That sounds like fancy guy stuff. Why can't you just buy bread from a store like a normal person? And none of that ancient grain stuff, just bread bread."

Ha. Well, there is hope for Dan, he drinks tea.

Also, the Sausalito machine.

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#17 Posted by Ibarguengoytia (134 posts) -

I just started baking bread, but I am using my oven not a machine, if I will bake some this weekend I will post some pics.

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#18 Edited by DannyHibiki (369 posts) -

@monkeyking1969: I made your first recipe yesterday. It was hard to focus on mecha strats in Sakura Wars while I could smell it baking. :D

Made for nice Texas toast garlic bread with spaghetti dinner. Thanks for posting it!

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#19 Posted by vocalcannibal (407 posts) -

I don't have any recipes on hand, but my dad used to love using his bread machine to make banana bread.

If you cut it while it's still warm and put some butter on it, it's deliiiiicious. Highly recommend.

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#20 Posted by Y2Ken (2902 posts) -

My mum makes bread - generally day-to-day in a bread maker, but sometimes using an oven (usually for rolls and such).

I don't eat a ton of bread so I don't really make it, but I do make pizza dough from scratch by hand. Fresh homemade pizza is so good.

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#21 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7318 posts) -

Call me weird....go ahead I've heard worse.

I've been thinking about Candied Ginger Bread. So NOT typical dark cake-like Ginger Bread, but rather a sweet leavened-bread base with candied ginger in it

How does this look....

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ginger extract (or 1 tablespoon dry ground ginger?)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 and 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dry milk
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup candied/crystallized ginger
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of shredded orange/lemon peel (my thinking is that citrus 'brightens' most flavors)

I wonder if I need more salt? The base recipe have is for sweet breads, but I wonder if between flour, sugar, milk powder, and the candied ginger if I have too much 'food' for yeast? On the other hand ginger extract, candy bits, cinnamon, and citrus peel might weigh it down so I need more leavening action. I guess it will be a grand experiment.

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#22 Posted by Sloktor (108 posts) -

I have been baking bread for a few years, though it is not a white bread, more with some seeds and differnt kinds of flour.

When I got the recipe it was called Heartbread (apologize for the metric system and if the translation is bad since i live in Norway):

  • 3 deciliters Whole wheat Secale flour
  • 100 grams Whole grain wheat
  • 4 deciliters of water

The ones above are mixed together and left overnight to soften

  • 50 grams yeast
  • 2,5 deciliters water
  • 3 deciliters Secale Flour
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1,5 teaspoon of salt
  • 0,5 deciliters of oat bran
  • 7-8 deciliters of wheat flour

This ends up making two loafs of bread

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#23 Posted by StarFox_Mulder (33 posts) -

@monkeyking1969: Salt is essential for the gluten structure of bread as it strengthens the chains. A lot of times the dough will be mixed and the salt added towards the end of the mix and you'll feel it toughening up. And the stories about salt killing yeast aren't right. It has a retarding effect on yeast growth but it's not excessive. And salt reduces perceived bitterness so that's why it works so great with chocolate and especially coffee.

Google "Bakers percentages" and you might find some help there. I'd have a minimum of 1.5% salt to flour by weight.

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#24 Posted by Shindig (4761 posts) -

Cease this bread wankery. Unless one you makes a loaf with melted butter already inside.

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#25 Posted by StarFox_Mulder (33 posts) -

@shindig said:

Cease this bread wankery. Unless one you makes a loaf with melted butter already inside.

Croissants already have butter melted inside them... but what if you took croissants and baked hot dogs inside that?

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My girlfriend called me a pervert for making those. But what if you made a lasagne and then covered it with breadcrumbs and Wotsits and crushed onion rings?

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Grateful for that particular perversion, she was. Very grateful. I really recommend it. The Wotsits and onion rings are amazing, even the burnt bits.

Vinny will eventually have one of his obsessions and move onto trying to make the perfect loaf and then you'll all be riding the yeasty horse to Glutenville. Some of you already knew this inside.

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#26 Posted by Shindig (4761 posts) -

That looks like something a cat would piss in.

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#27 Posted by StarFox_Mulder (33 posts) -

@shindig said:

That looks like something a cat would piss in.

I gave it a wipe around with a hanky first and got out most of the lumps.

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#28 Edited by Ibarguengoytia (134 posts) -

Baked some yesterday. This is my third time, I am getting a hang of it, plus the wife and I love it!

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Good for the soul!