How to Use Regular Flour in Your Bread Machine

You can make soft and yummy bread in your bread machine without using expensive bread flour. Here’s how to get great structure and volume in your loaf using plain ole simple flour.

When I first got a bread machine, years ago, the instructions recommended bread flour for better structure and volume. Of course, as things usually go, I found that bread flour was significantly more expensive to buy, especially for the amount of bread I make. A 5 lb. bag of all purpose flour today is $1.79. The more expensive bread flour is $2.79. I decided to pinch pennies, and experiment with the cheaper flour until I found a recipe my family raves about. So, over the years, and 3 bread machines later, I thought I would write the tips I continue to use that makes delicious homemade breads with plain old flour.

Soft and yummy white bread recipe for breadmaker:

Please note this is for a 2 lb. loaf, so make sure your breadmaker can handle that size recipe.

Add ingredients in the order listed. Doing so will help the yeast work properly:

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (about 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit – if you get it too hot or too cold, the yeast will not work properly. A thermometer is best, but if you don’t have one, make the water only slightly on the hot side of lukewarm, and be sure it is NOT so HOT it is scalding.)
  • 1 pkg. yeast, (or if you use bulk yeast, like I do, I use 2 1/2 tsp. (just 1/4 tsp. more than one pkg.)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. honey (if I’m out of honey, I skip it, though I prefer to add it if I have it)
  • 2 Tbsp. shortening

Let this yeast mixture stand until it has foamed (about 3-5 minutes.)

Image from author

Then add:

  • 4 C. flour (you may need to add more later, but for now put in 4 cups.) *added note: I put in 4 1/2 cups. Once you’ve made this recipe a couple times, you can determine better how much works best with your bread machine.  
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt (make sure and add on top of flour – do not let it touch the yeast until you start the bread machine mixing.)

Now, go ahead and set your bread machine for a 2 lb. white loaf. I put my setting on “light crust.” Your bread machine may bake slightly different than mine, so you may have to experiment with crust settings, since the darker you set the crust, the longer your bread bakes. For me, “light crust” works perfect.

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  1. It sounds yummy. I wish I had a bread machine.

    Christine

  2. Good one. I lost the stirring paddle to my bread machine when I moved, and haven’t been able to find where to order a replacement part. This reminds me that it might be nice to buy a new one. They aren’t that expensive.

  3. Thanks for the comments!
    Daisy,
    Sorry to hear you lost your machine’s paddle. Considering the cost of good bread now-a-days, buying a new one may end up saving money! :) We sure love ours.

  4. I will try this!

  5. Bread is my very favorite food, I make it often but I don’t have a bread machine.

  6. I will also try it

  7. http://www.breadguru.com

    can help you find replacement parts for old bread machines

  8. Glenn, thanks for posting the extra info…that sounds really helpful.

  9. Fail. It is not diagonally cut.
    http://www.yard9.com/2009/08/27/applying-peanut-butter-to-toasted-bread-prolongs-crunchiness/

  10. What an informative and insightful comment, \”chang\”.

    Not.

  11. Thank you so much! Ever since I tried your recipe, I have had perfect white, rye, whole wheat, as well as great buns.

  12. I just tried it and it turned out terrible!!!. My husband says it would make a good door stop

  13. Dear TG,

    Yikes! Sorry to hear it didn’t work for you.

    Any thoughts on what might have went wrong? Was the bread tough? Or did it sink in? If so, probably the ratio of water and flour needs to be adjusted. Though I don’t know for sure, it sounds like too much flour. Aim for a smooth ball of dough (not goey, yet not dry looking – err on the side of less flour if you are not sure). If that is not the problem, perhaps your yeast didn’t work, or the water was too hot and killed it? If the yeast didn’t work, your bread would not have raised high, but be a heavy “lump” rather than tall and light. The easiest way to solve this is to try putting a cooking thermometer in your water (before you add it) to get the right temperature. (around 100 -110 degrees Fahrenheit)

    Hope this helps! Tell your husband sorry :(

    My best to you and your husband,
    Momma Tells

  14. I JUST BOUGHT A BREADMAKER. APPARENTLY VERY SUCCESSFUL AT RISING. IT’S ON THE GLASS. MAYBE, I NEED TO ADJUST IT AND MAKE A 1.5 LB LOAF? THIS MAYBE IMPOSSIBLE TO GET OUT AND EAT. HAS ANYONE ELSE HAD THIS RECIPE RAISE TOO MUCH? I USED IT BECAUSE I DIDN’T WANT TO USE SPECIAL YEAST, SPECIAL FLOUR AND DO IT AS MUCH AS I USED TO DO MYSELF. INPUT? THANKS TRUDY SHERMAN

  15. OMG! This made the best white bread that I have ever made in a bread machine. Light, dense and just perfect! I was getting tired of paying so much for the expensive bread machine flour and the results didn’t seem worth it! I will use your recipe and tweak it for pizza dough and all of my other recipes. I have the Zujiroshi bread machine which claims that their recipes should only be used, but your recipe turned out better than the ones with this machine. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

  16. is it possible to use wheat flour instead of white for this recipe? thanks..;-)

  17. Dear Momma Tells,

    Thanks for your recipe, it’s been a budget saver for me over the last few months. My family LOVES it!! Do you have a good recipe for Cinnamon Raisin bread? Or, how much of each would you add to this recipe?

    Kerber

    Dear Tracy, I’ve used this recipe and done full wheat flour and half/half and it’s turned out GREAT. My family loves it.

    Dear Trudy, I had to adjust this recipe to accomodate my machine’s 1.5 lb loaf limit….it worked wonderfully.

  18. Sorry, I do not have a cinnamon and raisin bread recipe. I do use whole wheat flour often in this recipe, but I usually only substitute 1/2 – 3/4 of the white flour with whole wheat flour. I have tried entirely whole wheat and when I do that I sometimes add a couple tablespoons of gluten to help it rise, though not always…however this all wheat bread is drier and somewhat dense. It tastes pretty good toasted (though a bit messy to get in the toaster!), but if you want lighter and fluffier, I would recommend only partial whole wheat.

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