No Bread Machine? No Problem! How to make bread maker recipes by hand

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Every time I post a new homemade bread recipe, I get a ton of questions about whether a bread maker is really that great to have.

My immediate answer?


Although homemade bread isn't super-complicated to make, I just love how I can dump everything into the bread machine, hit start and then walk away, only to return a few hours later to find a fragrant loaf all baked up, nice and fresh.

And when you make all your bread products, like I do, it's certainly a lot easier to keep this appliance churning out the rolls, pizza dough, buns, pitas, and loaves in the background of each day while busy with the other 547 things on the to-do list.

So that's why I pretty much try to talk just about everyone I meet into getting a bread machine.  I've had so many over the years and have found that all of them pretty much work just fine, but I have to say that my current machine is definitely a slice (har-dee-har-harr) above the rest.  

But what if you're not ready to become a full-time bread baker just yet?

What if you're only interested in making an occasional loaf, once or twice a year, for a special occasion?

Or, what if you've never made bread before and you just don't know if you'd really be able to make the switch away from the store-baked stuff that you and your family are used to?

Well, then maybe you don't need a bread machine just yet. 

Or maybe you've added one to your wish list, but have no idea when you'll get it.

It's for all of you that I wrote this post.

You no longer have to pin a bread machine recipe for "someday," because I'm going to tell you how to convert a bread maker recipe into a way of making it by hand.

It takes a bit longer, but it's not hard:

What You Do

1. First, start with an amazing-sounding bread recipe.  Need some ideas?  Try one of these:

2.  Next, heat the liquid (whether water, milk, or whey) until it's warm to the touch, but not boiling.

3.  Combine this liquid with the yeast in a large bowl.  Stir until the yeast is all dissolved, then let it sit for about ten minutes (it should get bubbly).

4.  Now add in any other non-flour ingredients.

5.  Add the flour in - slowly - and knead it all until it's soft and not sticky.

6.  Plop the dough into a greased bowl (use whatever type of butter or oil you want) and flip the dough several times so that it's completely coated.  Then, cover it all with a towel, set it in a warm place, and let it rise for an hour.

7.  Punch the dough down (yes, this means literally punching your fist into the ball of dough) and then either form it into the shape you want or stick it in a loaf pan or two (you'll want the dough to fill about half the pan).  Let it sit again so that it rises until it's double the size.

8.  Now bake your bread for 30-45 minutes at 375 degrees, and you'll have yourself some yummy fresh bread!

Do you have a bread machine, or have you been one of the many readers asking how to make bread maker recipes by hand?  I'd love to hear!  Either leave a comment below or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

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  1. I haven't made homemade bread other than sweet bread or pretzels in a while. Maybe on spring break we will find the time. Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party. Shared

  2. I haven't made homemade bread other than sweet bread or pretzels in a while. Maybe on spring break we will find the time. Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party. Shared

  3. Nice bread recepie.
    Really nice blog create and share.Thanks nika-talana