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Your First Loaf

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Well, now that you have a bread machine I am sure you are just itching to get right in and start baking. Don’t! First, it doesn’t matter if you have a new bread machine, a used one, or one given to you by a friend you need to test it out and make sure that it works. Just plugging it isn’t enough, but it is a good start.

You’re First From Scratch Loaf

I want you to use the recipe below. I have tested this recipe in over 30 different machines and have never had it to fail. Even, if you ultimately want to make whole grain breads use the recipe below. We are still testing the bread machine and you are learning about bread and bread dough in the bread machine. In other words, you are getting experience.

Bread Machine Digest White Bread
1-1/2 Pound

1-1/8 cups water
1-1/2 tablespoons butter
3 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 tablespoons dry milk
2-1/2 teaspoons yeast (1 of the packets I had you get at the store)

Place all of the ingredients in your machines fully assembled pan. Select the
Basic or White cycle and press start.

Checking the Dough Consistency

Now about 10 minutes after your machine has started kneading the dough you need to open the lid and check the consistency of the dough. The dough should be starting to form a smooth round ball. When you touch the dough with your finger, it should be slightly tacky to the touch however; no dough should remain on your finger when you pull it away. The dough consistency is very important and with few exceptions, all bread machine dough’s should look and feel this way.

If your dough it too dry add 1 tbsp. of water at a time (allowing the machine to knead for a minute or so between additions) until the dough is the proper consistency. If the dough is too wet add 1 tbsp. of flour at a time (allowing the machine to knead for a minute or so between additions) until the dough is the proper consistency. These types of adjustments aren’t unusual and don’t mean there is something wrong with the recipe. What is happening is that depending on the weather the flour has more or less moisture in it. Each time you make this and every other recipe you will need to check the dough consistency, that is unless you are using the timer at which point you need to use a recipe that you have tried before and have found to work well for you.

NOTE: If you have to add more than 3 tbsp. of water or flour to get the dough consistency right then the chances are the recipe is off. Make a note on the recipe of how much you had to add of extra water or flour and include that extra water or flour the next time you make the recipe. Don’t do this however for amounts smaller than 3 tbsp.

When the Loaf is Done

After the machine has beeped to indicate the bread’s done, open the machines lid leave the bread for 10 minutes. Then remove the pan with the bread from the machine and gently remove the bread from the pan (invert and shake until it slides out). Place the bread on a cooling rack and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

To store the bread, store it unsliced in a heavy plastic bag. I highly recommend one of the clear hard plastic storage boxes for keeping your bread fresh. These run about $12 to $13 and really work well. Remember that you should use the bread with in a day or so as fresh homemade bread does not contain any chemical preservatives and will stale fast.

Final Comments

Congratulations, you have just baked your first loaf of bread. Now you know what the dough should look and feel like and you know how to work you machine. You ready to move on to other recipes. If your loaf did not turn out right Look at the troubleshooting chart and see if you can figure out what happened. If the chart does not help, please feel free to contact us or join our Bread Machine Club mailing list and ask for help there. Remember when asking for help to provide as much information as you can.

  • THIS IS MY FIRST TIME MAKING BREAD IN MY BREAD MACHINE THAT HAS NO MANUAL WITH IT.. I ENJOYED THIS WHOLE WEB SITE IT WAS AWSOME. BUT I HAVE A SILLY QUESTION BEFORE I START MAKING MY FIRST LOAF OF BREAD. DO WE NEED TO BUTTER OR SPRAY PAM IN THE PAN BEFORE WE START SO THAT THE BREAD DOESN’T STICK.??? I HAVE LOOKED AT SEVERAL SITES AND NOTHING MENTIONS ANY THING?????????????????????? CAN SOME ONE PLEASE GIVE ME THAT SIMPLE HINT I DON’T WANT TO MAKE A BAD FIRST LOAF.. I WANT TO MAKE A PROUD NUMMEY LOAF OF BREAD. THANKS SO SO MUCH
    JANUARY LIBBY

    JANUARY J LIBBY
  • Your breadmachine should have a non-stick coating on the pan so you don’t need to oil it. Also, don’t stress about a perfect loaf, even making bread with a breadmachine is an imperfect art.

    BMD
  • I have a used bread machine with no manual and I plan to follow the instructions from this site, but my only questions is this. My machine has a yeast dispenser, do I put the yeast in there? Will the machine automatically add it to the dough?

    Erika Mochal
  • I am trying to make bread in my bread machine and after three tries with different recipes all the loaves have risen and during the baking cycle they collapsed. I used the Bread Machine Digest white bread recipe for beginners as one of the loafs.Am I destined to use only the dough cycle and bake the bread in the oven? The machine I am using in an Aroma brand no longer being made. I was very careful to follow all the instructions on measuring ingredients and checking the dough ball for being round and smooth. All the ingredients were fresh. Thank sor any suggestions. Donna

    i used

    Donna Avery
  • You say for Low Sodium Diet don’t worry about it. It is only a small amount, but there is 2400mg in a teaspoon of salt. Now when you devide that by the slice you are coming up with around 200mg per slice depending on how thick you slice it 400mg per sandwich and that is before you add any meat. When you are on a 2000mg per day that adds up. Is there anything else you can use to control the yeast?

    Jeff
  • I just made my first loaf of white bread on my new Kenmore Breadmaker with LCD display. It was so easy I really like it, The bread popped out with out sticking and clean up was a breaze. The paddle did stick in the bread so next time I will take it out after the rise cycle. The machine was $ 80.00, I was tempted to go with a more expense model but decided that I would try something less expensive and I’m glad I did.. At this moment I have nothing to say bad about the machine. The heating cycle is quike and it has quite a few options.. The recipe book was a little lacking but that’s ok, there are a lot of recipes to be found on the next… Give this one a try first time buyers good place to start … have fun … and Smell the goodness … Allen

    Alle Laxton
  • I got a Wolfgang Puck Bread Machine for Christmas. I made my first loaf of bread using the boxed mix they provided. It was delicious. The top sunk in though. Today I made a lemon cake using a recipe from their book. It’s delicious, but again the top sunk in. Anyone know why? I followed all instructions perfectly. I read some message boards and thought maybe the bread sunk because the water was warm but I didn’t check the temperature of it. It didn’t say to in the instructions. With the lemon cake, I melted the butter, but didn’t wait for it to cool enough. Again, the directions didn’t say to. If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear from you. Maryann

    Maryann Ossen
  • I, too, had the bread sink during baking. I have an older machine though and wonder if I should purchase a new one.

    Or did I have do something wrong? I really want to make some spelt bread in the future.

    Tks, great site,

    Louise

    louise
  • I have Celiac Desease and cannot eat any grains but rice and corn. I bought special mixes to try making bread. When I baked it in the oven, as it was cooling the center fell in. I discovered it wasn’t done in the center. Will the mices work ing a machine???

    Barb
  • My fiance wants a bread machine that makes an oblong loaf, not rectangular or round. What machines or companies make such a machine? The web sites for the major stores do not have enough information to know what shape a loaf is, and the stores do not carry most models. Any help is appreciated. Thank you. Dave

    Dave
  • Dave, I recommend Moulinex OW 5003 Baguette

    Galina
  • I don´t have dry milk. Hard to find here. What can I do ?

    Fernand
  • My bread maker’s manual says to use yeast specific to bread machines. Is it just a fast acting yeast that I need??

    Keely
  • I followed the instructions- last night I purchased a Cuisinart bread maker. This process worked great for my first loaf. I think it’s best to start with a basic test such as this, get a feel for it before getting too creative. Now that I know my breadmaker behaves well I’m ready to tackle something more elaborate! Thanks for posting all of this information. It’s great.

    Adele
  • Never posted here before and don’t know if ‘Maryann Ossen’ or ‘Louise’ ever got an answer to why their bread sunk in the middle, so here’s my two cent’s worth …

    The bread sinks in the top when there’s too much liquid added. Just adjust it or add a few extra tbsps of flour.

    HTH !!!

    summer*of*love
  • I have a Moulinex bread machine . The first few times it was allright but now everytime I tried to bake the top sinks. Why is it happening?

    Mrs Jayashree Banerjee
  • I just recieved a Black&Decker B2500C and notice it calls for dry milk powder. How or what can I subsitute for dry milk. How much liquid milk would you use? Or can you?
    Thankyou
    Mrs.D

    Mrs. D.
  • Instead of water use milk — same amounts. Then you don’t have to use dry milk. As far as the sinking in the middle on so many machines, I believe it is because the baking in the machine causes too much moisture and not a dry heat as it rises. I just pull my dough out and bake it in regular pans. Much easier. I really use the machine as my automatic mixer. Put all the liquid in first, then the butter/margarine/or olive oil, then the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Let it do its thing to the DOUGH cycle. (4 cups of flour makes two 1 pound loaves.) Wonderful.

    SandyR
  • I have an old Breadman – i want to make loaves of french bread -baguettes , by having the machine do the mixing & rising . When do I take the dough out?

    maria
  • Hoping to get a quick response…..I used the wrong program on my BreadMan TR520 breadmaker and I don’t know how to fix it. I used the White Bread and it was supposed to be French Bread. The difference – 3:05 process white, 3:55 French. Bake at 65 white, French 75. What can I do?

    Pam Hill
  • Silly question. If you put everything in the machine and let it do its thing, does the dough hook bake into the bread? I have only looked at machines, not purchased one.
    Thanks.

    Katie
  • My bread rises and bakes beautifully but after taking it out of oven, it sinks a little in the middle while cooling. I usually use 2 tps bread machine yeast and 3 tsps vital wheat gluten to 3 cups of bread flour, let it rise 30 minutes until it crests 1-2 inch over bread pan and then bake. Can’t figure out if I’m using too much yeast, too much liquid, etc. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks.

    Theresa Helligar
  • Purchased your bread maker and although being careful with the proper measures of ingredientses , I cannot get a smooth crust on top or a full size loaf bread Please advice ,Gerry V.

    Gerry Vander Wees
  • I love my bread machine it makes a smaller loaf just enough for two people. (your recipe would flood it!) Once upon a time I had a manual and learned to make breads that way. I’m trying to learn how to make sourdough, which takes longer to rise, and maybe even longer to bake. my machine is a west Bend just for dinner. After many tries I figured out that after letting the sourdough kneed I needed to turn the machine off and coat my dough with a tiny bit of oil, and cover it so the dough has more time to rise, and doesn’t dry out. I remove the pan, let my machine go through the kneeding without anything in it (sadly my machine doesn’t have a bake only cycle) and put my dough back in to back. The dough must need more time to bake cause the middle isn’t getting done. Do the ‘wheat’ cycles give a longer baking time? I haven’t tried that yet.

    Sharon
  • I just purchased a Sunbeam machine. If I use this recipe to make the dough, then transfer to a loaf pan (or 2?) Will I need to let it rise again before I bake it? Or am I just supposed to transfer it very gently?

    Lessie (MyCouponLady.com)
  • I just received a Kenmore Breadmaker with LCD display for Christmas. I am going to make my first loaf this evening….I can’t wait!!!

    Sarah
  • A friend at work says his bread recipes always include gluten. He swears it improves the texture of the bread. I’m just starting out, and I can’t find any bread machine recipes that have gluten in them! Can I just add a tablespoon or two to any recipe? Thanks.

    Karen
  • Bought a wolf gang puck machine and cant seem to get bread to cookL:( bread raised well but dough is not cooked ? help me 2nd time . Using prepackaged bread making box

    Cynthia
  • I need to know exactly what order do you put the ingredients in the machine.

    Thank you

    Ella James
  • I have a TR810Breadman plus, my bread does sink as well in the middle when it bakes, any suggestions on how to fix it..thank you

    Carola
  • I have a regal bread machine with a non-stick pan. Problem is that every time I make bread in it I can’t get it out without cutting around the sides with a plastic knife (destroying the whole loaf). Does anyone know why this is happening?

    Lisa
  • Lisa,
    I am having that same problem, too. Let me know if you find out what the problem is.
    LisaBC

    LisaBC
  • I love my Breadmaker, but why does it make huge loaves of bread, can you tell me how i can get smaller loaves.

    Debbie
  • My husband gave me a breadmachine for an early Mother’s Day gift. The directions are vague, so my question is, do I use the paddle everytime I want to make bread? The directions say to use the paddle when I make dough to be shaped by hand and baked in an oven. Please Help!

    Lisa
  • Yes, use the paddle every time you use it or it will not mix or knead the dough.

    BMD
  • I have an Oster bread machine and have baked my little heart out since I got it and every single one of the loaves have sunk in the middle and turned out heavy……at least 15 loves ruined! I’m ready to dump the machine on the corner…I have tried tons of recipies, followed exactly to the tee and not one has turned out….I bought my daughter the same one and my son in law makes bread and his turns out perfect, go figure, any help out there?

    Valarie
  • Purchased a bread machine today from a GoodWill store for $19.99 with out the sales tax. It’s a BreadMan Ultimate, needed to be cleaned up which I did and managed to find the owners manual via this website (big thank you) as it did not come with one. We decided to try a recipe from the owners manual to make sure that the machine worked as we only have 7 days with the receipt for a full refund. It didn’t quite work for me and I’m wondering if it’s because we didn’t have any dry milk powder, had to improvise and use regular milk and dilute it with water. In the end the bread did not cook all the way through and was still doughy. I need to try again but if anyone out there has this machine and could lead me in the right direction that would be helpful. Thanks!

    Confused Chrissy
  • I am planning to buy a Moulinex Bread maker, My Q is
    Ho w many min to take for a brown bread ?
    We need to add Yeast?

    Thanks

    Majeed Doha
  • I am just starting out, and I am looking forward to making my own bread, but I was wondering if you can make loaves that do not use yeast in the bread machines? And if so, how do you go about it??

    Sheila
  • My recipe for white bread in a bread maker is very similar, except I don’t use nearly as much yeast. I only use 3/4 tbsp. My bread machine is a very basic Black & Decker, and with my recipe I get perfect results every time. Here is the link to my recipe if anyone is interested:

    http://www.yuliyas.com/blog/recipes/breadmaker/firm-white-bread/

    Yuliya
  • I just bought a used Welbilt machine at Good Will. Do I take the kneading paddle out before I bake the bread or remove it once the bread has cooled?

    Kristin
  • I left my bread machine in the basement and I recently used it again after a year. While baking it the vents smelled like mold. What can i do to clean them out so I can feel comfortable eating the bread?

    Tina
  • first, the ingredents must be room temperature that goes for the flour too. The liquid is added first. You have to keep the yeast away from the liquid until the neading begins or it will start to grow premature. It is important to check the dough during neading as you do not want it to stick on the side of the pan or on you finger tip. Do not be mislead by people who tell you to add all ingredents and turn onthe machines and forget it. It will not work. One cause that the roof caves in is that the liquid is too warm and the yeast grows too fast.

    Frank L
  • Can I bake a 1.5 pound loaf in a 2, 2.5 and 3 pound machine? I am interested in the Emeril (T-Fal) machine but may want to make a 1.5 pound loaf occasionally.

    Millie
  • Months ago I tried to make sour dough bread the old fashioned way with little success.

    I just ordered a Zoji machine and will try basic breads to start. I’ve got a lot of organic whole wheat flour sealed in plastic tubs that have been sitting in my refrigerator for six months. I’d love to use up some of that pricey flour, but wonder if it’s too old to use.

    Dan
  • Reply to above. No flour does not spoil or go bad. its safe to use after 6 mons

    vince
  • I just made this white tester loaf. It came out sorta ok. Top and center collapsed how come?

    Vince

    vince
  • Millie

    Yes you can bake a 1.5 loaf in a larger machine. Adjust your recipe accordingly.

    vince
  • Guys for trouble shooting use this site. There is a whole article on trouble shooting including sunken tops.

    http://www.breadmachinedigest.com/beginners/troubleshooting-chart.php

    Phil
  • Thank you for the article and recipe, it’s very similar to the recipe that came with a Black and Decker 1.5 pound machine once you strip out all the seeds they had added so I’m certain it will be a great base for developing other recipes.

    Many of the comments you are getting are questions, it might be good to answer some as there are obviously some misperceptions that even I know to be wrong.

    For example, whole wheat flour does not last, white flour was the stripping out of the portions which molds and mildews favour in order to have the flour last longer, enriched flour is an attempt to artificially re-add the nutrients stripped out, whole wheat flour is literally going back to flour from the “whole” wheat hence is a flour that doesn’t last. The fellow who said it would last is wrong but it never hurts to try the old flour just remember that because it is that expensive whole wheat flour, it may have gone bad.

    To the person trying to do sourdough bread, wild yeast are unpredictable so the fixed rise time that a regular cycle would have may be wrong, best to use the dough cycle, then unplug it and let it rise manually keeping an eye on the level and texture then using the bake setting to bake it. Also, the sour taste of sourdough is from lactic acid produced by the lacto bacillus bacteria which is also used to produce yogurt so replacing the liquids with plain yogurt and using the regular yeast may get you close to what you want.

    1.5 pound can be cooked in the larger machines, the bread would just be shorter.

    The paddle is usually left in the bread and then pulled out of the cooled bread with the wire hook, some people dislike the slot that the paddle leaves behind so they take out the paddle before the proofing and bake cycle, or simply decant the dough into a normal loaf pan for cooking in a normal oven or toaster oven. Some machines can be programmed to alert you and pause so that you could remove the paddle, one manufacturer has a paddle that folds down leaving only a slight depression in the loaf.

    The salt is to slow down the growth rate of the yeast, if you reduce the salt, you may want to reduce the yeast and or increase the sugars as excess sugars also slows down the yeast, oils and creams also slow down the growth rate so they could be bumped up as well, look for low sodium bread machine recipes to see if someone has done all the trial and error for you. Collapsed bread means the yeast grew too fast, try adding more salt, decreasing yeast, adding oils, adding sugars, etc. to slow down the yeast. One thing I’ve found is Canadian all purpose flour is great for bread but American All purpose isn’t. To the person with Celiac’s disease, rye flour has no gluten which is what you are allergic to, cake flour has less gluten but still has gluten, without gluten you need eggs to hold the structure.

    John
  • Phil,
    thanks for the troubleshooting website…my bread sunk in the middle lastnight when i made zucchini carrot bread and now i know why…not because my machine is not working or the recipe was not correct but because i added wet zucchini….too much wetness….makes me feel alot better…was a new recipe so when stuff happens i automatically want to blame it on the recipe..lol…not this time though…hahaha…the bread smelled delicious this morning before i left for work!!! :-)

    christina

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