Basic Bread Maker Loaf Recipe
Anxious about making homemade bread? With a bread machine, there’s no knead to be!
Unlike conventional yeast bread, gluten-free dough behaves more like a batter. It’s difficult to handle and its structure is more fragile. The kneading, punching, and rising necessary for wheat dough actually destroys the structure of a gluten-free loaf.
For all these reasons, a bread machine is an excellent choice for gluten-free bread. There’s minimal handling. You just add the ingredients and press “start.” Several brands of machines let you bypass extra knead and rise cycles or they have a gluten-free setting, making them ideal for our cranky loaves.
The biggest complaint about bread machines is that the blades used to mix the dough leave an indentation in the bottom of the loaf. Some people reach into the dough and remove the blades once the kneading cycle is completed. I’ve done this, but it’s a mess and requires watching the clock to know when the cycle ends. My old machine took a chunk out of the bottom of every baked loaf. Many newer machines have smaller or collapsible blades and leave only minor indentations. The blades are one thing to consider when purchasing a new machine. Here are other factors:
• Price: The cost of a bread machine ranges from $60 to $250.
• Loaf Size: Machines produce a 1-, 1½-, 2- or 2½-pound loaf. The amount of flour and liquids varies depending on the size of the pan.
• Shape: Some machines produce a horizontal loaf while others are vertical. Horizontal pans come with one or two blades. A good choice for gluten-free bread is a horizontal pan and two blades or a collapsible blade.
• Settings: In addition to settings for regular white, whole wheat, and dough, some machines offer a gluten-free cycle and/or customized settings. These leave out additional knead and rise features and are ideal for gluten-free bread. If these features aren’t available, a short or quick cycle will work.
Good Choices for Gluten-Free Bread Making:
• Breadman TR520 Programmable Bread Maker for 1, 1½ and 2-pound loaves
• Breville Baker’s Oven BBM 100
• Cuisinart CBK-100 2-Pound Automatic Bread Maker
• Hamilton Beach HomeBaker Bread Maker
• Oster 2-Pound Express Bake Bread Maker
• T-FAL ActiBread
• West Bend Hi-Rise Bread Maker
• Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso and BB-HAC10 Home Bakery Mini
Bread Machine Tips
• If you’re sharing a machine with a gluten-eating baker, buy a second bread pan and paddles from the manufacturer’s website to prevent cross-contamination.
• Don’t be afraid to open the machine about 5 to 10 minutes into the mixing process to scrape down the sides so all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Don’t open the lid during the rise and bake cycles except to brush the top and sprinkle with seeds.
• If your user’s manual recommends adding ingredients in a different order than indicated in a recipe, follow your machine’s instructions for best results.
• Some manufacturers recommend using rapid-rise yeast, but it may not be up to the task of lifting gluten-free dough. For best results, use active dry yeast.
• If your machine has a rest cycle at the beginning of the program to warm ingredients, add room-temperature ingredients. If not, warm your ingredients before adding them to the machine.
• A 1-pound bread machine can handle 2 to 3 cups of flour. A 1½-pound machine can handle 3 to 4 cups of flour.
• Most bread machines have a delayed cycle, allowing you to place ingredients in the machine several hours ahead. To avoid bacterial growth, don’t use this cycle if your recipe contains eggs or dairy.
• A programmable cycle lets you customize the settings for gluten-free dough. Here are the ideal settings: warm 10 minutes; knead 15 minutes; rise 40 minutes; bake 55 to 60 minutes. Always set on Medium Crust.
• The following recipe was created for larger bread machines (1½- to 2-pound loaves). To customize it for a smaller machine, reduce all the ingredients by a third.
My bread machine and I have been best buddies for decades. My expectations are lofty – but so is my bread. With this basic recipe, your loaves will be, too.
Basic Bread Maker Loaf
- 1½ cups milk of choice, room temperature or warmed to 110ºF
- 3 large eggs , lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup millet flour*
- 1 cup rice flour*
- 1¼ cups corn starch or tapioca starch/flour*
- 1 cup potato starch (not flour)*
- 1½ tablespoons potato flour (not starch)*
- 1 tablespoon xanthan gum*
- 1½ teaspoons kosher or fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- Program a 2-pound capacity machine for a 10-minute warm cycle, one (15-minute) knead, one (40-minute) rise cycle, and bake 55 to 60 minutes or set it to the gluten-free cycle, if available. Alternatively, use a quick white bread cycle.
- In the bottom of the bread pan, combine milk, eggs, olive oil, honey, and vinegar. Stir with a fork to blend well.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together millet flour, rice flour, corn starch, potato starch, potato flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Sprinkle over the liquids in the bread pan. Make a shallow indentation in the center of the dry ingredients, making sure no liquid is visible. Add the yeast. Close the cover and press “start.”
- Midway through the knead cycle, open the lid and scrape down the sides of the pan with a rubber spatula to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Remove the bread immediately when the bake cycle is complete. Turn bread onto a wire rack to cool.
For egg-free version, omit 3 eggs. Stir 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal into ¼ cup hot water. Add this mixture to the wet ingredients in the bread pan in step 2. Then, add 1 tablespoon egg replacer powder (I used Ener-G Foods) to the dry ingredients in step 3. If your bread machine struggles to mix the dough, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the dough mixes more easily. Add water cautiously, as too much will cause your loaf to collapse while baking.
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