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13 March 2012

Bread - in the bread machine

I sometimes get emails from people who have started making their own bread at home but they feel ashamed of using a bread machine. A few people I met on the road said the same thing. I use a bread machine almost every day; I'm not ashamed to tell you that, there is no reason to hide away thinking that "real" bread is only made by hand kneading.  Friends, the truth is that real bread is what you make at home, adding or omitting the ingredients that suit you and your family - the custom healthy loaf. We live in modern times. People keep telling me that there is not enough time to do everything and that they're busy. If you fit that category, or if you're unable to knead bread, or just don't get the same result hand kneading as you do with machine kneading, use a machine. The simple living police will not arrest you.

I use the same bread recipe for almost all my bread now. I add variety to it by changing the type of flour, and sometimes changing from water to milk, or half and half. I also change the additives I put on top. Sometimes it is seeds, sometimes oats, sometimes it's a combination of several things. This same bread recipe can be made into rolls by putting the bread machine onto the dough setting. When the dough is kneaded I shape the rolls and add seeds, then allow them to rise and cook in the oven. The recipe is also good a a fruit loaf - this just needs the fruit added half way through the kneading process, again I bake it in the oven.

The one thing I always do it to mix the yeast and water together to prove before adding it to the other ingredients. You must know that your yeast is fresh, otherwise you might get to the end of the process and find the dough doesn't rise. I think adding the yeast to water before it mixes in with the other ingredients gives a better rise too - the yeast is already dissolved and working before having to work in with the other ingredients.

You will need high protein flour to make bread, this is also known as strong flour or baker's flour. The flour can be white, wholemeal, wholegrain, corn and barley, rye, spelt or any combination of those flours. If you can't find this type of flour, use plain flour and add gluten to it. You can usually find gluten or gluten flour (same thing) at a specialist baking shop, health food shops or sometimes at the supermarket - IGA usually has it. Add one teaspoon of gluten for every cup of plain flour and you will have baker's flour. Don't be afraid of gluten - unless you have an allergy to it - gluten is simply a protein that is part of flour. It helps the bread rise and give that soft fluffy texture. I buy my flour from a bulk food store called Simply Good. They have shops at Morayfield and in Brisbane, details below. You can also buy a 500 gram pack of yeast there as well as nuts, seeds, coconut, cereal, spices, pasta, dried fruit, tea and coffee. I have added these shop details because I'm often asked where I buy my flour. If you know of similar shops selling bulk flour, please add the details in your comment. If might help someone else move closer towards being a home baker.
9 Samford Road
Alderley QLD
(07) 3856 5000

156 Morayfield Road
Morayfield QLD
(07) 5498 3722

This is my bread recipe - it's tried and true over many years:

Mix the first three ingredients together in a cup to check the freshness of the yeast. When it is frothy and bubbling, add it to the rest of the mix. If, after ten minutes, nothing has happened, your yeast is dead. You have to buy fresh yeast. Once you've opened the packet, pour it into a jar and store it in the fridge.
  1. 2 teaspoons dried yeast 
  2. 1 tablespoon sugar or ½ tablespoon honey 
  3. ¼ cup warm water 
Add the following to your bread machine bucket. It doesn't really matter which order they go in.
  1. 4 cups baker's flour - also called strong flour or high protein flour. It can be any variety - wholemeal, rye, white, whatever. 
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil - this gives a more tender dough 
  3. 1½ teaspoons salt 
  4. 250 mls warm water + more if necessary, but add it slowly, one tablespoon at a time.
Using this one simple recipe and your bread machine, you'll be making additive-free fresh bread every day. If you get it in the machine by 9am, you'll have hot bread for lunch. It you put it into the machine the night before and set the timer, you'll have hot bread for breakfast and for packed lunches. It's probably wise to bake a loaf on the weekend to test it and make sure you have your water amounts right - then use in the overnight timed machine.

If you bake a double batch, wait until the bread is completely cold before packing it in a large plastic bag, expel as much of the air as you can, then seal it and put it in the freezer. The bread will thaw out on the bench top or can be partially thawed and refreshed in the oven to give you warm bread.

When you sit back with your warm bread and enjoy that first bite, I hope you feel good about what you've done. Don't listen to people who tell you that if you use a bread machine it isn't authentic bread. If you make bread that you choose the ingredients for and make fresh, you, my friend will have just made a good healthy loaf of bread that will feed your family and friends. It will also be healthier and cheaper than the bread you buy in a plastic bag at the supermarket. I think that is something to be proud of.


  1. I want a bread maker so badly. I have made my own bread in the past, but I can guarantee just as I put my hands in to knead the bread, my kids will need me for some reason. Every. Single. Time. Crossing my fingers the hubby will get the promotion he applied for and we will be able to get the machine I have been drooling over!

    1. I picked mine up from an op shop for $18 (it looked like it was brand new and had probably been used once or twice maybe) and you will often see them in there! So check your local op shop (thrift store). It's amazing what people will throw out!

  2. I always use my bread machine to knead my dough. Hubby likes it baked in the oven, so I do accomodate him that way. I don't feel bad about a little assistance in the kneading process. I have a two year old underfoot that would make it nearly impossible to knead by hand, plus working full time outside my home makes my time a precious commodity. The machine makes it so I want to make homemade bread. Easy, simple and frugal.

  3. I mostly bake bread in the oven, but I use a stand mixer to knead it. I don't think I've ever kneaded by hand. I do own a bread machine and use it quite a bit during the hottest part of summer. It puts out less heat than the oven as it is, but also, I can put it in the garage and run it there, keeping all of its heat out of the house.

    I use the same one or two recipes either way. :)

  4. Thank goodness we are all "allowed" to define simplicity any way that works for us! Thank you for the recipe, I'm in the market for a bread machine right now.

  5. Thanks for writing about bread machines Rhonda! I use one, mostly because my oven does not work. I have tried any number of recipes in it and have the same problem every time. The dough rises nicely, but once the baking cycle starts, the top of the dough falls down. The bread is still risen and good, just the top is no longer rounded. I have tried everything from less/more flour, less salt, and have just come to the conclusion that because the heat comes on slower than if I were putting it into an already hot oven, that is what is causing the little bit of falling. Still looking for a solution to that! Otherwise I like using the machine, especially when it is hot outside I don't need to heat up an oven.

  6. i do this too with my bread machine, I am too busy with my kiddos to hand bake, so i let the machine do the work for me, on the dough setting themn take it out knead it back, let it rise and then bake. The bread machine allows me to have cheaper , healthier loaves of bread without all the faffing around

  7. Thank you so much for that information on gluten, and also keeping your yeast in the fridge.

    I make bread daily using our kitchen aid mixer. It cuts down a lot of the work of kneading, then I just pop it in the oven. I usually make a batch of rolls one day and a loaf of bread the next, and that keeps us covered.

    I am going to try and buy flour at Costco today, I will let you know if they have it later. It will be very bulk!

  8. I've been seeing a lot of tutorial's for simple fabric bags to store bread in and am planning to make some for myself. Here is one of the simplest tutorial's using dish towels...

  9. I love my bread machine, Rhonda. I used to feel sheepish about admitting it but what the heck. I'm gone from home 11 hours/day, 5 days/week. If I had to knead my own bread ...we would never have a loaf. I also use it to make cinnamon rolls at Christmas. I use the dough cycle only and while it's working for an hour and a half, I can be productive on other things around the house or around the kitchen.

    I don't know how to proof yeast though. Could you give me a short description of the process?


    : )

  10. I use my breadmachine every day and I've found a rather handy shortcut for it. I have a set of 6 ice cream tubs and I measure a set of the dry ingredients into these when I make a loaf. So I put four cups of flour into the breadmaker, and then four cups of flour into each of the tubs. Then I put 3 tablespoons of sugar into the breadmaker and then 3 tablespoons of sugar into each of the tubs. The same for the 2tsp salt, 3 tsp breadmaker yeast, 2 tbsp milk powder. So I have sets of bread mix all ready to go for the week ahead. Then I just throw in a glug of oil and 1.5 cups of warm water and bung it in the machine. It saves hauling all the ingredients out every time I want to throw a loaf on and I know ahead of time if I am running low on anything. Even the kids can put the bread on. I use the same recipe for rolls and loaves. The ice cream tubs seal well with their lids and I can stack the boxes until I need to grab one and bake!

  11. thank you Rhonda. I make my bread in a machine and have done so for years. I have been buying the premix bags though but now I'm going to try it your way. Thanks for the inspiration to give it a go.

  12. We started using a bread machine about 4 years ago Rhonda - and absolutely love it. It saves us a fortune too - the price of a home made load compared to shop bought is astonishingly cheap. If anyone is considering buying a break machine, then from experience our two main things to look for would be to find a machine that will do a "dough only" cycle, and buy one with a delay timer on it - it's this that means you can wake up to freshly baked break in the morning!

  13. Your bread always looks so gorgeous, Rhonda! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have a hard time finding bread flour here, so I think I'll try your gluten trick!

  14. Hi Rhonda,
    I love making bread in the weekend - not working then. In cooler months I make one or two loaves a weekend , wait several hours , then slice and bag and freeze. I use a fairly standard white loaf which used 4 cups of flour , and I often replace one cup with wholemeal. Or throw a handful of seedy grain mix. Very nice. Esp with hot home made soup.

    Oh and forgot to say in a breadmaker. Tee hee.
    Cheers Juanita.

  15. I make nearly all of the bread we eat but don't own a bread maker. I find kneading quite meditative and I imagine it's good for preventing 'bat wing' arms! SPC Ardmona in Shepparton, Victoria sell lots of flour in bulk. I buy 10kg bags of organic unbleached from there. They have wholemeal and other types as well. I am lucky to own a flour mill so I grind wheat for my wholemeal flour.

  16. Thank you so much for this information Rhonda. I have just started making my I bread, i used your bread making for beginners guide, but this will be so helpful for 'those' days. Much love, Jade x

  17. Oh my...Rhonda, you surely made me laugh.."the simple living police will not arrest you"! Ahahaha! That first photo of your bread looks wonderful! :)

  18. What a beautiful looking loaf of bread Rhonda. I make my own bread using a bread machine and I'm not afraid to say it. The main thing is I know what is in it, not the process of how it is made. Thanks for the tip on where to buy bulk flour. Until now I have bought organic bulk flour from the Organic Shop at Forest Glen.

  19. Thank you for today's post Rhonda. I bought my bread maker last year for just $10 from The Courier Mail classifieds. It works perfectly and gives me great bread. Perhaps the Moran Family might consider trying their local newspaper ads for a second hand machine. When I bought mine these was plenty of choice. Most of them were selling at $50 but I think you can bargain people down. I was just lucky that the guy I bought mine from just wanted $10 to get it off his hands.

  20. i use my Bread Machine all the time,i got it second hand a few year's ago,and use it about 3 times a week,i can make my bread for pennies,and it's nice to know there are no nasty ingredient's in it!your Bread alway's look's wonderful Rhonda,i have learnt so much from you,PS, i received my Book yesterday,it's Beautiful,i will treasure it!xx Carol

  21. Rhonda, thanks for this post and your recipe. I bake our family's bread and depending on my schedule I either knead by hand or use my large kitchen mixer. Since I bake for a family of 10, I make 5 - 6 loaves at a time.

    I am blessed to have a grain grinder and use high protein wheat, so I don't use additional gluten. It does, however, make a lovely addition when I use purchased flour. A light, fluffy loaf is a nice reward, indeed!

    Thanks for the reminder that "simple" has a variety of definitions.


  22. I make sourdough by hand and other yeast breads go into the bread machine. I feel like I have the best of both worlds, the pleasure of kneading and the convenience of the bread machine for busy days. I have a Panasonic which gives you different size and crust options on the bake cycle. A friend told me the Panasonics are no longer being produced so it might be worth looking out at garage sales for one. I see bread machines quite often with an average asking price of around $20 for hardly used models but I found mine for just $5! It's best feature is the pizza dough cycle which takes just 45 minutes. I make pizza bases and cinnamon bun dough using this cycle and always have fantastic results. I leave out the cinnamon and sugar and sometimes make savoury scrolls with herbs, feta and sun dried tomatoes using the same recipe and 45 minute dough cycle.
    I loved your comment about the simple living police not coming to arrest us ..... phew! Thank you Rhonda. I do sometimes think we feel some guilt when we opt for the convenient method especially when we fall in love with the idea of slow food. Trying out your bread recipe today in my machine!

  23. I had a breadmaker years ago, but didn't like the tall shape of the loaf and found it didn't make a big enough loaf for all our school/work lunches. I don't very often make bread although I really want too, as I haven't found a way to incorporate it into my daily routine. I really like the look of the shape of the loaf in the 1st photo. Is that from your breadmaker Rhonda and if so which brand of machine do you have? Also totally off topic, but what type of camera do you have?

    cheers Kate

  24. Yay, thanks for your post Rhonda! I've been waiting eagerly for it.

    Just wondering if anyone has recommendations on types of bread makers? I have a very old one but the loaf always gets knarled when I take it out of the machine (as it gets stuck on the kneading thing at the bottom).

    Also where do you store the flour? I only buy a kilo or two at a time but would like to buy in bulk. Just worried about it getting weevils etc.

    Thanks again!

  25. Lovely post Rhonda. I too use a breadmaker without shame - mine was purchased from a garage sale for $15, and it has been money well spent many times over. I use it to mix the dough and then I do all my baking in the oven. I have issues with my hands, so kneading by hand isnt possible for me anyways, and the machine saves me a lot of time, effort and discomfort. My family and friends love my home-baked breads, and I will continue to make my own breads for a long time to come.

  26. I have a Sunbeam breadmaker and I'm very happy with it. It has a long loaf bucket not a tall loaf bucket. However, I usually make just the dough in the bread machine, then bake in the oven.

    When I bring home flour, it goes into the freezer to kill off anything that may be lurking. When I open the packet, I store it in a Decor plastic food bucket. It stores 8 litres. Here is the one I have:

    Kate, see above re the bread maker. I use a Sony Cybershot camera 14.8 megapixels.

    Hossboss, if you go here, I've written about the process and there is a photo to show you what it looks like.

  27. Interesting Rhonda..... I have used a breadmaker both for kneading and baking and did sometimes feel like I was cheating just a wincy bit!! Then I started making sourdough and it just didn't work in the breadmaker so I spent time doing it all by hand for a number of years. Now, I live in a tiny house with a teeny kitchen and dream of having the space for a breadmaker!!
    We buy sourdough bread that has way too many food miles and plastic covers but I am accepting that atm it's all I can do and still feed my family well. Thanks for this thought provoking post - as usual! ;o)

  28. Excellent bread post Rhonda....we have been making bread for nearly 16 years now and our children don't know what bread in plastic bags really is...needless to say we have burnt out 5 bread machines in that time. One question I had regarding rolls - I do as you have said, get them to dough stage and then shape and rise. I often heat my oven for 10 mins at 150C and prove them in there and cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel, however often the end up with a crust prior to baking and therefore I think that the crust has prevented a full second rise. How and where do you prove your rolls? And do you bake your loafs in your breadmaker or in the oven? Thanks x Chrissy NSW

  29. And what I like BEST about a bread machine (besides the convenience, of course) is that I can bake bread in the heat of the summer and it doesn't make the house even hotter than it already is! (I don't have air conditioning.)

    Eugene, Oregon, USA

  30. Also just wanted to add after reading the comments - we have tried many models of breadmakers over the last 16 years and had firmly favoured breville and had nightmare with the new tefal...however the Aldi Lumina brand for just $60 is fabulous and is just as good as the $250 brevilles we have had in the past.


  31. I think bread makers are awesome! I use a recipie that works every time but am going to try yours and compare...if mine is better, I will let you know! My problem is once I make a loaf it disappears before you can blink your bread = yumminess! who cares where it comes from!

  32. I have never had a breadmaker, and enjoy the kneading process. It is just the two of us, so we don't make it that often and look at it as more of a treat. I can see where it would be very useful if you had a young family.

  33. I've made bread totally by hand and unless I want the muscles in my arms the old fashioned bakers had I'll keep using the bread machine for the kneading!
    I've always kept my dry yeast in a container in the freezer to keep it fresh and it lasts for quite a long time like this. I still mix it before adding it to the flour though just to be sure.
    I made a no-knead freeform loaf from "The Thrifty Kitchen" book a few weeks ago that turned out reasonably well. I had the dough a bit sloppy for freeform so I'll have to try it again this weekend. It was still eaten quickly, even though it was a bit doughy, but this made it perfect for warming up and serving with the soup.

  34. Another good blog today,thanks Rhonda.

    For anyone in the Wide Bay area of Queensland, who might be interested in a bulk food/flour store - similar to the one you mention in Brisbane - there's

    Nana's Pantry
    Bundaberg Central
    Shop 3/17 Barolin St
    Phone: 4154.1000

    Nana's Pantry
    Melory Place
    53 Torquay Rd
    Phone: 4194.1888

    I also buy Laucke bulk flour packs from the supermarket. Have found their products excellent.


  35. I use my bread maker all the time...but I have only used one recipe that came with the machine..thank you for posting your recipe. I will be trying it tomorrow! Something new will be a nice change.

  36. I would love to get a bread machine, as we are often so tired at night when it's time to make the bread. However, I'm working very hard to reduce my electricity bill, and it seems a bread machine would go against those efforts. In your experience, does it use much power?

  37. I started using a bread machine - a $5 thrift store purchase, actually - and it was lovely for making a quick loaf here and there. That was eventually replaced with a kitchenaid mixer. I can make bread by hand, and enjoy doing it every so often, but it's such a relief to be able to easily and quickly make a good, healthy loaf at home.

  38. I used to do it from scratch by hand all the way...

    ... before I had my children and attempted to do the garden, finish my law degree etc

    So I get the bread maker to do the dough and I finish by hand as I prefer the shape and end result.

    Our breadmaker has been going for about 12 years now. I just bought a second one from Gumtree (like Craigslist/classifieds) for a fraction of the new price. Now on baking day I can halve my baking time as I have two machines to make dough.

    I just have to increase the solar panels on the roof to square off all our power use and then I will feel ok about using a machine - it's that aspect of it that bothers me :)

  39. Sarah, I think they're quite economical. Here in this government link, they quote 7cents per hour to run a bread maker.

  40. To tell you the truth, Rhonda, I don't like very much the bread made by the machine I've bought a few months ago... I still prefer to work it by hands.
    Your post makes me think that, probably, I've to try again and learn to use it in the right way!

  41. It's hard to get yeast in bulk here in South Africa (even at Makro, the bulk store, they sell bulk yeast but divided by tiny packets) and I'm trying to reduce waste. So I began a sourdough starter, which also meant no kneading!

    It's a good alternative if you have a small kitchen or can't afford a bread maker or would prefer to go without one. I've had a bread maker and it was great, but then I got the Tassajara Bread book and it really helped me transition to life without a bread maker. And now, sourdough. The one thing that I found difficult with a bread maker was hearing the beeps to take out the paddle. The paddle ruined quite a few slices of bread.

  42. I don't suppose you have a tried and tested sourdough bread recipe for the bread maker?


  43. Bread machines are a good idea, but I tried two of them, and ended up giving them both away - they didn't work for our family at all: both (different brands) only produced a good loaf of bread if I used at least 2/3 white flour, which is not how I want our home baked bread to be. I use a variety of different flours and ingredients, according to the season, (rye, farro, whole wheat, grains, seeds, nuts and so on), and my guess is that the motor wasn't powerful enough and couldn't handle it. Also, the size of the loaf was too small, and I had to make bread each day, which wasn't economical (for our family of 5, I use about 1 and half kilo of dry ingredients). So, I normally bake our bread, but when I don't have the time or the energy I buy it.

  44. I use our bread machine every Sunday afternoon to make pizza dough. In the evening we pull the dough out, roll it out and then use up all the leftovers in the fridge to make a tasty pizza.

  45. Finding a second hand bread machine is not so difficult as lots of people seems to get them as gifts or buy them to find out that they take up lots of space and they don't often use them. I got mine through the LETS circle and bought another one for a friend on a craigs list type of website.

    I haven't been using mine a lot recently, but this post is a good reminder to start again ;) And experiment with my own mixtures as those are way cheaper than ready made ones.

  46. I love my bread machine, which I've had a very long time. It also has a feature that let's it add nuts or raisins or such at a point in the last kneading.

    There's another approach, which generated a lot of internet buzz (at least in the US) a few years ago, described here -

    If you search on "Bittman" and "bread" you'll find a lot of discussion of it. It is a no-knead process which takes 24 hours, but very little of your time, and uses a cast iron casserole to bake in. It does take some advance planning, but not much of your own time. You can make rather a mess turning the bread into the pot, and there are various discussions of how to do that, but it is really easy. The resulting bread has the look of what is called here an 'artisan' loaf.

  47. And here's the slightly faster way for Bittman's approach -

    Bittman acknowledges all along that he did not invent this, but he surely popularized the method.

  48. Rhonda,
    I baked your bread recipe last night in my bread machine! This bread is absolutely fabulous!Thanks for sharing we will certainly make this bread more often. Could you please share how long I would need to bake it in the oven if I choose to bake it instead of the machine. If I missed this in your post I apologize in advance. Thanks once again for the wonderful bread recipe. Have a lovely day!

  49. I use a bread machine for all our bread. We have had it just over 2 years now, and it was well worth the money. I used to make bread by hand when I wasn't working, plus we had a warm cupboard to let it rise, but this house now is just too cold in the winter to get a good loaf.
    I mix granary flour from my local farm shop with white from the supermarket to get the best loaf ever.

  50. We use our bread maker three times a week. Actually, my husband is in charge of it. He doesn't do a lot of cooking, but he's really gotten the hang out of making all sorts of breads. He can even "eyeball" ingredients rather than measure exactly because he does it so often. It's his contribution to the household cooking!

    FYI, there's a little essay in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (by Kingsolver) that talks about husbands and bread making.

    Thanks for your site.

  51. It definitely is much easier than the old fashioned way of kneading, I use mine to mix and knead then transfer it to my bread pans to bake, love it my dh loves it and takes half the time of doing it all by hand

  52. Hi Miss Rhonda, can the recipe be cut in half to make a 1 1/2 lb loaf? Thats the size of loaf that my bread machine makes. Thanks,Espy

  53. I don't use a bread maker, but I do believe that regardless of the method, homemade bread is amazing. Between the flavor and the aroma it leaves lingering throughout your house, there is nothing better!

  54. Hi Rhonda, I have just made another bread. I am still trying to find the perfect bread. I have found the right mixture, but I have tried a round bread, in a baking form and now I made a large roll. This turned out pretty good. You can find a picture at my blog ; )
    Have a wonderful day and thank you for the recipe.

  55. I never understood why people saw a difference in hand-made vs. bread machine bread either ~ so THANK YOU for bringing that to I have a tried and true recipie that never fails me either. I am dying to try yours as I have been using mine (stolen from my grandmother) for the last eight years! I don't dare stray from it, as when I do, my bread invariably never tastes as good! Here it is:
    First pour in a cup of warm water
    then add
    2 and 1/3 cup of flour - I use "Better for bread"
    1 heaping teaspoon of gluten
    1 teaspoon of salt
    1 tablespoon of sugar
    1 tablespoon of powdered milk
    1 tablespoon of soft butter
    1 1/2 teaspoon of yeast
    Press start! I don't proof the yeast and take my chances! If your yeast is fairly new, you should be OK
    One thing I do is to mix the dry ingrediants minus the yeast in plastic baggies and store them in the cabinet - I will make up about six at a time.
    Then all you have to do is add water, dump a bag of premixed goodies add your butter and yeast and press start. You can add herbs and cheese, or nuts or what ever you like to this recipie! Enjoy!

  56. I received a bread maker as a gift. An incredibly generous gift. I love making fresh bread for my family in the midst of an often chaotic schedule. There is no shame in letting the machine do some (or all) of the work.

    I have taken to making fresh croutons from the "leftover" bread and suddenly salads are disappearing at an astonishing rate...


  57. Don't know why there would be any guilt over using a bread maker. We don't have any guilt over using a washing machine or the like. They are "simply" conveniences.

  58. Yes indeedy! I used a bread machine for years and would still be using it, if it hadn't died on me! Can't afford a new one, so kneading by hand, but I can't see the difference either....fresh bread is fresh bread, however you make it! :)

  59. My husband and I have enjoyed the basic bread recipe from the book: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. We often grab a hunk of dough from the fridge, let it sit out while the oven preheats to the highest it goes, then shape the dough like a pizza crust. We throw it on the pizza stone and it's ready in 6-8 min. We really like it because there's less needing involved, many fewer stages of needing and rising, and it only has the 4 basic ingredients: flour, salt, water, yeast.
    Thanks for all your excellent posts, Rhonda!

  60. Some of the newer bread machines, like the Panasonic, have you put in the yeast and then liquids and then dry ingredients (usually it is the other way around). The mixture then lets the yeast proof for about 30 minutes before it starts kneading. I've found this type of machine makes much better loaves (and no, I don't work for Panasonic). Or, you can do it Rhonda's way and proof the yeast and then add the ingredients if you have a more traditional machine, and you'd probably get similar results.

    Whilst I like artisanal bread best, bread machines are a lifesaver if stretched for time.

    Great article, Rhonda

    AM of the Bread

  61. Hi Rhonda, just had to let you know that your recipe works a treat. I used a 50/50 mix of freshly milled wholewheat flour and plain flour and used the basic dough cycle in my machine which takes 2 hours and 20 minutes. Did not need to rise for very long before it went into the oven for about 20 minutes and it produced a beautiful huge vienna loaf.

  62. Ex baker here.

    Chrissy, you can place a low cake pan in the very bottom of your oven, with hot water in it. I put my fan forced oven on for 5 mins at 50 degress celcius. This makes for a good home prover as long as you don't open the oven door until the alloted time is up. No tea towl necessary either.

    Bonnie: Most white breads are baked at 200 degrees celcius for 25 minutes - rolls are generally 20 minutes. Heavier loaves with seeds and denser flours, will probably take up to 30 minutes. Make sure your oven is hot before taking the baking times, as the heat really pushes the loaves up.

    I always turn my loaves after 10 minutes, as long as I don't keep the door open too long. This prevents a lopsided loaf. I'll turn it again after another 10 minutes to finish the rest of the baking times.

    As far as bread making machines are concerned, try visiting a bakery nowadays which doesn't use them. One of the downsides to using machines however, is you don't get to feel the changes of the dough. It wasn't until I gave up baking professionally and started making loaves by hand at home, that I really started to undersand what makes a good loaf.

    I also don't have muscular baking arms making loaves by hand, and I probably didn't even have them when I was graudally pulling 20 kgs of dough out of the machines at work either.

    I actually lift weights to get good arm definition, LOL. ;)

  63. Like someone else mentioned, I make what I call "bread kits". That way, my sons or Hub can get bread started whenever they see it is needed.

    I use quart (liter?) freezer bags, label with instructions ("add contents to bread pan after liquid ingredients: 2 Tbls butter & 1 1/2 cups buttermilk/kefir heated in microwave for 1.5 minutes")and then I fill with dry ingredients. I have the best results when I add the small quantities first (yeast, salt, sugar, etc.) and then the flour last. I customize the flour blend sometime but not always. I never mix up the dry ingredients; I just measure into the bag and dump that in the bread maker when I am ready to cook it.

    I usually make up 10 "kits" at a time (or I should say, one of the boys are given that chore), using the same bags repeatedly. Each time one is bumped into the bread maker, it is flattened, sealed and folded, then returned to the bottom of the box of "kits" to be refilled for the next round. I have used the same bags for 6 years.

    I have another tip I want to share (maybe someone else already did - I didn't read ALL the comments).

    CHECK THE THRIFT STORE/SECOND HAND/OP SHOP FOR AUTOMATIC BREAD MACHINES! I have 2 high-end machines and I only paid $7 for each of them! You can usually find a manual online if you need one. Just make sure that the unit you purchase has the mixing paddle - people often accidentally throw them away.

  64. Hi there,
    My machine has a multi-choice for loaf size, what size does this mix make up?

    I am loving all the comments too, we were in a habit of making fresh bread every 2 days here, 4 adults & 1 child, 4 slices each per day - that is a LOT of bread! Shame we stopped making it, I'm going to poke the bear, see if he can start again with this receipe.


  65. Rhonda

    My husband asked me to make sure that I let you know how happy we were with our first loaf of bread made from scratch. We have used bread mix in the machine for about 15 years and buy only specialty items such as rolls etc. Not any more I hope.

    Thank you - not only for the recipe, but the inspiration to take the next step.

  66. Hi Rhonda,if making the bread rolls using the bread mix how long do you cook in the oven and do you roll the dough in your hands,thanks

  67. Yes, I roll the bread dough in my hands. They take 20- 25 minutes. You'll be able to smell fresh bread and the tops will be golden.

  68. Hi Rhonda,I made a loaf of bread your way yesterday and it came out really small and doughie,made another with my old recipe and it came out great,what do you think i did wrong with your recipe,thanks

  69. I don't know, maybe you forgot to add the yeast. If your old recipe makes great bread, stick with the old recipe.

  70. Hi Rhonda,when making the bread how long do you cook it in the oven and at what temp,and same as the bread rolls what temp and how long,thanks Dianne

  71. Thank you for an excellant tip re proving the yeast before adding to the other ingredients. Makes a great deal of sense. My loaves turn out
    a treat

  72. Dear Rhonda,
    I used to go to a shop around Banyo to get my ingredients for breadmaking. It had everything for the baking plus classes on breadmaking. Do you, or anyone, know what is this shop called or if it has relocated or closed?
    Thank you

  73. Dear Rhonda,
    I'm a newbie at baking bread. My first wholewheat bread did not rise. On top of yeast, I even added Vital Wheat Gluten to it.
    I noticed that you proof the yeast before adding to the machine bread bowl. My bread machine's instruction is to add water first, then flour and make a well in the middle of the flour for the yeast -- making sure yeast doesn't touch the water.
    When you proof the yeast first, when do you add the yeast to the bread bowl? Do you just dump everything in at the beginning, in that case since the yeast is already touching the water anyway?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Sal, the instructions for the order of adding ingredients to the bread machine is useful when you use the timer, because you don't want the water in touch with the yeast overnight. When you're making the bread straight away, it doesn't matter what order you add them. The answer is to proof the yeast in a cup and add it when you add the water.

      There may be another solution. If you're using very heavy wholewheat flour, it probably would do better if you added some white flour as well, maybe a third white to two-thirds wholewheat. It may work better than the gluten. Good luck.

    2. I'll give it a shot. Thanks for the prompt response, Rhonda! :-D

  74. We got our bread-maker from a garage sale. They have them at op-shops too sometimes. No need to buy a new one.

  75. Hi. Great blog. We have been making bread for many years with a bread machine and just can't bide bought commercial bread now.
    We use half wholemeal, half white Lauke bread mix flours. We make a loaf very second day and sometimes special white rolls and buns for entertaining or picnics.
    Our local Woolworths and iga supermarkets has stopped stocking the 5 kg bags.

    Can anyone tell us where we could buy Lauke wholemeal bread mix in the 5 or 10 kg bags please? We live in southern Nsw near Canberra.

  76. Hi all. Just tried the no knead bread. Fantastic and so easy. Came out just like the artisan bread we saw in a magazine ... Made great bruschetta for lunch with capsicum and cheese. I am going to try wholemeal next as we prefer wholemeal ... Usually half and half wholemeal and white.

  77. In response to Jenny March 16, 2012 5:46 am about "Bread Kits"
    I make a printed adhesive label from the computer with instructions, but if the freezer bag has a special recipe mix in it then I type the Recipe Name on it as well. Thereby keeping me from rummaging thru computer, doc, PDFs and paper filing trying to find that recipe. I have to do this for I am OLDER THAN DIRT.
    JIMHOAO (Just In My Humble Old Age Opinion)
    Love your site.

  78. Hi there! I've taken to making vegetable bread (by hand, adding vegetable juice instead of water or milk) as a healthier alternative to standard bread and was wondering if anyone else has tried to do the same thing, but with a bread-mixer? Did you encounter any problems, as the mix is normally more dense, as I was wondering how the machine goes with this? Also: we're in Hobart, Tasmania, and buy in bulk from Tas-Taste in Launceston (direct from the factory outlet near Boag's, for anyone that's in Tassie). Their flour and bread-mix is exceptional, and it's a very economical way of buying bread!

    1. Thanks for that Rachelle, my husband and I are moving to Tassie when we retire in 2018. We have already bought our land. So I am currently hoarding information on where to find things. We currently buy our bulk items from Campbells cash and carry and I am looking for a Tassie equivalent. I will check out Tas-Taste when we go over next month.

  79. I use Lauke and buy by the 10Kg bag. After chasing my tail for a couple of months trying to find it locally (Gympie/Maryborough area, south Queensland - my first bag came up from Canberra following a visit) my wife suggested we try IGA in Gympie. Now, most IGA's I've walked into don't have a pinch of..., but IGA in Gympie has 10Kg bag of Lauke after 10Kg bag of Lauke, most varieties.

    Lauke I find tastes great and so easy to make - add water, bread mix and yeast, set bread machine and come back 3 hour and 6 minutes later to fresh bread. Only thing extra I add is 50g of pumpkin seeds - yum :)



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