Bread making

Weigh ingredients directly into your bread pan to save on washing up.

Breadmaking Tips

OK, so you've bought a new bread machine and have unpacked it and are ready to go.  Getting started can be rather daunting, so I've put together some bread making beginners' tips to help save you time, money and disappointment.

Most bread machines are straightforward to use provided you follow the instructions, but there are a number of ways to make life easier for yourself.

breadmaking tips #1 Do read the instructions carefully.
breadmaking tips #2 Use strong (or better still very strong) bread flour, rather than all-purpose flour which does not have enough gluten.
breadmaking tips #3 For best results in a bread machine, use dried fast-action instant yeast, which does not need pre-mixing.
breadmaking tips #4 Don't forget to put the paddle in the machine. I always replace mine as soon as I've cleaned the pan (yes, I once left it out, filled the pan with ingredients and then had to try and get the paddle in through the floury mess). If you forget the paddle completely, the bread machine will go through the motions of making bread, including baking, but the ingredients won't have been mixed together, so you will end up with a burnt and soggy mess.
breadmaking tips #6 Try the recipes in your bread machine's instruction booklet first. When you've had success with some basic loaves, you can start experimenting and trying different things.
breadmaking tips #7 If you are using a timer, don't forget to press START when you have set the timer, otherwise instead of waking up to the scent of delicious freshly baked bread, you will wake up to find you've got no breakfast!. I always check that the timer is actually counting down before I go to bed.
breadmaking tips #8 Don't be afraid to adapt recipes to suit your own tastes or dietary needs, such as substituting oil for butter or reducing the amount of salt or sugar used.

Don't forget to put the paddle in the pan before you start!

My bread machine fits neatly on the worktop under my cupboards...

...but I have to pull it out to use it as there isn't room for the lid to open.