Bread Maker Recipe - Apple Bread

November 9, 2009

Wondering what to do with all the applesauce you canned this year? This apple bread maker recipe, or more properly, applesauce recipe, may be just right for you. Raisin are optional.

This bread maker recipe makes a 1 pound loaf.

1 cup applesauce
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
1 teaspoon dough conditioner

1/2 cup raisins, to be added later in the cycle

Put the ingredients in the loaf pan in the order listed, or in the order listed by your bread make. Set the bread make to the “sweet” cycle, and to whatever crust setting you like best.

Most bread makers have a time during the cycle when they beep to let you know it's time to add things in. In this case, it's the raisins.

Optionally, you could try finely chopped walnuts.

Picture by Ariel da Silva Parreira

Bread Maker Recipe – Ranch Bread

October 13, 2009

Ranch dressing is one of my family's favorites. My wife and kids like will try other dressings, from time to time, but they always fall back on the ranch. Having a bread with that same creamy, garlic and herb ranch flavor, is great way to liven up the bread box, and spice up a sandwich.

This ranch bread recipe comes from a friend of mine. She's the same one who gave me this stunning half-wheat bread recipe. It's pretty much fool proof, made more so by the secret bread maker ingredients.

This recipe makes a 1 pound loaf of ranch bread.

1 cup water
3 cups all-purpose white flour
1 teaspoon wheat gluten
1 teaspoon dough conditioner
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons ranch dressing mix
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

Add the ingredients into the bread maker pan in the order listed. Set the cycle for “white bread” or “basic bread,” depending on what your bread maker calls it. Set the baking control for medium, or light if you prefer.

As with all bread, make sure you let it cool completely before slicing.
Adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of non-fat dehydrated milk after the dough conditioner will enrich the bread, adding more creamy flavor, but it will still be delicious without it.

Photo by Yucel Tellici

Bread Maker Review – Oster 5838 Expressbake

September 22, 2009

Oster Expressbake bread makerThe Oster 5838 ExpressBake Breadmaker is the newest member of our kitchen appliance family. To be honest, my wife picked it up in at a thrift store for about a third of what it goes for online, or I might not have tried it out. We've had both good and bad results so far.

The Oster 5838 makes horizontal loaves between one and one half or two pounds. Recipes for both sizes are included in the manual. Horizontal loaves are valued by most bread maker owners as being closer to a “regular” bread shape than the vertical loaves of many other bread machines. It uses a single central paddle which works well enough most of the time, but does not provide the superior mixing and kneading of a two paddle system. The large window makes checking on the bread very easy, and the controls are quite clear and easy to use.

This bread maker has an array of cycles including two ExpressBake cycles, one of which is reported to make bread in less than one hour. In order to make this cycle work you must use fast rising yeast and hot (but not too hot) water. The ExpressBake cycles make bread that has a thicker crust, and much denser crumb than the other cycles. There is also a Bake setting for making jams.

The Oster 5838 bread maker gets good overall reviews with an average rating of 3 1/ 2 stars at Amazon. Most of the complaints point to a lack of consistency in the loaves, bread either falling or not rising at all, or burning the loaves. Of those who did like it there were some complaints of having to modify the provided recipes to make them work. Some people (like myself) don't mind this, others do. One review mentioned there was no hard copy manual included. Mine didn't have one but I suspect that's because we got it used.

Even a few of those who were happy with the Oster ExpressBake bread maker, mentioned ways to check up on the machine, or modify the recipes to make them work better. This was my experience as well. I couldn't get a consistently good loaf of bread unless I add my “secret bread maker ingredients.” For this breadmaker one teaspoon each of vital wheat gluten and dough conditioner helped me get superior results, even better at times than from my old bread maker. I find I get much better results with the 1.5 pound recipes than the 2 pound ones, as well.

If you're willing to play around with the recipes, and don't want to spend a lot of money on a bread maker, you would do well to check out the Oster 5838 ExpressBake. Even with the problems of consistency, readily fixed with the “secret ingredients,” I'm going to recommend this one. It's replacing the Sunbeam 5891 as my pick for “Best Low-Priced Breadmaker.”

Death of a Bread Maker

July 26, 2009

My bread maker died. It's not the first bread maker we've lost in our family, so it's a tragedy we've experienced before. The gaskets just couldn't take it any more and the paddle started wobbling too much. After exploratory surgery it was determined that it needed a loaf pan transplant, but there were none available quickly enough to save it.

Funeral services were short and attended by the immediate family. The empty space next to the bread box, where the bread maker used to live, will be a hollow spot on our kitchen counter for some time. Donations are being accepted to help the surviving bread box overcome it's grief. Please leave any messages of consolation in the comments.

Does any one know how long is appropriate to mourn for a kitchen appliance, before looking for a new one?

Bread Maker Review - Zojirushi BBCC-X20

July 16, 2009

zojirushi bread maker reviewThe Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme Breadmaker is the Rolls Royce of bread makers, and is considered by many to be the best overall bread maker machine on the market.

It makes horizontal loaves, between one and two pounds, valued by most bread machine owners as being the most pretty, and most like those oven-baked in a conventional bread loaf pan or available from bakeries. To handle the mixing challenges a horizontal loaf brings, the Zojirushi bread maker uses two mixing / kneading paddles. Experts agree that this is a serious advantage over the more usual single-paddle machines. More thorough kneading leads to a more consistent rise and crumb.

The Zojirushi has more useful cycles and options than any other bread maker I've come across, including a sourdough starter cycle. I've never seen that in any other bread maker. As a fan of sourdough breads, this is a real “plus” to me. Owners say that the Zojirushi bread machine is very flexible and can do more than just make bread. There are cycles for jam, cakes and even meatloaf. There are three custom-memory settings and a long, 13-hour delay timer.

The Zojirushi gets solid reviews from owners, with over 300 written reviews at and anthoer 200 or so at I did find a small number of complaints about durability, but nothing that seemed any different from other high-end bread makers. Some others complained about how large and heavy the machine was, but I think that's to be expected with a bread maker of this quality and capability.

If you don't care about custom cycles, the Panasonic SD-YD250 may be a better option for you. It costs less still got great reviews. If you want nothing but the best in your kitchen, though, you'll want to pay the extra cash to get the amazing Zojirushi bread maker.

Bread Maker Recipe – Semolina Sourdough Bread

July 13, 2009

bread maker recipe - semolia sourdoughYes, Virginia. You can make sourdough bread in a breadmaker, or at least start it in the breadmaker. This open textured sourdough bread comes from the Puglia region of southern Italy, and is commonly known as Pugliese. It readily absorbs oil and is a perfect bread for making Bruschetta. The semolina flour gives it a lovely golden color and a crispy crust. This recipe yields two small loaves.

1/4 cup water
1 cup sourdough starter
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached flour
1 1/2 cup semolina flour (often sold as pasta flour), plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon vital wheat gluten
1/4 teaspoon dough conditioner
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast

Add the ingredients to the loaf pan of your bread machine in the order listed by the manufacturer. I've listed them in the order they work best for my machine.

Set the machine to run on a dough cycle. When the cycle is complete, remove from loaf pan and place in a large bowl, lightly oiled with olive oil. Turn the bread to coat. Cover with a dish towel and put in a warm place in the kitchen to rest for ten minutes.

Oil a baking sheet and dust with semolina flour. Divide the dough into two pieces. Shape each piece into a round loaf and place on the baking sheet, with plenty of room between each loaf. Flatten the dough with the palm of your hand and sprinkle with semolina flour. Cover with a dish towel and let them rise until both loaves have doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake until lightly golden, about 30 minutes. They should sound hollow when tapped underneath. Cool completely on a wire rack.

My family loves Semolina bread, broken apart and dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, as part of a great Italian dinner.

Bread Maker Review - Panasonic SD-YD250

July 5, 2009

According to reviewers, the Panasonic SD-YD250 Automatic Bread Maker is the best mid-range bread machine on the market. It's a sturdy, easy to use bread maker that makes regularly shaped horizontal loaves, which most people prefer over the more common, vertical ones. I did find it odd that this breadmaker lacks a viewing window, a pretty standard feature on other bread makers. Given how little you can see through the prots of other models, however, I doubt you'll miss it.

Owner's love how durable the Panasonic breadmaker is. Of the more than 350 owner reviewers have rated the Panasonic SD-YD250 breadmaker at, more than 70% give it a top, 5-start rating. It consistently makes good bread. The only “con” than reviewers at mention is that now they're eating more bread than ever before.

Many write that say they've used their machines for years. There are only a handful of complaints about breakage problems. While it's not the cheapest model of home bread maker, we often get what we pay for. I've had to replace more than one bread maker simply because I'd worn them out. In such cases, “inexpensive now” creates a false economy – meaning you pay more for it, later. Given the Panasonic's record of durability, however, I'd say it's great choice.

Bread Maker Recipe - French Bread

May 26, 2009

A good crusty French bread is hard to beat as an accompaniment to a hearty soup or other dish. The best news is that you can make a decent loaf of French bread in the bread maker. Notice that I didn't say “perfect” loaf. I've not been able to get that nice crunchy French bread crust on all sides of any bread baked in a regular pan, bread maker pan or not. Still, this is a tasty oil free white bread with a great crumb and chewy crust.

For this loaf, you only need half as much of the gluten as I would normally recommend. Putting in 2 teaspoons will make it rise too much and then break itself against the lid of your bread maker.

1 1/4 cups water
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vital wheat gluten
1/4 teaspoon dough conditioner
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

Put the ingredients into the bread machine loaf pan in the order listed for your machine. Add the wheat gluten and dough conditioner with the flour.

Set the machine for the French cycle. I prefer a Medium or Dark crust setting for this bread. Make sure you remove the bread from the pan as soon as the cycle is complete and let it cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

Bread Maker Review - Sunbeam 5891

May 18, 2009

Are you looking for a good bread maker at a budget price? Look no further. The Sunbeam 5891 2-Pound Programmable Breadmaker is a solid performer at a low price. Home cooks have praised it's ease of use and overall performance, as well as it's affordable price.

The Sunbeam 5891 is packed with all the basics you'd expect from a great bread maker: crust-color selector, regular baking and dough only cycles, you name it. Like most bread makers in it's price range, it makes a vertical loaf, rather than the horizontal one available in more expensive machines. It sports a good, no-frills approach with 12 preprogrammed cycles and, surprisingly, a jam cycle.

To be fair, we found a few complaints about its durability and many owners say the recipes in the manual could be better. (Not a problem for us. We just make our own!) A few reviewers have also complained about the LCD screen, saying it can be hard to read. In spite of these complaints, owners of the Sunbeam 5891, posting at and, awarded the Sunbeam bread maker a good over-all rating.

It is simply the best available bread machine in it's price range.

Don't pay expensive prices at the bakery for something you can make fresh and warm in your home, everyday. Get a Get the Sunbeam 5891 Breadmaker and start enjoying fresh home made bread, without all the fuss, today.

Bread Maker Recipe – Basic White Bread Made Right

May 6, 2009

A staple in the American diet, good ol' white bread from a bread maker can sometimes be a hit or miss affair. Adding the two secret bread maker ingredients can turn an “Um ... the top's okay” into a “what a great loaf of bread!”

This recipe works just fine with the timer, so feel free to set it up before you go to bed. You'll then awaken to the by the warm, toasty smell of fresh bread in the morning.


1 cup water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
1/4 teaspoon dough conditioner
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast


Add the ingredients into the bread maker pan in the order listed. Set the cycle for “white” and the baking control to the desired level. I like “light.”

If you'd like, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of non-fat dehydrated milk after the dough conditioner to enrich the bread. If you'd prefer a little more fiber and a few less simple carbohydrates, try this half-wheat bread maker recipe, instead.

Makes a 1 1/2 pound loaf.

Picture by Gaston Thauvin

Wheat Rolls in a Breadmaker

April 28, 2009

wheat dinner rollYes, Virginia, it's perfectly okay to use your breadmaker to make dinner rolls. That's what the dough setting is for.

Inspired by the Lion House in Salt Lake City I wanted to try my hand and making dinner rolls. Because I'm on a current health kick, that will likely end in the next five minutes only to be taken up again next week, I decided to increase the fiber content of the original recipes I'd found by exchanging half the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour and replace some saturated fats with the unsaturated kind. I refuse to give up a soft texture and yummy flavor, though. These aren't exactly “healthy,” but compared to the original recipes that inspired them, they're bit better for you.


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon wheat gluten
1/4 teaspoon dough conditioner
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons non-fat dry milk
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

olive oil as needed, before cooking
melted butter as needed, after cooking


Put the first ten ingredients in your breadmaker in the order listed. At least, that's the order for such things in my bread maker. Set it to the “dough” cycle and let it run. Mine takes just over an hour so feel free to put in a DVD or tune the TV into a cooking show while you wait.

Okay, dear. I guess I could wash the dishes.

At the end of the cycle, remove the dough from the pan and place it in a bowl that has been greased with olive oil. Turn the dough to coat evenly. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size (about an hour).

how to cut dinner roll dough Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a floured counter top or cutting board. Punch the dough down and roll out into an 18 inch by 8 inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle into eighteen pieces as shown in the diagram on the left.

Drizzle olive oil over the dough, and roll each piece up, from the short end. Transfer to a floured baking sheet, cover, and proof until double in size. (In case you don't know, "proofing" is another word for the final rise.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place on the center rack of the oven and bake for about 12 minutes or until golden.

Remove from the oven and brush the tops with melted butter or more olive oil.

Makes 18 rolls.

Half-Wheat Bread Breadmaker Recipe

April 27, 2009

Most of the recipes that come with your bread maker are going to be just fine. My friend Jennifer came up with her own variations that work even better. Inspired by her, I jumped in with both feet and started playing with bread maker recipes, too.

A staple bread recipe with my family is for a half-wheat bread that Jennifer came up with. By itself, the recipe makes nice, soft, and tasty bread. I've modified the recipe by adding a couple of the "secret ingredients" - wheat gluten and dough conditioner. They help the dough rise a bit more evenly, and give the bread a more consistent crumb.

Half-Wheat Bread a la Jennifer (re-interpreted by the Mormon Foodie)

This recipe will make a nice 1 1/2 pound loaf in your breadmaker. The ingredients are listed in the order suggested by my breadmaker's manufacturer. Check the order recommended for your breadmaker. It does make a difference.

1 cup water
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup white flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp dry yeast
2 tsp wheat gluten
1 tsp dough conditioner

Use the "wheat" cycle. I recommend setting it to make a "light" loaf.

After baking, remove the loaf from the pan, cover with a kitchen towel and cool on a wire rack.

Every so often I'll make a couple of loaves of 100% whole wheat bread the "old fashioned" way on a weekend, but it's more common for me to use the breadmaker during the week. Its' faster and it cuts down on making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with crappy, store-bought "air" bread.


Secret Breadmaker Ingredients

April 25, 2009

I love my breadmaker (a.k.a the bread machine, a.k.a. The Great White Wonder Cube!). It makes great bread, with less than half the work. The more I learn about it, the more I use it and the better results I get. The best part of using a breadmaker is you don't have to babysit it. With most recipes, you can set it up before you go to bed, set the timer, and enjoy fresh warm bread for breakfast.

There are a few things they don't tell you in the recipe book that comes with your bread machine, though. The moisture content in flour can vary, depending on age and environment. No matter how rigorously you follow the recipe, sometimes it's just not going to work out like you want it to. There are a few ingredients, we can add to the recipes to ensure that they turn out wonderfully every time.

Vital Wheat Gluten

Gluten is grain protein. Not all flours have the same protein content. Bread flour has a higher protein content than All-purpose flour, for example, while cake flour has less protein content. Bread flour can cost more, sometimes a lot more, than all-purpose flour and most bread maker recipes call for all purpose flour.

Instead of buying several different kinds of flour for every little thing you do, I buy all-purpose flour and then add wheat gluten when making bread to increase the protein content. It's not expensive and you need very little, about two teaspoons per loaf, so a single can of the stuff will last quite a long time.

When adding wheat gluten to a breadmaker recipe, I find I get the best results if I add it to the pan with the flour. The manufacturer of my bread machine recommends adding the water before the flour, so I add the wheat gluten right after I put in the flour, just to keep it away from the water. It just seems to work best for me this way.

If you have gluten allergies, you shouldn't be eating regular wheat bread in the first place. I'm hoping to experiment with gluten free breads in the bread maker, later on.

Dough Conditioner

Second to wheat gluten is commercial dough conditioner. Different conditioners contain different ingredients. Commonly, they are combination of wheat gluten, yeast and chemicals such as ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C), ammonium chloride, DATEM (an emulsifier), different calcium salts and soy.

It's a common problem with bread makers that have vertical pans to have a lighter crumb at the top of the bread loaf and a denser crumb at the bottom. Dough conditioners help solve this problem by strengthening the texture and giving a more consistent rise, leading to a more consistent crumb.