how to adapt a bread machine recipe for your mixer

  1. Put the liquids in the recipe in the mixing bowl first. If you're using active dry yeast, add that next and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to get the yeast to wake up. If you're using instant yeast, you can just put it in the bowl and keep going.
  2. Next, add eggs, sugar, and fat, if there are any in the recipe. Using the paddle attachment of the mixer, add half the flour called for in the recipe and the salt, as well as any other herbs or flavorings.
  3. Mix on low speed until you have a thick batter. Add the remaining flour called for in the recipe, 1/2 cup at a time.
  4. Once the mixer begins to labor with the paddle, switch to the dough hook. Let the mixer run for at least 6 minutes at low to medium speed. The dough will begin to smooth out and get supple. It should be smooth, but not sticky. Always keep 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the flour in a recipe back to see if you need it; if you touch the dough lightly after kneading and it still sticks to your finger, add some more of the flour and let it mix for another minute.
  5. Any bread dough needs 45 minutes to 1 hour rise before being deflated and shaped. After mixing the dough, take it out of the mixing bowl, scrape out any crusty bits still clinging to it, spray the bowl with some pan spray or swipe it down with some soft butter, and put the dough back into it. Cover the top with some plastic wrap (and a dish towel if the kitchen's drafty), and go about your business for a while. Set a timer for 45 minutes to remind you to come back and visit the dough.
  6. A recipe that makes a 1 1/2 pound loaf is large enough that it needs to be baked in a 9"x5" loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F after the dough is deflated, shaped, and put in its pan. Let the unbaked loaf rise for 35 to 40 minutes, until it domes an inch above the rim of the pan. Place the bread in the oven and check it at 30 minutes. If you have an instant-read thermometer, the bread is done when it measures 190°F in the center. If the recipe has a lot of sugar in it, it may require tenting with foil for the last 10 minutes of baking to keep it from getting too brown. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a rack to cool for 5 minutes; after 5 minutes remove the loaf from the pan and return it to the rack to finish cooling completely before slicing.