The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

why use a bread machine?

a.s.prior's picture

why use a bread machine?

just wondered if you have a bread maker? do you use it for everyday use large families or just personal use?



sphealey's picture

=== just wondered if you have a bread maker? do you use it for everyday use large families or just personal use? ===

My family prefers soft sandwich loaves for everday eating, particularly during the school year.  So we use the overnight timer to have a fresh loaf ready in the morning once-twice per week. 

Then depending on my Sunday schedule and what type of bread I am making I will sometimes use it for mixing/kneading (and first rise if that receipe is OK with a warm rise).  Good bread machines do an excellent job of kneading for many doughs without any added flour.


Janknitz's picture

When it's just too hot to turn on the oven in the summer, I resort to the bread machine.  It makes an edible loaf without raising the temperature in my kitchen. 

If I didn't have a Kitchen Aid Mixer, I would use it all the time for doughs.  It does a nice job and bread machines are very reasonably priced.  But I don't need it with the KA. 

BettyR's picture

I use my bread machine to knead and proof my bread. I can put all my ingredients in the machine turn it on and walk away. I bake the bread in my oven, I just prefer it that way.


As for the hot summers...I live in Texas and it gets really hot here and stays that way for a good part of the year. Because of the heat I have an oven in my garage. I bought an oven at a scratch and dent store that had a pretty ugly dent in it. The dent looks bad but it doesn't affect the performance of the oven and I got it for a song. I can't take credit for the idea, we always had a second oven in the garage when I was growing up to keep from heating up the house when baking. A lot of the people I grew up with did the same.

cmkrause's picture

I use my bread machine when I want to make several different types of bread in one day.  I can have one in the bread machine, one in the KitchenAid and one on the counter all working at the same time, and time them so they are all rising and baking simultaneously.  It's a lot of work getting everything measured and ready to go ahead of time for 3 or 4 different types of bread, but it is worth it at the end of the day when everything has finished baking and the whole house smells like freshly baked bread for days.

rossnroller's picture

I make only sourdough bread, so my methods are probably not applicable across the board with breads using commercial yeasts, but I have no need of a bread machine or a mixer! The initial loose hand-mix is a quick task and not labour-intensive or physically demanding, and I stretch-and-fold instead of kneading. Thus, there is no need for any sort of electrically powered assistance.

I used to knead, but I find the S&F method far superior, both in terms of time and convenience - and most importantly, final results.

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hi AS Prior,

Good to see your doing more research from your original posting the other day.

I use my bread machine just for my wife and myself so I guess its personal. My machine is only used for kneading. I make a 24 hour pre ferment starter (12 hrs at room temperature/ 12hrs in fridge, then back to room temp') which is then kneaded into the next lot of ingredients in my breadmaker. The dough is then divided into 10 small rolls, baked, cooled and indvidually frozen for my wife to grab and take to work daily with a salad etc. The rest  of the dough becomes one larger loaf either folded and shaped  by hand or is baked in a loaf tin depending on how I feel. It is safe to say I feel it does a better knead job than me.

This will happen about 3 times in a 14 day period on average.


I still say there must be a market for a mix, knead and proof only machine !!!

Hope this helps...............Pete

a.s.prior's picture

thanks Aussie pete think i will try and look into just the mixing kneading and proofing machine dont no if theres one out there already? might need to look into that. If you have any other ideas that could make bread making easier or more efficient let us no!!!

thanks A.S Prior

108 breads's picture
108 breads

For years I made my challah and whole wheat doughs in the bread machine, baking them afterward in the oven. That was before I became a sourdough convert. I still make my challah that way - with commercial yeast - and still searching for a good sourdough challah recipe. (Well, I actually have a few, but I haven't tried them yet.) For all that I love long fermentation periods, it is super convenient to get home at 4 p.m. on Friday afternoons and have a challah ready for Friday night dinner.

With working full time, it would be good to have a challah recipe with an overnight rise, refrigeration during the day, and straight-from-fridge-to-oven baking. That's the wish list. No recipes like that yet.

Seriously, without the bread machine I do not believe I ever would have considered making bread. It seemed like a mysterious, difficult process, far beyond me. But the bread machine gave me familiarity with the ingredients, the texture of dough, baking times, and the pleasure of fresh bread. All of that and my children were willing to eat a kind of bread beyond awful supermarket potato bread. 

Emerogork's picture

I have been on a kick to develop a good croissant recipe and found that the best mixing happens within a few minutes in a bread machine.  Maybe new machines can have a mix-only cycle.


dpnync's picture

My wife and I generally used bread machines to bake sandwich bread for the two of us. For large family gathering, we usually buy what we needed from bakeries for variety and quantity. In rare cases, we have used the Dough cycle to knead the dough and then put it in the oven to bake, generally during colder months. With some practice, it has been easy to get a bread that can be fresher than what you what you can pick up from a bakery. 

Mixing dough, kneading or S&F, rest, repeat, shape, let rest in fridge if sourdough, then bake in oven takes a lot more time. With proper time management and reminders, you can fit that around your schedule to an extent. It's better when you are able to work from home. However, it takes a lot more work and equipment to match the controlled temperature a good bread machine can provide during the proofing cycles of your bread dough.

I do both type of baking and find a break machine a worthwhile investment.