Mastering the Delayed Cycle on Your Bread Machine

 

Most bread machines have a delayed cycle allowing you to load ingredients for a final bread cycle up to 13 hours later. But there’s a catch.

You can load ingredients into your bread pan and pre-set your bread machine to knead, rise and bake a loaf up to 13 hours in advance. It’s a great way to wake up to a freshly baked cinnamon loaf, or to come home to a nicely baked loaf of white bread for dinner. However, some recipes and ingredients don’t work with this cycle.

 

Problem Ingredients

Dairy products in any delayed-cycle bread recipe present a problem. This includes milk, eggs, cheese, and buttermilk. They simply don’t survive a long-duration in the bread pan and can cause bacterial growth or simply turn rancid.

Conversely, butter can actually maintain its integrity over 13 hours, but it’s the exception.

One other note: make sure the yeast is separated from the water with a barrier of flour. Once the yeast comes into contact with any liquid it becomes active and if left to sit for hours can actually expire resulting in little or no rising of the loaf.  There is a built-in heating cycle in the delayed cycle that will warm the ingredients during kneading to ensure a good rise.

If you’re going to pre-load a bread pan with ingredients for a delayed baking cycle you need to understand that your options are limited.

We’re going to explore some recipes that work fine with the delayed-cycle up to 13 hours for both breakfast breads and dinner breads. They all exclude dairy although butter can show up on occasion.

 

Delayed-Cycle Cinnamon Bread Recipe:

Cinnamon bread is great to wake up to in the morning. The aroma of cinnamon fills the kitchen and it’s great with a cup of coffee a spread of jelly or jam.

Remember that you have to estimate the cycle time when you set your time. If you fill your bread pan with the ingredients at seven o’clock at night and want to enjoy your bread at seven in the morning you have to remember that the full cycle is about three and a half hours plus the delay. This means the cycle should start in eight and half hours so your loaf will be done at seven.

This recipe also calls for something called buttermilk powder. you can find it in the baking section by the powdered milk. This is one of the ways that you can add ingredients that won’t spoil after hours have passed.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water (110° F./43° C.)
  • 3 cups of bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons of dry buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of bread machine yeast or active dry yeast

DIRECTIONS:

Add all of the ingredients to the bread pan and select a delayed cycle for the white bread course. Select 1.5 pound loaf and light crust setting. Take note of the white bread cycle time for your bread machine and build this into you calculations for setting the delayed cycle.

 

Delayed-Cycle White Bread Recipe:

This is a very basic recipe and makes a great white bread for dinner.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water (110° F./43° C.)
  • 3 cups of bread flour
  • 1/4 cup of dry buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of bread machine yeast or active dry yeast

DIRECTIONS:

Add all of the ingredients to the bread pan and select a delayed cycle for the white bread course. Select 1.5 pound loaf and medium crust setting. Take note of the white bread cycle time for your bread machine and build this into you calculations for setting the delayed cycle.

 

Delayed-Cycle Rye Bread Recipe:

(Makes a 1.5 pound loaf)

Rye bread is the all-purpose bread for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I like mine with caraway seeds, but that’s optional. To some degree this is a “faux” rye given that it combines bread flour with a small amount of rye flour. Rye flour is very low in gluten so the bread flour helps with the rise and texture. Here again, make sure the yeast does not come in contact with the water.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 cup of water (110° F./43° C.)
  • 2 1/4 cups of bread flour
  • 3/4 cups of rye flour
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of shredded, dried orange peel (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of bread machine yeast or active dry yeast

DIRECTIONS:

Add all of the ingredients to the bread pan and select a delayed cycle for the whole-wheat bread course. Select 1.5 pound loaf and dark crust setting. Take note of the wheat-bread cycle time for your bread machine and build this into you calculations for setting the delayed cycle.

 

There are More Options

You can adapt many recipes to the delayed-cycle. The critical success factor is eliminating dairy products and keeping the yeast separate from any liquid. If se you can manage those variables you should be able to adapt any bread machine recipe to the delayed-cycle.

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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5 Comments
  1. Reply
    Shannon Chin November 1, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    I want to use the delay setting to make pizza dough before I go to sleep and have it ready to use when I wake up. I have a breadman. Do you know how I can do this? I read about the delay timer to actually bake bread in the machine but I only want it to mix the dough and be able to use it as I said above. Im very confused. BTW I love your pizza dough recipe and the blueberry bagel is a huge hit!

  2. Reply
    Robert January 12, 2017 at 8:56 am

    But, if the yeast doesn’t come into contact with the water until 8 1/2 hours later, it would be at room temperature at that time. No?

    • Reply
      Admin January 15, 2017 at 2:22 am

      Hi Robert,

      You are right, we apologize for the mistake.
      We have corrected the article.

  3. Reply
    Katie November 24, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Why does the water temperature matter in these recipes? Isn’t it still going to cool down to room temp when the cycle actually starts?

    • Reply
      Steve Nubie November 25, 2016 at 2:55 am

      Hi Katie,

      The proper water temperature activates the yeast at the outset. It will maintain long enough to give the yeast the best chance to grow and rise in the dough. It will cool down eventually, but by then the yeast has started to do its job.

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