Does it matter in what order I add ingredients to my bread machine?
Yes -- it's important to add ingredients to your machine according to the directions given in your owner's manual. Generally, manufacturers recommend adding the liquids first, followed by the dry ingredients. The yeast goes in last. Following this order keeps the yeast separated from the liquid ingredients until the kneading cycle begins. This is also the order that our Test Kitchen recommends.
However, this order may not be the order recommended by the manufacturer of your bread machine. Check your owner's manual and use the order recommended specifically for your machine.
Also in our bread machine recipes, any ingredients listed after the yeast, such as dried fruits or nuts, should be added at the raisin bread cycle, if your machine has one. If not, add them according to the manufacturer's directions, or 15 minutes into the kneading cycle.