Bread Maker FAQ’s

Creating Artisan Bread Crusts
Can I omit the salt, fat or sugar from a recipe?
My recipe calls for water and dry milk. Can I just use milk?
How do I make Gluten Free Bread in my bread maker?
Can I use prepackaged bread mixes?
Can I create my own recipe?
Can I store Bread Dough and bake it later?
My bread is not rising properly or it is collapsing.
The bread is stuck in the pan.
The knead blades are baked into the bread.
My bread maker is making a thumping noise.
My bread make is showing an error message.
How do I finish my bread after a power outage?
I cannot change the bread color or size.
My bread maker is not starting.
What is the capacity of my bread maker?
Bread Maker Time Cycle Charts

Creating Artisan Bread Crusts

To create artisan crusts on your bread, try the following suggestions:

  • Just before the bread baking cycle begins, open the cover of the bread maker and carefully brush the top surface of the dough with a lightly beaten egg white that has been mixed with 1 teaspoon of water. If desired, slash the top of the dough ¼ to ½ inch deep with a sharp knife into desired design. Leave plain or sprinkle with seeds, herbs, grated Parmesan or Romano cheeses, or other desired toppings. Press toppings gently into the dough to ensure it adheres and will not fall off. Close the cover and allow bread to bake.
  • For best results, use only the beaten egg white with water to treat the crust before the bake cycle begins. This mixture will ensure that toppings will stick and not fall off when bread is removed from the pan.
  • Do not use vegetable oil cooking sprays to treat crusts, as the cooking sprays can be flammable when exposed to the bread maker’s heating unit.
  • Crust can also be treated after bread is done baking. Remove bread from the bread pan and place on a rack. Lightly brush the top of the loaf with melted butter, margarine, olive oil, or vegetable oil and sprinkle desired topping on to the bread’s top.

Omitting Salt, Fat or Sugar

Salt – If salt is omitted, the bread will either not rise or rise very quickly and collapse. Salt works together with the yeast to control how much your bread rises. Light salt can be used but it must contain both potassium chloride and sodium. You may need to decrease yeast by ¼ or ½ teaspoon to prevent bread from rising too much.

Fat – Without fat, bread will likely be dense with a hard crust. Butters and oils are interchangeable. If using a liquid fat instead of a solid fat, be sure to reduce the liquid by the amount of fat being used (or the dough may be too moist causing the loaf to collapse or not rise properly). You may want to try using pureed fruit or applesauce instead of the fat, but it may change the texture of the bread.

Sugar – Sugars and other sweeteners create moistness in the bread feed the yeast to help the bread rise. Without sugars, the bread may be very dry, may not rise properly and will become stale quickly. Using too much sugar or sweetener can cause the bread to have crust that is thick, hard and dark in color. Using artificial sweeteners will not create moistness and are not recommended.

Using Milk vs. Dry Milk

Milk can be used instead of dry milk and water. To do this, replace the amount of water in the recipe with milk and omit the dry milk. This also works the other way around. If the recipe calls for milk, it is okay to substitute water for the milk and add dry milk. Also, water can be substituted for milk or the dry milk simply eliminated.

Gluten Free Breads

Gluten free breads can be made in any horizontal loaf West Bend Bread Maker. In most bread makers, the Basic Setting works best. Make sure to follow a recipe if making Gluten Free breads. We would not recommend trying to create your own Gluten Free recipe unless you have a lot of experience with Gluten Free bread recipes. Gluten free flours cannot simply be substituted for other flours in a recipe, as the gluten in most flours is the main ingredient that gives bread its structure. We do offer gluten free recipes: Gluten Free Bread, Brown & White Rice Flour Gluten Free Bread, and Lemon Poppy Seed Gluten Free Bread.

Prepackaged Mixes

Most prepackaged bread mixes work very well in West Bend bread makers. Most mixes will make a 1 ½ pound loaf.

Can I create my own recipe?

Experimenting is part of the fun of bread making. Just keep the following tips in mind. If you are using mostly bread flour, use the basic bread setting; if using 50% or more whole wheat flour, use the whole wheat setting. Always check the condition of the dough after 8 to 10 minutes of kneading, as some minor adjustment in liquid or flour may be needed. Use one of the recipes in your manual as a guide or use the formula below.

For each cup of flour used in the recipe, use:

  • Three ounces of liquid (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ½ tablespoon butter or margarine
  • ¾ teaspoon active dry yeast or ½ teaspoon bread machine or fast rising yeast
For example, for a bread recipe using 3 cups of flour, start with:
  • 9 ounces of liquid (1 cup +2 tablespoons)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast or 1 ½ teaspoons bread machine or fast rising yeast.
Below is a guideline for determining the size of the loaf or how much flour to use:
  • 1 pound loaf would use 2 3/4 cups flour.
  • 1 ½ pound loaf would use 3 cups flour.
  • 2 pound loaf would use 4 cups flour.

Storing Dough

To store bread dough in the refrigerator:

  1. Remove dough from pan when finished and place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly or place in a lightly oiled plastic bag and seal. Place in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Check it daily. It will rise very slowly and need punching down every day or so.
  2. When ready to use, remove dough from the refrigerator 1.5 to 2 hours before you plan to use it; this will bring it fully up to room temperature. When dough is room temperature shape as desired then place in warm location to rise until doubled in size. Bake according to the recipe directions.
To store dough in the freezer, remove the dough from the bread pan when finished, shape as desired, wrap it up well and freeze. Dough can be frozen for up to one month. When you are ready to use the dough, do one of the following:
  • Remove the dough from the freezer the night before and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bake according to the recipe directions.
  • To defrost the dough at room temperature, allow 3 to 4 hours for defrosting. Small rolls may take only 2 hours. If the dough is shaped into a loaf, it may take up to 6 hours depending on the warmth of the room. Once thawed, place the dough in a warm location to rise. The dough will take quite a bit longer to rise than usual. Bake according to the recipe directions.

Short or Collapsing Loaves

If finished loaves are short or have collapsed, it is directly related to the ingredients used and the consistency of the dough. The consistency of the dough can be checked during the first knead cycle or the first rise cycle. Dough is “just right” when it is smooth in appearance, soft to the touch, leaves a slight residue on your finger, and the bottom of the bread pan is clean of dough residue.

  • If the dough is very sticky, clinging to the sides of the pan, and is more like a batter than a dough, add one tablespoon of flour. Allow the flour to be mixed completely into the dough before making any more adjustments.
  • If the dough is dry and the bread maker appears to be laboring, add one teaspoon of lukewarm water. Allow water to be completely mixed into the dough before making any additional adjustments.
It is very important to measure the flour, liquid, salt, sugar and yeast correctly. Always use measuring cups and spoons; do not estimate measurements when making bread.
  • Spoon dry ingredients, especially flour into your measuring cup. Scooping these ingredients with the measure cup can compact them resulting in short dry loaves.
  • When using measuring cups and spoons, ingredients should be level with the top of the spoon, not rounded or heaping.
  • Measure liquids with a see through measuring cup with graduated markings. Liquid should reach the markings at eye-level, not above or below.
  • Whole wheat breads have a tendency to be shorter and denser. To alleviate this, try one of the following:
    • Replace some of the liquid with an egg. Put the egg in your liquid measure cup, and then add the liquid to reach the appropriate measurement.
    • Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten and an additional tablespoon of liquid.
Yeast – Make sure you are using the correct measurement of yeast and the same kind of yeast called for in the recipe. If yeast is not fresh, the bread will not rise properly. To test the freshness of the yeast, follow the steps below.
  1. In a 1 cup measuring cup, dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar in 1/2 cup warm (110-120°F.) water.
  2. Sprinkle the packet of yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons) slowly over the surface. Stir and set timer for 10 minutes.
  3. After 10 minutes, the yeast should have multiplied to the 1 cup mark, indicating that it is active. This yeast mixture may be used for immediate bread making, but be sure to reduce amount of liquid in recipe by 1/2 cup. If the yeast did not multiply to the 1 cup marking, it is not active and should be discarded.

Removing Bread from Bread Pan

Sometimes it can be difficult to remove the bread from the bread pan. Try the following tips to make this easier.

  • Let your bread cool at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
  • Gently turn the gear(s) on the bottom of the bread pan back and forth to loosen the knead blade(s) from the bread.
  • If the bread pan’s surface is losing its nonstick properties, rubbing shortening on the surface before adding the ingredients may help. We do not recommend sprays as they may cause the bread pan to become sticky.

Knead Blades

It is not unusual for the knead blades to bake into the bottom of the loaf. Some of the newer machines come with a hook designed to easily remove the knead blades from the loaf.

Thumping Noise

Usually, a thumping noise indicates the bread pan is not completely locked into the bread maker. Unplug the bread maker and remove and replace the bread pan, making sure it is locked securely in place.
If this does not solve your problem and your bread maker is still within the one year warranty, please contact customer care at 1-866-290-1851 Monday through Thursday 8am-4:30pm or Friday 8:30am-4pm central time. If it is older than one year old, please take a look at our current models shown on this website.

Error Messages

COL, HHH or LLL – This indicates that the bread maker is not at room temperature. If it is still warm from the previous loaf, let it cool down before trying to make another loaf. If it is cooler than room temperature, give it time to warm up.
EEE, EE0 or EE1 – This is an electrical error. First try a reset, by pressing and holding the Start/Stop button for about a minute. If you hear a beep, release the button and try again. If the reset does not work and you are within the one year warranty, please contact customer care at 1-866-290-1851 Monday through Thursday 8am-4:30pm or Friday 8:30am-4pm central time. If it is older than one year old, please take a look at our current models shown on our website.

Bread Color and Size settings

The Bread Color and Loaf Size settings may not be available for the menu option that has been chosen. Please double check your manual for the options available on the menu setting that has been chosen.
If the Start button has already been pressed, these settings can no longer be changed. On some machines, the process can be stopped by pressing and holding the Start/Stop button until the machine beeps. On others, the machine may need to be unplugged for more than 10 minutes to stop the bread making process and clear the machine’s memory.

Bread Maker does not start kneading right away

If the time delay function is being used, the machine will not begin immediately.
Some bread cycles on some bread machines begin with a “rest” period. Please check your time cycle chart to see if this is what is happening.

What to do after a quick power outage

If the bread maker was in the knead cycle and the dough not completely mixed, just reprogram to the same bread setting and color and restart the machine.
If the maker is in the rise cycle and the dough is completely mixed, simply remove the dough from bread pan, place it on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 10 x 6 inch rectangle. Roll the dough from the short end and tuck the ends under. Place dough in a greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan, cover with a clean towel and let it rise until it doubles. Preheat your own oven to 350°F. Carefully place the bread pan containing the dough into the oven. Bake until the top is nicely browned.
If your bread maker was in the bake cycle, quickly preheat your own oven to 350°F. Carefully place the bread pan containing the partially baked bread into your oven. Bake until the top is nicely browned.

Bread Maker Capacities

The 41077 makes a ¾ pound loaf. This is the smallest bread maker we have made.
The following make a 1 or 1 ½ pound loaf: 41026, 41028, 41030, 41035, 41038, 41040, 41041, 41044, 41045, 41047, 41048, 41049, 41050, 41051, 41055, 41060, 41061, 41062, 41063, 41064, 41065, 41073, 41075, and 41082.
The following make a 1, 1 ½ or 2 pound loaf: 41042, 41052, 41053, 41054, 41067, 41072, 41080, 41083, 41085, 41086, 41087, 41088, 41089, 41090, 41092, 41093, 41095, 41091R, 41100CF, 41200, 41400, and 41413.
The 41300 and 41410 can make a 1, 1 ½, 2 or 2 ½ pound loaf.

Bread Maker Time Cycle Charts

Click on your model below to see chart: