How Long Does It Take To Make Bread In A Bread Machine?

The total time to make bread in a bread machine can vary depending on the specific model and recipe. However, on average, it typically takes between 3 to 4 hours. This includes the time for kneading, rising, and baking the dough. Please check your machine’s manual and the recipe you use for more precise times.

Bread Machine

5 Factors That Affect Bread-Making Time in a Bread Machine

Recipe Complexity

Bread recipes vary in complexity, with some requiring pre-ferments, multiple kneading, rising cycles, or additional ingredients. More complex recipes often require more time to complete each step properly.

Bread Type

Different types of bread take different amounts of time to make. For instance, a basic white loaf might require less time than a whole wheat or multi-grain loaf, which often needs longer kneading and rising times due to its heavier texture.

Machine Settings

Bread machines often have different settings for different bread and crusts. The selected setting can impact the time; for example, a “quick” setting might hasten the process, but the result may differ from bread made in a “normal” setting.

Yeast Activity

The activity of the yeast can significantly impact bread-making time. Factors such as the freshness of the yeast, its temperature, and how it’s incorporated into the recipe can alter the time needed for the dough to rise.

Ambient Temperature and Humidity

These environmental conditions can influence the yeast’s activity and the rising time. The dough rises faster in warm, humid conditions and slower in cooler, drier environments.

Factors That Affect Bread-Making Time in a Bread Machine

Bread Machine Cycle Times: How a Bread Machine Works?

Preheat Cycle: This cycle lasts around 10-15 minutes, during which the ingredients are warmed to a suitable temperature for the yeast to activate properly. This is not included in all machines or settings.

Kneading Cycle: The machine mixes and kneads the ingredients to develop the gluten in the flour, generally taking about 10-20 minutes. This cycle might be repeated depending on the type of bread being made.

Rising Cycle: After kneading, the machine allows the dough to rest and rise, typically lasting around 1 to 2 hours. Some machines will perform multiple knead and rise cycles, particularly for certain bread types.

Punch-Down Cycle: Some machines include a punch-down cycle to remove gas bubbles formed during the rising phase. This cycle is typically brief, about 15-20 minutes, followed by another rise cycle.

Baking Cycle: The machine bakes the risen dough for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, although this can vary depending on the type of bread and personal preference for crust darkness.

Keep Warm Cycle: Post baking, some machines have a ‘keep warm’ feature that keeps the bread warm for about 30-60 minutes before it needs to be removed.

Bread Machine Cycle Times How a Bread Machine Works

Bread Machine Usage Tips

Follow the Recipe: Always use recipes specifically designed for bread machines, and follow them exactly for the best results.

Ingredient Order: Generally, it’s best to add liquids first, then dry ingredients, with yeast last, unless your bread machine’s instructions say otherwise.

Fresh Ingredients: Use fresh ingredients, especially yeast, for optimal results. Old yeast may not rise properly.

Room Temperature Ingredients: Ingredients, particularly eggs, and liquids, should be at room temperature unless otherwise specified in the recipe.

Check the Dough: Peek into the machine during the kneading cycle to ensure the dough looks right. It should be a smooth, round ball. If it’s too dry or too sticky, add water or flour a tablespoon at a time.

Removing Bread Immediately: To prevent the crust from becoming too soft, remove the bread from the machine soon after baking.

Regular Cleaning: Clean your bread machine regularly, including the bread pan and kneading paddle, to prevent build-up and potential off-flavors.

Bread Machine Usage Tips

Bread Making: Hand vs. Machine

Hand-Made Bread

Pros: Making bread by hand gives you full control over every step of the process, allowing you to adjust as needed. It also lets you feel the texture of the dough, which can help you learn to recognize when it’s ‘just right.’ There’s also a certain satisfaction and joy in crafting a loaf of bread entirely by hand.

Cons: It can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, particularly with kneading. It’s also messier, requiring more cleanup, and maintaining the correct dough temperature can be challenging.

Bread Machine

Pros: Bread machines are convenient and require less hands-on time. They are consistent, maintain the correct temperature for rising, and take care of the mixing and kneading for you. They’re perfect for people with busy schedules who still want to enjoy homemade bread.

Cons: You have less control over the process and might not get the desired texture or shape. Some people find that bread from a machine has a different taste or texture, often due to the shape and the paddle that can sometimes leave a hole in the bottom of the loaf.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many times does bread rise in a bread machine?

The bread dough typically goes through two rise cycles in most bread machines, though this can vary depending on the machine and the selected setting.

How long is the first rise in a bread machine?

The first rise in a bread machine can last from 20 minutes to 1 hour or more, depending on the specific machine, settings, and recipe.

What temperature does a bread machine bake bread?

The exact temperature can vary, but bread machines generally bake bread at temperatures around 300°F (150°C) to 350°F (175°C).

Can I use a large bread machine for a small recipe?

You can use a large bread machine to make a smaller recipe. Ensure you’re using the appropriate settings and keeping an eye on the dough consistency.

Can I knead dough in my bread machine for other purposes?

You can knead dough for other purposes like pizza or rolls using your bread machine. Stop the machine after the kneading cycle and before it bakes.

Is a bread maker worth the investment?

A bread maker can be a great investment if you frequently eat bread and prefer homemade, fresh bread over store-bought. It can save you time and effort, allowing you to control your bread’s ingredients, potentially resulting in healthier options.


I live in Los Angeles with my better half, Dave, and our child, Corey. Each second with them is the acknowledgment of my fantasies working out as expected — and for that? I am so extremely thankful. Hi! I am Diana Rodriguez, the founder, author, and photographer of ATD.

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