aking bread with a bread machine is fast and relatively simple. But there are some intricacies, and in bread some exactitude is required. This page is an archive of past comments from readers. These comments were based experiences with bread machines. For comments about bread recipes or bread machines visit on of our BreadInfo Blog.
Q: My Sunbeam Expressbake Breadmaker keeps making the bread very lumpy and misshapen. How can this be fixed?
A: Try sifting the flour. Experiment with different amounts of fluid. It could be that you are using too little and not all of the dough is being properly moistened.
Bread Does Not Last
Q: We make lovely bread in our Mellerware Bread Maker. But the bread does not last even for a day. We have tried various recipe's including one recommended by your self. We have even tried making the dough in the bread maker and finish off in the oven. Is the not something we can add to increase the life of the bread?
A: Try wrapping it in a plastic bread wrapper.
Q: I work in a seniors home as an activity aid. I brought home one of our breadmachines to try it out, as I would like to use it for one of my activities. The problem is that I dont start work until 9:30 am, with my first program at 10:00. I cannot bring the residents down to the main room where the oven is, so in order to make bread. I have to use the bread machine. I really wanted the smell of the bread cooking during our program, but with the way the machine goes. It wouldnt start cooking for another 2 hours, which is too late. Is it possible to make it ahead at home in the morning, then unplug it and take it to work to bake it? or will it have to be started all over again. Or can i make the dough by hand then just use machine for baking? I looked all through the manual, but I am not able to find out anything about this. please help!
A: Most bread machines, when unplugged, will lose their memory within 15 minutes or so. Even to make the dough at home and then bake it the next day with a bread machine may be problematic. The best solution may be to prepare it the night before to be used the next day. Just remember, most bread machines have a max of about 13 hour delay timers.
Bread Machine Baking
Q: My Bread comes out with a hole in the top, minutes before looking at it, it was perfect, and then once more it had a sunken hole. What have I done wrong!!
A: Probably too much water or milk.
Bread machine died, help!
Q: My Breadman Ultimate lasted 9 years with almost daily use, often twice a day. I think I am in love with it and I am mourning. I am so confused by advice on buying a new machine. I only make whole wheat bread in it, that's all. I want it to last forever--it will be my seond love-- and I want customer service if it doesn't. Any suggestions?
A: Zojirushi makes the best machine.
Tough, Dark Crust
Q: Every bread that I have made in my BREADMAN bread machine comes out with a really tough crust and it is really dark. I set the machine to light crust every time. I don't know what I am doing wrong. Can anyone help me figure this out?
A: It could simply be a faulty machine that cooks at too high a temp. I suggest you try customer service.
Top of Bread
Q: I am using a Panasonic 253 bread machine which makes wonderful bread but when I make a white loaf it comes out of the machine looking beautiful but in a very short time the top loses its smoothness and looks crnkled. I have tried different brands of flour but it makes no difference. This is purely cosmetic as the bread still tastes wonderful. Your comments would be appreciated.
A: Try glazing the top with butter. Also to keep it from drying out bag it after it cools.
Q: How to Make Jamaican Hard Dough Bread the easy way? Is there a recipe for this bread for Bread-machines? I am a keen fan of Caribbean (or Jamaican) Hard Dough bread. I used to get it in Supermarkets in London but since I have moved up to Edinburgh, Scotland, I could not get it. I miss this lovely bread so much.
I am seeking the best way to get to make this bread. I have tried making the bread manually from a recipe I found on the internet and it was a disaster! The bread did not taste anything like the one I bought when i was in London.
Not only that, I made a mess of the kitchen. Can you advice me if I can make this bread in a breadmachine? And if so, do you have a recipe for this bread for breadmachines, or can I just use the original recipe for the manual method? I was also told that bread from many bread-machines make the bread somewhat "unrised" or stodgy.
I read somewhere that one way to get around that, is to use the bread machine to do just the mixing and "kneading function", so that I can avoid the messy part of making bread. And then, I could take the bread dough out after the kneading and bake it in the oven. Would you advice that?
A: Excellent question. Yes, you can use the hand made recipe in the bread machine as long as it is reduced the capacity of the machine. I frequently make dough in a machine (to do the messy part) and then bake in oven. I do believe it gives the best results.
Making Bread Rise
Q: For some reason my bread doesn't rise. Does it matter if I put the ingredients in order, and what about the yeast. Do I have to put it in warm water first?
A: It should not matter what order you put the ingredients in the pan unless you are planning on letting it sit for a long period before starting the machine. Your problem may be cold weather. Yeast needs to be comfortably warm in order to rise. Alternatively high amounts of salt can also inhibit the yeast. I recommend puting the fluid in the microwave for 30 seconds or so before adding it to the pan. This will hopefully make the dough warm enough to kickstart the yeast, but do not make the water too hot, this will kill the yeast. Good luck.
Q: I just baked a loaf of french in my bread machine, with which I am fairly proficient. The bread was tasty but the top of the loaf - instead of being the usual smooth, crusty brown - was lumpy, misshapen and looked like foam when looking through the window. This was a new recipe. Just curious if that is most likely due to not enough water? Or something else? Can you offer any ideas and/or suggestions please.
A: Hi Pam, Foaming dough on top? I am wondering if your dough got insufficiently mixed by the paddles, or perhaps you forgot the oil or butter in the recipe. If you spritzed the loaf with too much water to make it crustier before baking, this might also have caused a problem. I would be interested to hear how a second attempt turns out.