Your First Loaf of Machine Made Bread

  • 1-1/2 cups warm tap water
  • 2 tablespoons oil or margarine
  • 4 cups of bread flour, or all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Measure all of the ingredients as accurately as possible. Accurate measuring is very important in the bread machine, especially if you are using the delay cycle.

Begin by removing the bread bucket from the machine. Make sure the kneading paddle is in place. Measure 1-1/2 cups of warm water into the bucket. Add the oil, or margarine. Sprinkle the flour over the water to sort of “seal” it off. Add the salt and sugar. Use your finger to make a small indentation in the center of the flour. Carefully place the yeast into the indentation.

Snap the bread bucket into place inside the bread machine. Close the lid. Select the Basic Cycle. Press the Start Button. You can walk away and leave it now, or you can check it out as it processes, to see how it works.

The machine will begin kneading the dough right away. After about 10 minutes, you should see a nice cohesive ball of dough inside the bread pan. Open the lid and carefully touch the dough with clean hands. It should feel exactly the way good bread dough feels, with a slight clay-like texture, or like a baby’s bottom. If the dough seems dry you can add a little bit of water: a teaspoonful at a time. If the dough seems too moist you can add a little bit of flour: a teaspoonful at a time. This recipe is very well tested, and doesn’t really need water or flour to be added. You can add a teaspoon of each though, if you want the practice.

Watch the dough for as long as you like. When you are bored, make sure the lid is down, and let the machine do it’s business. The dough will mix, then rise, and finally bake. It’s a good idea not to open the lid while the bread is actually baking. The heat loss, may make the bread under cook a little. When the machine beeps, signaling it is done, turn the machine off by pressing the Start/Stop button.

Use potholders to remove the hot bread bucket from the machine. Be careful not to burn yourself. Turn the bread bucket upside down and the dough should fall out easily. If it doesn’t, then tap it gently to get the bread to release itself. If the kneading paddle is stuck inside the loaf you can remove it with a chopstick or the end of a wooden spoon. Do not use a metal tool to remove the kneading blade. Use a plastic or wooden tool, so you don’t mar the non-stick surface of the blade.

Allow the bread to cool down some before you slice it. Use a serrated (bumpy-edged) knife to slice the bread. This recipe makes a 2 pound loaf of bread.

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amy maples - July 14, 2009

Hello! My new bread machine says that in order to make sure a recipe isn’t going to overflow its ingredients inside my particular machine, make sure that they all add up to around 4 c. (It makes up to a 2 lb. loaf.) Your ingredients for this first-timer’s bread recipe equal more than 4. Should that be a problem for a 2 lb. loaf machine?


Tactical Intelligence .NET - September 10, 2009

The following conversion should help you:

1 cup of warm tap water
1-1/2 tablespoons oil or margarine
3 cups of bread flour, or all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon active dry yeast

Ann - April 10, 2010

This recipe says it makes a 2 lb. loaf. What if my breadmachine will only make a 1-1 1/2 lb. loaf?

christina - June 30, 2010

mine says 1 or 1.5 lb loaf too. I will half the recipe and tell you how it comes out!!!!

Jane - July 7, 2010


I live at 1750 m above sea-level, will that effect the bread recipes?


Dora - September 9, 2010

My very first loaf in a machine I picked up at a tag sale. It makes a one pound loaf and though it actually tastes great, the loaf barely rose half way up the bucket so it’s a tiny loaf. Any ideas?

PAULA - September 13, 2010


Josephine - October 10, 2010

My kenwood bread machine is MB200 series and is unable to bake any bread that call for 1 1/2tsp yeast and most of the recipes that I found are using more than 1tsp of yeast. What shoud I do about that as my machine is quite new and such a waste to discard it.

By the way, any member know of a new machine in the market that has a bigger capacity? I understand Sanyo has discontinued with the machine and Kenwood has not come out with a new one.

    nana - October 11, 2010

    Mine is an Oster Expressbake and I love it. The loaf is also horizontal in shape which I prefer to the vertical. It makes 1.5 and 2 lb. loaf.

      Megan - June 4, 2012

      I also have the Oster and it works great! I went through two westbends that were brand new, the first one burnt my bread every time, and the free one they sent me stopped mixing after a couple loafs. I highly recommend the Oster, I believe it’s relatively inexpensive from Walmart!

Michelle - December 8, 2010

WHOOOOO HOOOOO!!!! It worked and the bread is delicious!!! Thank you so much for making the instructions clear, precise and fool proof!

Janis - December 27, 2010

Hi, I have just joined the site and I am impressed by what I have seen so far.

I just received a wonderful gift of a Westpoint wpbm1138 bread maker and I am dying to try making a loaf, unfortunately here are no instructions or recipe manuals. Does anyone have a copy they could e mail to me? I would be so grateful for any help and tips.

Thank you

Kathleen Catlin - January 24, 2011

You can upload the manual for your breadmaker here:

Judith Radcliff - January 26, 2011

I need bread machine recipes for a machine that makes a 1# loaf. Anyone have any?

Kathy - January 27, 2011

They had to drag me kicking and screaming into the bread machine club. Now I love it. A Freecycler gave me a bunch of bread machine cookbooks, one has a bunch of quick bread recipes; leave out the paddle, spray the bucket well with cooking spray and use your machine to make nearly any quick bread, saves heating up the whole house. Josephine, I don’t know if I understand your question but I use the same amount of yeast (1 teaspoon) regardless of the size of my loaf: if I am baking it in the bread machine. If I am just using it to make dough I follow my regualr recipe. I mostly use my machine to make dough these days, perfect pizza and cinnamon rolls!

T. Nield - June 15, 2012

Please confirm -: When you say 1-1/2, do you mean One and a half, or just half. I read it it as half but would like confirmation.

Robyn - July 26, 2012

This is my go-to bread machine recipe! It makes a wonderful basic white bread which is delicious and wholesome. Thank you for sharing!

Jim douglas - March 11, 2015

Why do you recommend margarine or oil? Wouldn’t butter make for a tastier loaf?

Mary - April 7, 2015

I just bought a 2 pound Oster bread machine at the Salvation Army for 2.50. It looks brand new. I just tried a whole wheat honey bread that was delish. I will try this next. I intend to measure out and put all the dry ingredients in zip lock bag to make my own mixes I can just dump in my machine to save time.

Phoenix - June 16, 2015

Just found your site – bought a Williams Somona bread machine at a thrift store for $3.00. Your tips for what to do without a manual is amazing and I’ll absolutely try this recipe. I also have an Oster and it bakes great loaves, but just couldn’t pass up the W-S for $3.00. Now, I can bake double loaves in half the time – and that makes Mama very happy! :)

Dave - February 14, 2016

My mother just gave me her Oster Express Bake without the manual. I made cinnamon rolls yesterday with it, and am very happy with how that turned out. I used this sites instructions on how to use a bread machine without a manual, and found this link in the comments for my first loaf.

In the comments here I have seen some concerns on quantities for a 2lbs machine being right as they add up to more than 4 cups. I am going to try this recipe as is and see if it is too large. Whats the worst that can happen? A mess to clean up? I will post the results, I have faith that I won’t have to clean anything up, and this will be a perfect loaf (fingers crossed)

Dave - February 14, 2016

Well, I made my loaf in my Oster Express Bake 2lbs bread machine, and I followed the directions to the letter. As promised, I am following up my previous post to let you all know that even thought the ingredients for this recipe are over 4 cups, the finished product stays within your 2lbs bread machine and does not exceed the height of the bread pan. And, it is delicious! This one is a keeper for a good white loaf. Now, time to try out more of the bread recipes this site has to offer! Thank you Hillbilly Housewife… From Mountain Man Breadhead!

Beth - March 19, 2016

I have a Toasmaster bread maker and want to try it for the first time, I didn’t get a manual with mine either. I have never made bread in one so this website is AWESOME! LOVE IT. thank you so much :)

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