Your questions answered: Making dough in a bread machine

Rachel asked:

I recently came across your website and LOVE the Whole Wheat Bread and Amish White Bread, particularly because I can make it in the bread machine.

I was wondering if the dough for the Crusty Home-Style Bread Bowls could also be made in the bread machine? If so, how do you do that?

Rachel, yes, the dough for the bread bowls can be made in the bread machine! :)

I follow the instructions for my bread machine, which says to add all liquid ingredients and then all dry ingredients, with the yeast being added (on top) last. So I just take the ingredient list for any yeast bread recipe and add the items in that order and use the dough cycle! :)

My dough cycle does a knead (~22 minutes) and then a rise (~98 minutes). If your recipe doesn't need a first rise (e.g. it says to knead the dough and then immediately shape it) or only needs a partial first rise (e.g. it says to let the dough rest for 15 minutes) you can stop the bread machine and take out the dough at any time and use it in the recipe! :)

Does this sound like what the rest of you do with your bread machines when using the dough cycle?


I've only tried using my bread machine's dough cycle once. I tried it for the Pita Bread recipe. The dough came out all runny and goopy, like it didn't have enough flour (even though I put in what the recipe called for). I've noticed that lots of things I've baked recently have needed extra flour. I'm not sure how to get around this with a bread machine, so I've just been using my food processor. Anyone have any suggestions?


"Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become."

I love my bread machine.

I have kneaded dough by hand, in a hand cranked tub, in my KitchenAid, and none of these kneads better than a bread machine.

Beth~regardless of what the recipe calls for, it is really important that at about 10 minutes after you start your machine, you check on the dough. Touch it (while it is working) and see if it is still wet, or to dry. You can adjust it then by adding a TBSP of either flour or water.

I make LOTS of bread but my machines never use their heating elements because I only use the dough cycle. It works so much better shaping it myself and baking it in the oven. I do check on mine though once it gets to mixing to see if I need to add some more flour to it. The recipes I use all the time I don't really bother with but with new recipes I always keep an eye on them during the mixing to see if I need to add anything.

P.S. I have 2 machines because one was starting to be on its last legs and I absolutely can not be without my bread machine so my husband bought me another one. Well, the old one is still holding on so now I use them both at the same time and can really whip out the bread. My husband is a mite concerned now though that when the old one dies I just might want another. :)

I can hear my machine kneading away as I type. I have tried, tried and tried using the machine to actually *bake* the bread - but to no avail. It just doesn't turn out "right", no matter what recipe I use.

Now I simply use the dough cycle, shape it and let it rise a bit more, then bake. Works like a charm! I'm actually going to grab some of your recipes and give 'em a try this week (my dh is on vacation and *loves* our homemade bread).

I always check the dough a few minutes into the cycle. In fact, today, after 10 min., I decided to start the cycle over again and add in more flour. Somehow I added in a *lot* less than I needed, so I just wanted to start the whole cycle over again. It's fairly forgiving and takes quite a bit to "ruin" it. I would just keep family eats my "mistakes" with no complaints!!

*Michigan Momma*
wife to The Pastor & momma of:
~Isaac ~Selah ~Talitha ~Elijah ~wee one(due:3/09)

Thanks for the suggestions, ladies! I guess I just didn't think I could open the lid once it started (now I feel silly!). I will try using the dough cycle again, and this time I will check after a little while. :D Thanks again.


"Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become."

I was doing the happy dance last night after I made a loaf of your wheat bread in my bread machine. (The dough setting is the only setting that works on it, but that is fine for me.) Usually I have issues with making bread, it rises to much or the density is to soft/heavy or it gets a goofy shape. Anyway, the bread turned out perfect! This is my new bread recipe. It tasted awesome- I used molasses instead of honey. I am still excited about it this morning and can't wait till this loaf is almost gone (which it is!) so I can make another one. Thank you so much! Your recipes are always so great and virtually failproof.

Lisa in Minnesota

Got a brand new hitachi bread machine at an auction for only 5 dollars!!! Used the time delay option for my very first loaf. Of course the machine woke me up at 4am!! but was really exicted with the idea of fresh bread for breakfast. Here is my concern...When I looked in the top there was LOTS of flour that hadn't mixed...what did I do wrong? I was certain I measured right. Now I'm even leary of trying again just to waste ingredients...I need encouragement PULEEEZE
Thanks in advance,

I use my machine once a year and get the "how to" book out. Do I really need 'BREAD flour'? Or can I use regular flour, and if I do what will happen?

I check for substitutions all the time. Having several variations of the same ingredient just seems a bit much. According to The Joy of Baking, All Purpose flour can be substituted without any alterations. My mom baked with all purpose as well as every other baker since the beginning of time.

Yes, you can use bread flour. I've used it before when I ran out of bread flour. It worked just fine. Now I'm rethinking why I need bread flour. My mom made bread all the time I was growing up and used regular all purpose flour.

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