Homemade bread is a delicious treat. Making it the traditional way takes several hours of work and skillful kneading. Using a bread machine produces homemade bread with minimal effort. The basic process is simply placing the ingredients in the bread pan, setting the controls and turning on the bread machine. The bread machine does all the work.

Familiarize yourself with the bread machine. Open the lid and remove the bread pan. This can be done by grabbing its handle and gently turning the pan. Inside the pan will be the removable kneading bar. The bar will need to be in place while baking, yet can be removed for cleaning.

Look at the control panel. There will be a digital timer to indicate cooking time. There is a button to select bread type, a button to choose the color, a button to lock the controls, and a start/stop button. There is also a timer to set the machine to start automatically.

Locate a bread recipe. Recipes are included with the bread machine's instruction manual. If you don't have a recipe, check the recipe link in Resources.

Place the ingredients in the bread pan in the order listed in the recipe.

Gently return the bread pan to the baking chamber, and turn to click back into place. Close the lid.

Push the "bread select" button to select the type of bread you are baking, such as basic, basic rapid, whole wheat, whole wheat rapid, French, sweet or dough. The recipe will determine this setting. The selection shows up digitally in the display window. Continue to push until your choice appears.

Push the "bread color" button to select the color of bread. Like the bread type, different choices will show up in the display window. Choose dark, light or medium bread color. Continue to push until your choice appears.

Press the "start/stop" button to turn on the machine.

Press the "lock" button, until "lock" appears in the display window. This will lock the program into the controls.

Check the digital timer. The clock will count down until the bread is finished. When it gets to 0, the bread is finished.

Press the "lock" button to unlock the machine. Hold down the button until the word "Lock" disappears from the display window.

Turn the machine off by pressing the "start/stop" button for about three seconds, or until the red signal light goes off. Open the lid and remove the bread pan.

Tip

You can also use the machine to knead and rise the dough and bake the dough in a regular oven.

About the Author

Ann Johnson

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.