How to Bake The Perfect Bread Loaf

Published on 17th February 2013

By Leila El-Dean

The basics of bread making is a science. You need to use exact measurements where necessary and be careful about the order of ingredients. Here are our 7 essential tips on how to bake bread perfectly, every time.

1. Use High Quality Flour

As the main ingredient in your breadmaker, the flour you use is going to be a main contributor to the flavour, texture and look of your final loaf. Use the best quality flour you can and always use strong bread flour, unless otherwise specified in the recipe.

2. Take Care of Your Yeast

Your yeast is your rising agent so it needs to be in good working order. Only Bread Machine yeast should be used in a bread maker. It needs to be in date and stored in a dry cool place to make sure that it is fit and ready to use.

3. Prepare Your Ingredients

Taking a few moments to prepare your ingredients effectively will make all the difference. Any cold ingredients should be adjusted to room temperature before putting them in unless you have an advanced bread maker which acclimatises your ingredients. All hot ingredients should be cooled so that they don't distribute excess heat.

bread ingredients

Get organised! (image source: glenbledsoe)

Make sure all your ingredients are measured out carefully to achieve the best results.

4. Use the Correct Settings

The longer the yeast can be warmed before baking the better the results. Therefore only use the rapid settings when you are in a hurry and enjoy the range of other options to achieve the most delicious results.

5. Order Your Ingredients Properly

It doesn't matter how good your ingredients are if they are not ordered correctly. Traditionally flour is used a barrier to keep the yeast dray until it is warm. Follow the instructions in your manual correctly and you can achieve gorgeous bread every time.

6. Grease the Sides of the Pan

Even if you are using a non stick bread pan, a little extra grease on the sides can help your bread to rise. Don't use too much as this could effect the dough, but a little extra help can make all the difference.

7. Keep Your Breadmaker Clean

Old and dried ingredients left in the pan can severely affect the performance of your dough and the overall taste so your pan and blade should always be fully cleaned after use. This is particularly important if you make gluten free bread and are concerned about cross contamination.

clean your bread machine

Keep everything clean (image source: joanbarger)

Furthermore, make sure you clean the machine itself. If crumbs or seeds fall into the bottom of the machine near the heating element remove them immediately. This can affect the thermostatic control of your machine or cause burning.

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