Is It a Good Idea to Use Bread Machine to Knead Dough

Kneading is my least favorite part of making bread – and I’m sure most people would agree with me. Kneading is not only time-consuming, but it can wreak havoc on your wrists and hands, causing a noticeable ache and pain that doesn’t diminish anytime soon.

What’s the better option? Let your bread machine do the hard work for you. Yes, it will miss that “personal touch,” but it works like a charm and makes delicious, aesthetically-pleasing loaves. 

If you don’t want to skip customization, you can always shape it by hand before baking.

Hi! I’m Michelle, and to be perfectly honest, I am a firm believer that we shouldn’t do more work than we absolutely have to – especially when it comes to baking bread. I love my bread machine and use it almost every time I need to knead the dough (or make the entire loaf hassle-free).

Let’s discuss whether or not it’s a good idea to use a bread machine for kneading dough, and how to do it correctly.

Is It a Good Idea to Use Bread Machine to Knead Dough?

The simple answer is yes, it’s a good idea to use a bread machine to knead the dough. It makes the process far less complicated and painful. However, it also takes the personalization out of your bread, which many people don’t want to skip.

Pros: 

Less Work on Your Behalf

Kneading is a tedious and painstaking process that most bakers do not enjoy. If you’re tired of waking up with a sore hand from endless kneading, consider letting your bread machine do the hard work for you.

Takes the Guesswork Out of Things

Bread can be pretty picky, especially in the early stages of kneading and proofing. Did you know that over-kneading and under-kneading can lead to dense bread? It can. And that’s the last thing you want when baking homemade bread loaves.

Con: 

No Personalization

Some people prefer to be fully in charge of their bread dough. They want to ensure their bread is precisely how they want it – with no hiccups along the way. They may also have certain special tricks and hacks to customize their dough to perfection.

If you have a unique way of kneading your bread dough, you might consider skipping the bread machine. The bread machine performs a very “basic” kneading that lacks personalization, although the results will still be excellent.

On the other hand, you can always opt to let the bread machine knead the dough and shape it by hand. This will allow you to give your dough a personalized touch – if desired.

How to Use a Bread Machine to Knead Dough

At this point, you’re likely ready to jump on board with using your bread machine for kneading dough. But how do you do it? It’s simple, whether you want to be in charge of the shaping and baking or not. Just follow these steps for kneading success.

Step 1: Add Ingredients to the Bread Machine

The first step is adding your ingredients to your bread machine, beginning with the wet ingredients and then the dry ones. It’s best to follow the recipe for the largest loaf your device accepts, such as two or three pounds.

Once your ingredients are inside the bread machine, select the “dough only” function. If you do not have this function on your appliance, you will need to keep an eye on your dough and remove it after the first rise has occurred.

Regardless, select your function and wait for the bread machine to knead your dough. It will rise for the first time inside the device but will not bake it – as long as you’re using the “dough only” function.

Note: If you do not want to shape by hand before baking, you will need to select the type of bread you’re making and let the bread machine work its magic, not removing the dough for shaping, adding mix-ins, etc. 

Step 2: Shape the Dough

If you want to shape the dough by hand when it’s done kneading and rising, you will want to follow these simple steps:

  • Remove the bread dough from your bread machine.
  • Begin shaping, but be careful not to knead it – this will cause air bubbles to collapse, leaving you with a flatter and denser loaf.
  • Decide whether you want a big loaf or several small loaves.
  • Add mix-ins, such as fruits and nuts, if desired.
  • Shape your loaf until you’re satisfied with the way it looks.

Once you’re happy with your loaf (or loaves) or bread, it will need to undergo a second rise. Place it inside of a bread loaf pan or try. Cover with a clean cloth or plastic wrap and place in a warm and dry area. Allow it to double in size before baking (typically an hour).

Step 3: Bake the Bread

The next part is simple: bake your loaf of bread! It’s ideal to follow your particular recipe, as every type of bread will require a different temperature and length of time for baking. For example, this tasty oat bread bakes at 350F for 30-40 minutes.

FAQs

Now you know whether or not it’s a good idea to use a bread machine for kneading dough! Want to keep learning? Dive into these interesting, frequently asked questions to learn more!

Is it better to knead bread by hand or by machine?

It depends on who you’re asking, really. Personally, I think there is nothing wrong with using a bread machine to knead bread, but others might desire the gratifying process of kneading by hand. Both are excellent options!

How long does a bread machine knead dough?

How long it takes your bread machine to knead dough will vary based on the product you own. However, most bread machines will take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes.

What are the advantages and or disadvantages of using your hands to knead the dough versus an electric mixer?

The most significant advantage of kneading bread dough by hand is that you can develop a more excellent gluten structure, which results in an improved texture. However, I would say that the difference isn’t incredibly vast, so don’t be overly concerned about that fact.

The prominent disadvantage is that kneading can cause undesirable aches and pains. You can also under or over-knead the dough, ruining your bread.

Final Words

A bread machine is a great option if you’re sick and tired of kneading your bread. In fact, the machine can do the entire process. Or, you can remove the kneaded dough and shape it by hand before baking. 

Do you use a bread machine to knead your dough, or do you do it by hand?

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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