How to Convert Recipes for Bread Machines

Here's how to change your standbys to make them work for any occasion.


Manufacturers sometimes include tips in their owner's manuals for converting traditional bread recipes to their particular bread machines. Before reading the information here, review your manual for any hints that apply to your machine.

If you have some prized bread recipes that you'd like to make in your bread machine, read on. And remember, the first time you try a new bread in your machine, watch and listen carefully. You may have to make adjustments, and it often takes more than one attempt before the bread turns out the way you like it.

  • Reduce the yeast to 1 teaspoon for a 1-1/2-pound machine or to 1-1/4 teaspoons for a 2-pound machine.
  • Reduce the amount of flour to 3 cups for a 1-1/2-pound machine or 4 cups for a 2-pound machine.
  • Reduce all other ingredients by the same proportion as you reduce the flour. If a range is given for the flour, use the lower amount to figure the reduction proportion. For example, for a 1-1/2-pound bread machine, a recipe calling for 1 package of yeast and 4 1/2 cups flour would be decreased to use 1 teaspoon yeast and 3 cups flour. Since this is a one-third decrease in the flour, also decrease the remaining ingredients by one-third.
  • If a bread uses 2 or more types of flour, add the flour amounts together and use that total as the basis for reducing the recipe. The total amount of flour used should be only 3 or 4 cups, depending on the size of your loaf.
  • Use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour or add 1 to 3 tablespoons gluten flour (available at health-food stores) to the all-purpose flour. If your recipe contains any rye flour, add 1 tablespoon gluten flour even when bread flour is used.
  • Add ingredients in the order specified by the bread machine manufacturer.
  • Add dried fruits or nuts at the raisin bread cycle, if your machine has one. If it doesn't, add them according to the manufacturer's directions.
  • Don't use light-colored dried fruits, such as apricots or golden raisins, because preservatives added to these dried fruits inhibit yeast performance. Choose another fruit or use only the dough cycle of your machine, lightly knead in the fruit by hand before shaping the bread, then bake it in the oven.
  • When making dough to shape by hand, you may want to knead in a little more flour after removing the dough from the machine. Knead in just enough additional flour to make the dough easy to handle.
  • For breads made with whole wheat or rye flour or other whole grains, use the whole grain cycle, if your machine has one.
  • For sweet or rich breads, first try the light-crust color setting or sweet bread cycle, if available.
  • For future reference, record how much additional liquid or flour you added.

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