Bread machines provide a convenient, easy way to mix and bake bread without kneading dough or concerning yourself with rising times — the machine does all the work for you. Whether you inherited a machine from your mother, picked one up at a garage sale or you are dusting off the one you received as a wedding present, you may have lost or misplaced the manufacturer’s instructions. Since most bread machines have the same parts and operate in the same manner, there’s no reason you can’t use your bread machine without the manual.
Things You'll Need
Verify that you have all of the bread machine parts including the baking pan, kneading paddle or blade, dough pin and rubber gasket. If you are missing any parts, locate the manufacturer’s contact information and order replacements. The bread machine will not work without all of the parts.
Determine whether your machine has a sealed or unsealed pan. Newer machines have a sealed pan that holds water. Older models have unsealed pans with a hole in the bottom. For the latter machine you will need a rubber washer to hold the pan in place and prevent the ingredients from leaking.
Assemble the pan and kneading paddle or blade. The kneading paddle attaches to the shaft at the bottom of the baking pan. Some machines have two kneading paddles; attach both to the shafts facing away from each other.
Prepare your desired bread recipe. Use a recipe that calls for two to three cups of bread flour. Add the wet ingredients to the baking pan followed by the dry ingredients, except the yeast. Create a small well in the center of your dry ingredients and add the yeast last so that it does not get wet before the machine begins the mixing cycle.
Place the pan in the bread machine. Lock it in place and close the lid. Choose a cycle and, if your machine has the options, a loaf size and crust color. Press the “Start” or “Go” button.
Wait for your bread machine to knead the ingredients. Some machines will knead immediately while others preheat the ingredients before kneading. After 10 minutes of kneading, open the lid and inspect the dough. Add flour if the dough appears too wet or water if it appears too dry. The dough should form a smooth ball and feel slightly sticky. Close the lid.
Remove the bread immediately when it is finished baking. The machine should make a “beeping” sound to signal that the bread is done. Let the bread sit for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.
It is not recommended that you use an older model bread machine as these models are not made any longer and replacement washers can be difficult to find.
References and ResourcesBread Machine Digest: Generic Bread Machine Instructions
Hillbilly Housewife: GenericBread Machine Manual