The answer is yes, depending on the recipe. You can use all-purpose flour in the bread machine if you’re altering the recipe to suit the bread machine.
Otherwise, you may want to use the special bread machine flour that’s been formulated to work in bread machines along with the other recipe changes.
How does baking in a bread machine differ from baking in the oven?
The average bread machine creates a denser, heavier bread than when you bake your bread in the oven. This is partially due to how it is cooked, and it is partially due to the differences between baking machine flour and all-purpose flour.
The bread from a bread machine works well for toast or rolls. It often fails to serve as a replacement for light, fluffy sandwich bread.
One of the biggest differences between baking in a conventional oven and a bread machine is that the intermediate steps are handled by the machine. You don’t have to keep coming back to knead or punch the bread. You can move on to other tasks until the bread is done.
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How does bread machine flour differ from all-purpose flour?
The short answer is that bread machine flour contains more gluten. Bread flour, including bread machine flour, has more gluten than all-purpose flour.
However, bread flour has gluten levels between 10 and 13 percent, while all-purpose flour has a gluten content of 9 to 12 percent. If you use all-purpose flour with a higher than average gluten content, it can work for you.
What else can you make in a bread machine?
You can make basic dough for cinnamon buns, sweet dough for various desserts and pizza dough with a bread machine. You’ll be able to do this with the dough setting and a generic white bread recipe plus any other ingredients you may add.
In these cases, you’d use all-purpose flour in the bread machine as it kneads the dough and makes it rise. Then you take out the dough, add spices and herbs as appropriate, and then bake in the oven.
In this case, the bread maker is simply a convenient way of handling the intermediate steps while reducing the baking mess. You’ll only have to bake the dough that did the initial rising and resting in the bread maker in the oven per the original recipe.
Note that bread makers vary in what they can do. If your expensive bread maker has a sweet dough, cake, gluten-free, or dessert loaf setting, you could use bake the specialty bread in the bread maker.
This means you could make cinnamon rolls with all-purpose flour in the bread maker if it has the right temperature profile. Or you could make a cake in it, though that is best done with cake flour.
What mistakes do people make when making bread in a bread maker?
A common mistake is not reading the instructions. Depending on the unit, you may be expected to add wet ingredients first. In others, dry ingredients go first.
Most people know to choose the right machine settings. In this regard, we know that selecting a dough-making cycle won’t yield fresh bread.
However, others won’t pay attention to the actual capacity of the bread maker. It may make a one-pound loaf, but this doesn’t mean you add a pound of flour to it.
This is why you should base your bread off recipes intended for the bread-making machine. Then you don’t add a pound of flour plus water and other ingredients, overflow the machine and blame the flour. In fact, the recipe in a bread maker needs to be exact since bread that rises too high will dry out or burn. Even a teaspoon of too much water could make a difference.
You also need to be careful with the other ingredients. For example, you want eggs to be warmed up to room temperature so that it doesn’t end up undercooking the bread. Warm uncracked eggs in hot tap water before you add them to the mix. If the recipe calls for milk, try to use canned milk or dried milk mixed with tap water instead of cold milk.
However, you cannot use a delayed mix cycle with liquid milk in the recipe; you’ll give the milk time to spoil. When the recipe calls for margarine or butter, cut it into small pieces before you add it to the machine. Then it will melt evenly and won’t be able to go bad while the dough cooks.
Always use yeasts that are formulated for a bread machine. One option is the bread machine yeast. The other is rapid-rise yeast. You can’t use active dry yeast. It takes too long to work correctly in a bread machine. Conversely, you can mix bread machine yeast with other dry ingredients in other recipes. Note that you still need to proof your yeast before it goes in the bread machine.
How can I adapt a recipe for a bread machine?
If you have a one-pound loaf, you’ll want 2.75 cups of any type of bread flour with seven-eights of a cup of liquid. This includes water, eggs, and milk.
A one and a half pound loaf take three cups of flour and one cup of liquid. Just substitute the right type of yeast and be careful of the ingredient temperature, and you’re good to go.
How can you convert a bread machine recipe to a manual one?
Suppose you love a bread machine recipe but the break maker is broken. Or you like the flavor but want to improve the texture. You can convert a bread machine recipe to a manual one.
Use conventional yeast and all-purpose flour. All the same amount of liquids as originally called for in the recipe, though you may need to add a little more liquid or flour to get the right consistency.
Kneading and rising will be handled in the standard way. Most bread is baked in an oven for 40 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees. The crust will be golden, and the bottom of the loaf will sound hollow if tapped.