Bread Machine Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best bread machine for home use?

All of them. Which type you choose depends on the features you want and the range of things you want to do. Some machines only make bread while others allow you to make jams, jellies and even have gluten free settings.

Is a bread machine worth it?

Yes. If you bake your own bread on a regular basis the cost-savings add up. It also gives you the benefit of fresh baked breads and the option to bake a variety of breads that your local grocery store may not stock.

What can a bread machine do?

The settings on many bread machines tell the story: Basic white bread, whole wheat bread, gluten free cycle, rapid rise cycle, jam and jelly cycle, dough setting for everything from bread dough to pie dough and cookies plus varying bread crust finishes.

Do you need a bread machine to make bread?

No. But a bread machine makes the process easier and will give you better results because it carefully manages the entire process from mixing to kneading to rising to baking. You just set it and forget it until the timer dings.

How long does homemade bread last?

That varies depending on the type of bread, how it’s packaged and how it’s stored. Because there are no artificial preservatives added, it’s best to eat your homemade bread in 3 to 4 days. You could always refrigerate it to add a few days.

Is it cheaper to make your own bread?

Breads from a bakery or grocery store are marked up to cover ingredient costs, labor, equipment costs, business costs like insurance and utilities, packaging, shipping, distribution and trade deals. Baking your own eliminates many of those costs.

Why is homemade bread so good?

Most homemade foods taste better than what you buy. You’re also making and baking your bread from scratch. As it bakes it fills your kitchen with the aroma of bread baking and fresh baked bread always tastes better.

Why does homemade bread taste different?

The difference you’re tasting is freshness. Homemade breads also tend to have a crisp, flavorful crust.

Is homemade bread healthier than store bought?

Typically, yes. Homemade breads have no artificial preservatives, food coloring or other shortcuts like high fructose corn syrup. The easiest way to think about it is that your homemade bread is as healthy as you make it.

How do I choose a bread maker?

It depends on your family size, how much you want to do and how you prefer the shape of your bread. Most bread machines make a vertical loaf while same make a horizontal loaf. We have numerous reviews on our website to help and a dedicated article: how to choose a bread maker.

How does a bread maker work?

A bread machine mixes, kneads, rises, and bakes your ingredients from start to finish. The machine is calibrated to manage temperatures throughout the process to help the bread to rise and give it the crust color your select.

Do bread makers bake the bread?

Yes, although almost all machines give you a dough option. The dough cycle mixes, kneads and raises the dough and then shuts off. This lets you remove the dough and bake the bread in the oven in any shape you want.

Should butter be melted for bread machine?

It’s typically not necessary unless the recipe calls for it. The usual recommendation is that you place the butter pat cut into 4 equal size pieces on top of the flour in the corners of the bread pan. No melting necessary.

Can I leave bread in bread maker overnight?

Yes. In fact, many bread machines also have a delayed cycle so you can add your ingredients and it will mix, knead, raise and bake in the middle of the night so it’s hot and fresh for you in the morning.

Why is my bread so dense in my bread machine?

Some flours create a dense bread. It could also be a yeast problem. Refrigerate all yeast until use. Bread machine yeast also helps. Bread flour gives a better rise. Also, make sure you add hot water to the bread pan.

Is a bread maker better than oven?

Yes and no. It depends on your lifestyle. A bread machine is no fuss and little mess. It also guarantees results and makes an excellent bread. So does bread baked in the oven. It’s all a matter of personal taste and personal time.

Does shortening make bread softer?

Not really. It might help the texture a bit, but butter works the same and can give a lighter, softer texture as well. The tradeoff is that shortening is a trans fat containing the highest amounts of LDL or bad cholesterol. Use butter instead.

How do you make bread fluffier?

The easiest way is to substitute milk for water. You could also add an extra ½ teaspoon of yeast. Don’t overdo it with the yeast though. Too much yeast will cause your dough to balloon and the machine will bake it onto the cover.

Can I take the paddle out of bread machine?

Yes, and it’s recommended for cleaning. However, many complaints about some bread machines is that the paddle is stuck. If that happens, soak the bread pan with water for an hour and turn the paddle while you clean.

Why is my bread not soft and fluffy?

Here again, some flours don’t lead to a soft and fluffy bread. This is especially true with gluten free flours. A general remedy is to use milk instead of water, use fresh yeast, and use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour.

Do I have to oil the paddle spindle on my machine?

Typically, no. However, if your manufacturer recommends it in your instruction book, make sure you use vegetable oil or any other edible oil. Not motor oil or any other oil made from petroleum products.

I looked at my dough and it was rising nicely but when it was done it had collapsed. Why?

Never lift the lid on your machine during the bread making process. Most machines have a window in the lid. If you must peek, look through the lid with a flashlight.

I have a fruit and nut hopper on my machine, but the fruits always get stuck in the hopper. What can I do?

This is a common problem especially with sticky fruits like raisins. Toss the fruits in flour and dust them up before adding them to the hopper.

Can I substitute baking powder for yeast?

No. Yeast breads have a certain combination of ingredients and proportions. Breads made with baking powder are often called batter breads and have an entirely different combination of ingredients and proportions. Baking powder substituted for yeast in a yeast bread recipe will fail.

Why do some recipes call for a ¼ tsp of salt when you would never even taste it?

It has nothing to do with taste. Salt controls yeast growth to manage its growth and the bread rise at a steady rate. Without it, the yeast could get out of control.

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1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Angie April 21, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    Hi,
    I have a Zojirushi bread machine and would like to know if I can sub white whole wheat flour for the bread flour in the regular/basic course Basic White Bread recipe. I want to use this course b/c you can adjust the crust settings here whereas in the Regular Wheat courses, it doesn’t give you the option to adjust the crust settings. Otherwise I’d make use the 100% Whole Wheat Bread recipe and just sub the white whole wheat flour for the whole wheat called for in the recipe. Any thoughts?
    Thanks so much,
    Angie

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