Add a digital thermometer to your bread baking tools

If your bread machine recipes have been disappointing, I have good news: you can make one change to your method that will give you beautiful loaves of bread time after time.


That change? Use a digital thermometer to heat your recipe liquid to a range between 105 and 110 (F). This is the temperature range in which yeast thrives. If the liquid is too hot, the yeast will die. Too cold and it won’t “wake up.”


Just this one step will make your bread rise so much better. However, you can also add some other tweaks to your method/recipe to get better results:

  1. Use the right sized bread pan – 8.5×4.5 is ideal. 9×5 will work. Larger pans will cause the bread to spread out rather than raise.
  2. Coat your pan well with a non-stick product such as aerosol non-stick spray, butter, olive oil, etc. You could also use a commercial paper insert.
  3. I don’t rely on parchment paper to line my entire pan. It doesn’t fit down into the corners of the pan, so it distorts the shape on the bottom of the bread. You can use parchment paper just on the bottom of the bread pan if sticking is an issue.
  4. Avoid using glass pans to bake your bread as the finished product is prone to stick to it.
  5. Aluminized loaf pans are heavy and bake your dough evenly. Those with a corrugated design aid the release of the baked bread and will hold up to longtime use.


Happy baking!!

3 replies
  1. Ellen says:

    Fred, you can pause the machine after the last time the paddle is in use (right before the final rise) to remove the paddle. I do it every the time I use my bread machine, after reading a tip.

  2. Fred H Olson says:

    It took me a while to come across the link to
    the bread making method you use at:
    (Your site’s color scheme make links NOT stand out)

    I may pay closer attention to the temperature but my success rate is
    pretty high already. But my system for bread making is much simpler.

    I let the bread machine do everything after putting in the
    ingredients in (We tolerate the different shape and the hole left
    by the blade).

    The other thing I do to simplify is a simple recipe (that is 50% whole
    wheat) and use a scale with a zero function ( like a weight watcher
    scale) to weigh some ingredients (water, oil, sweetener and flour).
    I only have to wash the blade mixing most of the time.

    I can start a loaf of bred in about 5 minutes and let the machine do
    the rest. Here’s my recipe:

    Fred’s 50% whole wheat machine bread recipe

    Weighed ingredients reduce dish washing
    (g=grams in first column. Alternate measure in second column)

    266 g (1 Cup) Water
    27 g (3 Tbs) Oil
    50 g (1/4 C) Sugar
    200 g (1 1/2 C) Whole Wheat flour
    200 g (1 1/2 C) White flour
    1 tsp salt
    2 Tbs powdered milk
    1 tsp powdered gluten
    1 tsp yeast


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