I have always been a fan of my bread machine, but I have never been able to get consistent results. Some loaves of bread are beautiful, crispy on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside and others are like bread bricks. For some reason, some don't rise well and end up dense and heavy and not very good.
I have always followed the instructions on my bread machine manual (keep the wet ingredients away from the yeast), and I fear it has led me down the wrong path. Although it flies in the face of what everyone says you are "supposed to do" I stumbled upon this 'no fail' methodology and now, dozens of loaves later, I am confident this is the ONLY way to use my bread machine.
I am including the standard 5 Ingredient White Bread recipe, but I have altered this method to make other recipes (such as this Hawaiian Sweet Bread) and they have ALL come out great.
Look at these nooks and crannies.. Perfectly risen, light and fluffy. Just like bread from the bakery!
5 Ingredient White Bread
To the bottom of your bread machine add:
1 cup warm water (or whatever your liquid you are using. "Warm" means approximately 110 degrees or 'luke warm')
2 Tbsp Sugar (or whatever sugar source your recipe uses.. honey, brown sugar etc)
1 (0.25 oz) pack Rapid Rise/Bread Machine yeast (2 1/4 tsp from the jar)
Allow the yeast to dissolve and foam for about 10 minutes and then add:
1/4 cup Oil
3 cups Bread Flour (or All Purpose)
1 tsp. Salt
Start your machine (I use either the Basic or White setting but if you are making a sweet bread you can also you alternative settings) and walk away.
There is nothing like warm bread straight out of the machine.. Enjoy!