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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Avoid using glass pans to bake your bread as the finished product is prone to stick to it.
- 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.