Artisan Breads from Your Bread Machine

You see them in bakeries all the time, but Artisan breads are easy to make and bake in your bread machine or with your bread machine dough-cycle.

oatmeal bread loaf 3 - large

Artisan breads are unique combinations usually defined as a blend of whole-grains and other ingredients from oatmeal to cracked wheat. The texture tends to be dense and flavorful with distinct aromas derived from the ingredients. It’s not uncommon to also see traditional bread flour combined with some of the whole or multi-grain flours. The addition of some proportion of bread flour helps with the overall rising process.

We’re going to explore three recipes some of which can be made in the bread machine and one that uses the dough-cycle and is finished in a conventional oven.

Artisan breads derive their name from unique combinations that aren’t usually found in traditional breads. They often feature visible ingredient like whole, rolled-oats both in the bread and on the crust. The textures are also a bit granular defined by cracked-wheat kernels or heavy crusts that are both flaky

and crunchy. You’ll also see molasses as a common ingredient. This gives the loaf the traditional amber color associated with many Artisan breads.

Artisanal breads originated in Europe where they were the standard fare for the everyday dinner table. Unlike some of the highly processed breads common in North America, Artisan breads usually have a crisp crust, a texture ranging from very fine to coarse, and are often a mix of different flour varieties.


The Setting is Key

Most artisanal breads in a bread machine use the “basic or white bread” setting. There are no bread machines we’ve reviewed that have an “artisan” bread setting. The basic or white bread setting usually provides a good rise and baked loaf assuming you’re added some percentage of bread flour. If you use only whole wheat or multi-grain flours without any bread flour you should select the whole wheat setting. This is not to imply that these breads are gluten free, but there is less gluten in most artisan breads than you would find in more traditional breads.


Yeast to the Rescue

I’ve found that bread-machine yeast is the best yeast for artisan breads. Active and rapid-rise yeasts don’t work as well. If at all possible, use jarred bread-machine yeast. Keep it refrigerated and use according to the directions in the recipes below. Don’t be tempted to use too much yeast. Too much yeast can cause a bread to fall or sink as much as too little.

Oatmeal Bread Recipe:

(Makes a 1.5 pound loaf)

oatmeal bread loaf 3 - small oatmeal bread sliced - small

Let’s start simple with an artisanal bread recipe that’s easy to make and gives you the look, texture and taste of a true artisan recipe. Rolled oats are the key plus a flour combination of bread flour.


  • ¾ cup of water at 110ºF./43ºC.
  • ¾ cup of milk at 110ºF./43ºC.
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ cup of butter at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon of dark molasses
  • 1 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats plus extra to top the loaf
  • 2 ½ cups of bread flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons of bread machine yeast


Add the ingredients to the bread pan in the order indicated. Select the basic or white bread setting, 1.5 pound loaf and dark crust setting. When the kneading cycle is complete sprinkle some rolled oats over the top of the dough ball.

When the baking cycle is complete remove the loaf from the bread pan and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

oatmeal bread loaf 2

Crusty Whole-Grain Bread Recipe:

(Makes a 2.5 pound loaf when baked in the oven following the dough cycle)

Crusty Multi grain loaf 1

What makes this bread crusty is mixing it in the bread machine and rising it and then taking it out and finishing It in the oven. Bread machines create a good crust and if you want to go from start to finish in the bread machine use the dark crust setting. We’ve going to get a bit creative and use only the dough-cycle and finishing in a conventional oven on a cookie sheet.

We’re also going to use a blend of whole grain flours to give us a multi-grain loaf. Most of the flours can be found in the specialty aisle in the grocery store rather than in the standard baking section.


  • 2 cups of water at 110ºF./43ºC.
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of dark or light molasses
  • 2 cups of bread flour
  • 2 cups of whole-wheat flour
  • ½ cup of rye flour
  • ½ cup of oat bran
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons of bread machine yeast
  • 2 teaspoons of anise seeds


Place all of the ingredients into the bread pan in the order indicated in the recipe and select the dough setting. Keep an eye on the dough ball during he kneading cycle. If it appears to be too dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time to achieve the desired consistency. If the dough ball appears to wet, add a teaspoon of bread flour at a time to achieve dough consistency

Butter a large baking sheet and roughly shape the dough ball into a loaf shape. Allow to rise for another 30 minutes to an hour. Preheat the oven to 375ºF./190ºC. Brush the top of the loaf with a mix of 1 egg yolk whisked with 1tablespoon of water. Bake for 1 hour or until the loaf has browned and a tap on the bottom of the loaf makes a hollow sound. Let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Crust multi grain sliced 1

Cracked Wheat Bread Recipe:

(Makes a 2 pound loaf)

Cracked wheat can be found in many grocery stores but you may have to go to the specialty aisle to find it. It’s whole kernels of wheat that have been cracked into pieces rather than ground into flour. For this recipe the cracked wheat is a partial ingredient with regular wheat flour and some bread flour. The addition of bread flour helps with the rising cycle and results in a softer texture in the loaf. The cracked wheat kernels give the bread a crunchy texture and this loaf is great for sandwiches.


  • 1 1/3 cups of water plus 1 tablespoon at 110ºF./43ºC.
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey or molasses if you want a darker color
  • 2 1⁄4 cups bread flour
  • 1 1⁄4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1⁄2 cup cracked wheat (or Red River Cereal)
  • 2 1⁄4 teaspoons bread machine yeast


Put all of the ingredients in the bread pan in the order indicated and select the basic or white bread setting. Select 2 pound setting and medium crust. When the baking cycle is complete remove baked loaf from pan and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Steve Nubie

Steve Nubie has been writing professionally for 38 years. He is a Chef and has traveled across Asia and Europe studying language, culture and cuisine. He instructs culinary classes in the Culinary School at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and has written extensively on cuisine, cooking, diet and nutrition. He is a published author of 10 books including a cookbook and continues to write on subjects related to culinary trends.

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  1. Reply
    Marla Schreffler June 23, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Steve- I just saw your posts- thank goodness- I am purchasing a mini Zojirushi bread machine- it only makes a one pound loaf- how do I amend your recipe?

    • Reply
      Admin September 25, 2018 at 2:02 pm

      Hi Marla,

      Cut any ingredients in a two pound recipe in half and reduce by 1/3 to convert from a 1.5 pound loaf to a 1 pound loaf.

      • Reply
        Jennifer January 10, 2019 at 5:38 pm

        True, but then you have to figure out how to measure like .166 of butter to get your 2/3 of 1/4 c butter. Reducing by 1/3 means keeping 2/3, which is .66 if you want to easily use your calculator. So your butter is more than 1/8 or.125, but less than 1/4 or .25. An 1/8 plus another half an 1/8 (1/16) would then still be a little too much because that is .1875. So now you are down to measuring at least an 1/8 c, but adding less than half an eighth to that eighth? Then you worry the whole time about how this bread will turn out as you tried to do 2/3 of everything.

  2. Reply
    Barbara May 27, 2018 at 2:25 am

    Hi Steve, can I use artisanal bread flour (Bob’s Red Mill) in my bread machine?

    • Reply
      Admin May 28, 2018 at 6:24 am

      Hi Barbara,

      Bob’s Red Mill flour varieties are excellent flours and all can be used in a bread machine 🙂

  3. Reply
    Patti March 12, 2018 at 12:58 am

    Hi Steve,

    Just wanted to share with you the result of the Crusty Whole-Grain Bread I made following your advice. I made a 2 lb loaf. I reduced the whole wheat flour to 1 1/2 c and deleted the Oat Bran flour, reduced the water to 12 7/8 oz minus 2 teaspoon, 2 t Kosher Salt, 2 T Olive oil and the rest of the ingredients I left as is. I didn’t have any anise seed. Instead, I added 2 t each of Chia seed & Flax seeds, 1 t each of fennel seeds and caraway seeds. At the end of the dough cycle, the dough rose up to the rim of the bread pan. I kneaded the dough a little bit and put it in a oval bread form to rise for 30 min. Baked it in a dutch oven for 30 min with the lid on and 10 min more without the lid at 425 deg F. It came out beautiful and delicious. The bread was soft and chewy. This will be one of our favorites. Thank you for your help and advice. I tried to attached a picture of the bread. But I couldn’t figure out how to do it.

    • Reply
      Admin May 28, 2018 at 6:24 am

      Anytime Patti! We’re glad it worked well for you 🙂

  4. Reply
    Patti March 9, 2018 at 3:52 am

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for answering my questions so quickly and for the information. I will certainly let you know the results.

    Thanks again.

  5. Reply
    Patti March 6, 2018 at 4:10 am

    Hi Steve, I just now found your website. I needed to know if I use the dough cycle, do I need to let the dough rise before putting it into the oven to bake. Your site answered my question. I got the Bella Cucina Bread Maker as a gift. This machine makes a 1 1/2 lb loaf and a 2 lb loaf. I want to try your Crusty Whole-Grain Bread Recipe. But this recipe makes a 2 1/2 lb loaf. I have 2 questions. 1. Do you think a 2 1/2 lb loaf is too much for this machine. 2. Instead of using 1/2 c of oat bran, I can increase the rye to 1 c or increase the bread or wheat flour by 1/2 c. or even better yet, how can I reduce the recipe to make a 2 lb loaf. I’m new to making breads and using a bread maker. So changing a recipe is scary on my part. Thanks

    • Reply
      Steve Nubie March 7, 2018 at 5:12 pm

      Hi Patti,

      To convert the recipe from a 2.5 pound loaf, reduce the ingredients by 1/5. As a general rule, total flour amounts translate to loaf size in the following way:

      2 cups = 1 pound loaf
      3 cups = 1.5 pound loaf
      4 cups = 2 pound loaf
      5 cups = 2.5 pound loaf

      The critical thing is to keep you total loaf proportion to 4 cups of flour and adjust the amount of water by reducing the total water by 1/5. You would also apply this 1/5 reduction to other ingredients like yeast, sugar and salt but those proportions are less critical than the flour and water.

      If you make a 2.5 pound loaf in a machine that only has a 2 pound capacity the bread can overflow at the top after rising and can burn on the inside of your machine. That makes for a very tough cleanup. And of course you can delete the oat bran and increase the rye or other flour type to take its place. Just make sure you don’t exceed the 1/2 cup proportion indicated for the oat bran. You’ll still get a great multi grain result. Let us know if this works and if you have any problems we’ll work with you to sort it out.

  6. Reply
    Diane Miller February 3, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    I’m looking for an old fashioned brown bread recipe I can make in my bread machine, do you have one that isn’t whole wheat?

  7. Reply
    Jessie August 29, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    Mine is a question of form. You don’t mention it but I notice that most loaves whose bread machine recipes seem to be from a loaf pan, rather than from the machine insert. I’m not being picky but at what point would you remove most doughs, say basic or white, to place in the oven so they don’t have that annoying paddle hole in the middle?
    FYI, I have an ANCIENT Corner Bakery Bread and Dessert Breadman bread machine, I’m guessing, was manufactured in the 80’s. Model TR888. It has a decent number of controls, including a beep to tell me when to add dried fruits and nuts.
    Any suggestions?

    • Reply
      Steve Nubie September 2, 2017 at 4:42 am

      Hi Jessie,
      There are two ways to handle the paddle the insert.
      #1. Pull the dough ball out of the bread pan after the rising cycle and before the baking cycle and physically remove the paddle. Return the dough ball to the bread pan and let the baking cycle continues. It will still leave a small hole but it will be no larger than a pencil about one-inch deep.
      #2. Remove the entire dough ball from the bread machine after the rising cycle and place into a buttered or oiled bread pan. Let rise again for 30 minutes and bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 176 degrees Celsius for 30 to 40 minutes.

      Hope this helps!

  8. Reply
    Martin July 26, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    I am going to try these in my (Panasonic) breadmaker – thanks. But my real problem (and my reason for Googling and finding this site) is that the bread I end up with is always too light, too airy and spongy. I have tried adjusting quantities and flours – anyone any advice on how to get a much denser, heavier crumb? Any particular flours (nothing too hard to obtain!) I should try – I have used a variety already, including spelt.. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Steve Nubie August 5, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      Hi Martin,

      Most people have the opposite problem. You might want to try using all purpose flour or whole wheat flour. Maybe a blend of half whole wheat and half all purpose flour. You might also want to reduce the amount of yeast by a 1/4 to a 1/2 teaspoons less. Adding a bit more salt like a half to a teaspoon in addition to what the recipe indicates can also reduce the activeness of the yeast. You might have to experiment a bit 🙂
      Good luck!

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