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Bread machine question

This is not about making bread by hand -- I do that.

I found an old bread machine -- without the manual of course. I cleaned it up, and it seems to work. I made a loaf of rye bread on the whole wheat cycle. It mixed the dough twice, and it was rising normally, and then it did a very quick mix - just a second or two, deflated the bread, and then baked it. The truth is, it was pretty good, and a rye bread should be dense. But did it do it on purpose, or is the machine broken? What if I want it to rise completely and be light, and then bake? Just use another cycle?


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  1. Doesn't anyone know? :-(

    1. No idea about the machine, but have you tried looking for an online manual on the manufacturer's website? I've had luck doing that with all sorts of different things.

      I'd just be inclined to sacrifice some dough and run through all the settings, just to see what the differences are. Maybe try a couple bags of the bread-machine mixes you can get, so you can compare the results with a consistent dough?

      1. You can perhaps try looking up the manual for it online. Often times there are PDFs out there for older appliances.

        I've tried out about 3 different bread machines over the years, and ended up returning all of them for the same issue you've mentioned. All the bread I made with them came out too dense and heavy. I tried a number of recipes provided by the manufacturer, all purpose flower and bread flower, honey vs sugar, etc.. no such luck

        1 Reply
        1. re: Atomic76

          I might suggest adding a little more yeast...I do and have no problem with breads to which I add wheat bran and germ and other ingredients.

        2. Sounds like the timer is malfunctioning. …except that I don't think there's a "timer" as such. More likely the mother board will need to be replaced and that means most of the cost of a new machine.

          Have you tried using it for mixing on the "Dough" cycle and shaping and baking by hand? Could save you time on the mixing and first proof. You'll even get you a much better loaf than you'd get if the machine were in top working order.

          Bread machines can be very useful but I never let it go through a complete cycle and do the baking.

          1. I can't think of any bread recipe, least of all a whole wheat one, that would proceed directly from deflating the loaf to baking it. My call is that the machine is malfunctioning, at least in that instance or setting.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bada Bing

              I usually remove the dough after the first rising, remove the dough paddles, reshape the dough by hand and put the dough back in the machine and press it down to completely fill the bottome of the pan.

            2. I've owned about 5 bread machines over the past 20 years, from cheap to a Zoojirushi. None of them deflated the dough after a rise, just before baking. This must be a malfunction.
              What I would do is, after the final scheduled dough punchdown, remove the mixing paddle. Then, even if the empty post spins just before baking, it won't deflate the dough.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Antilope


                But I still don't recommend letting a bread machine bake dough. The results of hand forming and baking are so superior.

                1. re: rainey

                  I usually bake mine in a regular oven, except in the summer, when it's 100F outside, then it is baked in the bread machine. I've made cinnamon swirl bread in the bread machine. Just remove the paddles, form the swirl loaf, return it to the bread machine for rise and bake. The house stays cool.

                  1. re: Antilope

                    I seem to remember a very brief punch down before baking begins on both my Zojirushi machines. I does not deflate the bread.

                    However, I usually remove the paddles before the first rise begins.

                    I just sent an email to Zojirushi asking about the punch down before baking.

                    1. re: Antilope

                      the little "paddle action" just before the baking cycle does not really deflate the dough.

                    2. My Sunbeam (I think, stored in sleeping kid's closet) has this random "punch down" as I call it right before it gets to serious baking. This is on the normal/regular cycle. I have been happy with the output, just need to watch how much extra wheat gluten I add for my faux bread flour mix

                      1 Reply
                      1. I just made bread today on the whole wheat cycle. It did do a quick random punchdown, but it wasn't literally right before baking. I wasn't really checking the time but I think the last mix was with about 90 minutes left on the full cycle.

                        1. I now proof my bread in the machine and then take it out and knock it back and put in a bread tin to re prove then into the oven. I find the bread a lot lighter and not so stodgy. If I let it go right through the cycle in the Breadmaker I can never get the paddle out clean. It either stays in or comes out with a great chunk of bread wrapped around. I rub tin glide around the tin and paddle but still doesn't come out clean.

                          1. I have one of the first bread machines introduced in the US in the late 1980's. It is very basic, does not have a whole wheat cycle and only makes a small 1 lb loaf of bread. I still use it several times a week, more than 1/2 the time just for mixing and proofing dough, but I do also let some breads just bake in the machine.

                            My machine, with is a Panasonic, does do a little quick spin of the paddle shortly before baking. It is not a "knock-down", but spins the paddle to release the dough sticking to the paddle. This is supposed to make it easier to remove the bread from the pan at the end of the baking time.

                            I find that the bread collapsing is most often from too much liquid in the dough or from overloading the machine. Are you using a recipe specifically designed for a bread machine? Make sure you are not over filling it, my machine only holds about 2 cups of flour/flour equivalents and generally uses about 7/8 cup of liquid.

                            I also make bread from scratch using a stand mixer, so I never bother to convert recipes I can do from scratch into bread machine recipes.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Springhaze2

                              I buy bread from a Bake and Brew Shop and are experienced breadmakers and they have developed the recipes specifically for bread machines but can also be used for hand making. I contacted the manufacture but were not much help other than purchase another tin. But now it's summer on this side of the globe I am back to making bread by hand and it's grand. Merry Xmas to you all and hope you all enjoyed Thanksgiving(;-)

                            2. I have a Zojirushi Home Bakery VIrtuoso bread machine (Model: BB-PAC20). You are right, the machine makes a quick vibration before it starts to bake and it drives me crazy too because it brings down the dough a bit. However, the bread turns out just fine. I do wish, however, that the machine didn't vibrate before baking though. If you find a solution, please post. Thanks