How does one adapt a bread recipe for a bread machine?

I'm of the "let's see what happens" camp, but a more sensible friend of mine asked yesterday if it is possible to just put the ingredients into your machine and put the most logical settings based on the type of flour, size of loaf, etc., or is it more complicated than that? Thanks in advance for your help!

Abbie C
  • Posted by: Abbie C
  • March 4, 2015


duonyte March 6, 2015
I have used many, many recipes not designed for the bread machine in the bread machine. I mostly use the instant yeast, but also use the active dry -I sprinkle it right over the water or the milk. So long as the liquid is not too hot or cold, this works just fine. Keeping the yeast away from the liquid matters only if you are using the timer function of the bread machine. In terms of cycles, you use your best judgment. I myself almost always use the dough cycle, as I am often making rolls or a shaped loaf of some type. But if you want to bake in your machine, remember to set the size loaf - use the recipes that came with your machine to help you determine which size loaf is best for a recipe that uses, say, 3 cups of flour.
Abbie C. March 7, 2015
Thank you!
Nancy March 5, 2015
Abbie, others before you have adapted their (regular or hand made) bread recipes to use in bread machines. A Google search will turn up all sorts of useful guidelines, suggested flour-fat-liquid ratios for different size loaves etc. or consult the manual or web site of the bread machine manufacturer for simular guidelines. with them you would not be flying blind and, yes, have a good chance of success.
Abbie C. March 7, 2015
Thank you!
AntoniaJames March 4, 2015
Well I don't know for sure . . . . . but, if I were doing it, I'd (a) use instant (rapid rise) yeast and not active dry yeast, because the latter must be dissolved in water separately; and (b) put the water and liquid ingredients in the bottom and the dry ingredients on top. I'd put the salt in with the liquid ingredients and the yeast on top of the flour (last) because salt can retard yeast's activity. As you say, choose the setting that seems closest, e.g., whole wheat flours need extra kneading and extra time for rising, so select the setting accordingly. ;o)
Abbie C. March 4, 2015
Thank you so much! I really appreciate your advice!
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