Traditional vs. Bread Machine

Conventional Oven



Strong yeast odor Avoid over-fermentation. Be sure dough is doubled in size (use finger-top test).
Sour taste Avoid adding too much salt Make sure yeast used is fresh.
Odd or uneven shape Let dough rest for 10 minutes for easier handling/shaping. Be sure bread pan is correct size for recipe.
Crust cracked on top Reduce flour used in kneading and shaping.
Bread collapsed Don’t let dough continue to rise beyond time called for in recipe. Avoid too high temperature for dough-rising period.
Flat top Knead as directed in recipe. Avoid too short kneading period Do not allow dough to rise too long before baking.
Wrinkled crust Pull dough firmly when shaping.
Soggy crust Do not keep bread in pan after baked. Remove promptly; let cool on wire rack.
Crust separates from bread Grease surface and cover dough when rising.
Thick crust Do not over bake. Bake in correct oven temperature. Keep dough ‘tacky’, not dry
Tough crust Use all-purpose flour or bread flour.
Bread did not brown on sides Shiny pans reflect heat, causing insufficient browning. Use glass pans.

Bread Machine



Short loaf Dough too dry. Adjust dough consistency. Check expiration date on yeast. Use room temperature water (70°–80°F).
No rise Use fresh yeast only. Add ingredients in recommended order.
Underbaked, gummy core Dough too wet. Adjust dough consistency.
Collapsed loaf Adjust dough consistency. Use room-temperature water.
Open texture Dough too wet. Adjust dough consistency.
Mushroom bread Water too warm. Gauge temperature correctly. Dough too wet, adjust dough consistency.
Heavy, dense texture Dough too dry. Adjust dough consistency.

Converting Recipes From Traditional to Bread Machine Use

With a little experimentation and some basic math skills, you will soon find that many of your favorite breads can be made successfully in your bread machine.


This offers the simplest and most foolproof way for converting a traditional recipe since bread is still shaped and baked according to the original recipe. The bread machine will mix, knead and proof your dough – you don’t even have to be in the same room! You will have the flexibility of shaping, filling and topping your bread in a variety of ways – the perfect option for dinner rolls, coffee cakes, pizzas and more rustic-style breads.


This is the most convenient method and is great for basic loaf recipes without fillings or toppings. Converting recipes from traditional to bread machine can be a bit tricky. Since handkneading or hand shaping is not necessary, it’s more difficult to know if your dough is the right consistency. You must plan ahead to determine the correct dough amount, accurate ingredient proportions and the best cycles/features. Following are the steps and tips to help convert your recipes!

Select tried & true recipes

Begin with recipes that you have been successful with or that have come from reliable sources.

Keep good notes

Be sure to jot down the changes you make and refer to them the next time you make the same recipe. Well-kept notes will help you make additional adjustments later.

Determine bread machine capacity

Too large of a recipe can strain your machine during mixing and kneading. If it bakes in the machine, a loaf that is too large will hit the top. Check your bread machine manual to determine the amount of flour recommended for breads baked in your machine. The following are approximate guidelines.

Bread Machine Size

Total amount of flour and dry cereals

1-pound 2 to 2 1/2 cups
1 1/2-pound 3 to 3 1/2 cups
2-pound 4 to 4 1/2 cups

Note: The approximate loaf size for a bread machine is also determined by the capacity of the pan in your bread machine. If your pan holds 10 cups or less of water, use the flour amounts for a 1-pound machine. If your pan holds 13 cups or more of water, use amounts recommended for a 2-pound machine.

Determine if recipe amounts need adjustment

1. This can be done most easily by checking the amount of flour and other cereals required in your original recipe. If there is a range of flour amount (e.g., 2 to 2 1/4 cups) use the lower amount.

2. If the amount of flour and dry cereals is less than or equal to what’s recommended for your bread machine, you may not need to adjust any ingredient amounts. However, if the flour range is greater than what is recommended, you will need to decrease or scale down your amount.

Adjust Ingredient Amounts

DECREASE INGREDIENTS PROPORTIONALLY so the balance of ingredients stays the same as that of the original recipe.

DECREASE BY A NUMBER THAT IS EASY TO CALCULATE. Miscalculations with measurements can happen very easily! For example, if your recipe calls for 5 cups of flour and your machine capacity is 3 cups, it’s better to decrease all ingredients by 1/2, rather than computing 3/5 of each amount. This will also allow you room to add additional flour or water should you find your dough is too wet or dry.

Examples: 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons, 1 cup = 16 tablespoons,

1 egg = 4 tablespoons, 1 egg white = 2 tablespoons, 1 egg yolk = aprox. 2 tablespoons.

DECREASE BY “EYEBALLING” For measurements that are difficult to break down by calculation, use the full amount and then divide it by estimating one-half the measurement.

Special Ingredients

FLOUR: Start low – then adjust. Regard the initial amount as your starting point – it is more likely that the flour amount will need to be adjusted after the dough is formed. Use bread flour in place of all-purpose flour to achieve a more consistent texture and loaf size.

YEAST: Decrease for bread machines. Since bread machine loaves tend to rise higher than traditional loaves, they require less yeast: see guidelines below. When adding yeast, be sure it does not come in contact with any liquid ingredients, salt or fat before the mixing begins: these ingredients may inhibit the activity of the yeast.

1-pound loaf 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 1/2-pound loaf 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons yeast
2-pound loaf 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

MOIST INGREDIENTS (such as olives, fruits, vegetables) – Use less than you would in traditional recipes. They tend to break down during mixing and kneading, releasing additional moisture that might upset the balance of your ingredients. For dried or cut up fresh fruit and vegetables, add at the fruit/nut cycle to minimize breakage.

Adjust dough consistency

This is one of the most important things to remember when working with a new recipe! Check the dough after the first 5 minutes of mixing. The dough should form a smooth ball around the mixing blade and feel slightly tacky. If it appears soft or sticky, add additional bread flour, one teaspoon at a time. If it appears too stiff or dry, add additional liquid one teaspoon at a time.

Try again, (if necessary)

Don’t be discouraged if your bread doesn’t come out perfectly the first time. To improve the next loaf, try the following tips.

1. Compare your recipe to other favorite recipes you’ve prepared successfully in a bread machine.

2. Review recommendations in the troubleshooting chart in your bread machine manual.

3. Make only one change at a time.