How to Make Bread Machine Recipes by Hand 

Making yeast bread without a bread machine couldn't be easier! Here's how.

We recently got a note from reader J.A. in Honolulu, Hawaii. She asked, “I don’t own a bread machine. Could you please tell me how to make the dough for bread machine recipes without a bread machine?”

And she’s not the first to wonder. Let’s set the record straight.

I don’t own a bread machine, either, but my favorite dinner roll recipe starts out in a bread machine (these surprising recipes do, too). Any bread machine recipe can be made by hand if you follow the steps common to most yeast bread recipes. This method is for recipes using active dry yeast.

How to Convert a Bread Machine Recipe into an Oven One

Step 1: In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water (110° to 115°).

Step 2: Add any of the wet ingredients such as eggs, additional liquid, sugar, honey, herbs, salt and most of the flour. (Be sure you’re measuring your flour correctly for the best results.) This will be a sticky dough to start with.

Step 3: Beat until smooth. You can do this by hand or with a mixer, whatever is easiest for you.

Step 4: Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This can vary depending on the humidity levels in your home. Here’s how to know if you’re using the right flour for the job.

Step 5: Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface, then knead it until smooth and elastic.

Step 6: Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray to keep it from drying out, turning once to coat the top.

Step 7: Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled. (If you run into a snag, we’ve shared 9 ways to troubleshoot your dough, too).

Step 8: Punch dough down (hint: you’re just removing the air bubbles) and shape the dough accordingly. Let it rise one last time and then pop it into a preheated oven to bake as directed in the recipe.

That’s it! Super simple.

Ready to bake bread? Start with these simple 5-ingredient recipes.
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Peggy Woodward, RDN
Peggy is a Senior Food Editor for Taste of Home. In addition to curating recipes, she writes articles, develops recipes and is our in-house nutrition expert. She studied dietetics at the University of Illinois and completed post-graduate studies at the Medical University of South Carolina to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. Peggy has nearly 20 years of experience in the industry. She’s a mom, a foodie and enjoys being active in her rural Wisconsin community.