Bread Makers – Understanding Different Bread Options

One of the most challenging issues, once you have decided to make the leap to a Bread Maker, is deciding which model best suits your needs.

Each bread machine offers a variety of settings related to the type of bread it can make. Some machines also offer additional options, such as baking cakes, making jams, or even baking low-carb bread.

All manufacturers offer some of the most basic configurations, but after that, all bets are off.

If you’re looking for a budget machine, you need to understand that some of the more exotic options may not be available within your shopping budget. If this is the case, I suggest you make a list of the MUST HAVE setup you need and shop accordingly.

For example, I know I want the Low Carb option for my next machine. This will immediately limit my options between models, but I want this feature enough to be willing to narrow down my options.

Please note that different companies may use different terms for these features. I have tried to use the most common terminology or use descriptive phrases, so that you know what the function is.

Also, for successful cooking, it is very important that you read the instructions given by the manufacturer of your machine for each feature and follow those specific instructions.

Bread machine bread making options

It is important to use the correct bread maker setting for each recipe. These settings have been programmed to adjust times and temperatures according to the type of bread specified. They may also have adjusted kneading patterns, as well as other changes.

BASIC configuration of the bread

This setting is generally used for recipes that are primarily white bread flour, although, depending on the company, small amounts of whole wheat may be possible.

If you want to experiment with a new recipe that doesn’t require a specific machine setting, such as French bread or whole wheat, this is probably the setting to try first.

French bread setup

French and Italian breads are different from basic white bread. They require different patterns of kneading, rising, and baking to produce the desired light interior texture and crispy crust combination. Generally, these recipes will not include butter, margarine, or milk, changes that also require adjustment.


Whole wheat flour, called strong whole wheat flour in some countries, differs greatly from regular white bread flour. Bread machines are designed to allow for these differences and still produce delicious bread.

The rise time is one of the factors that has been adjusted.

Whole wheat is a particularly heavy flour, so if your bread machine doesn’t offer a whole wheat setting, don’t assume you can make the adjustments successfully. It’s entirely possible to burn out a bread machine motor trying to make whole wheat bread in a bread maker that isn’t designed for it.

MULTIGRAIN Bread Configuration

This setting would be used for bread recipes that call for additional ingredients such as rye, oats, millet, corn, etc. Often these recipes are based on a strong whole wheat/whole wheat flour base.

These recipes need adjustments, such as rest periods, that allow the grains to soak up the liquid ingredients. These loaves are likely to be shorter and denser than basic loaves or French breads.

QUICK PAN setting

The ever popular Banana Nut Bread is a common example of a Quick Bread. Unlike yeast-based breads, quick breads rely on baking powder or baking soda to rise. Therefore, this setting has a unique programming and should only be used for this type of bread.

SWEET bread configuration

When I first saw this option, I thought the Sweet setting might be synonymous with Quick Breads, but this is not the case.

If you have a recipe that contains fruit juice, added sugar, or any other sweetener (dried fruit, raisins, coconut flakes, or chocolate), use the sweet setting for best results.

The sweet setting is for baking breads with high amounts of sugar, fat, and/or protein, which increase browning. The sweet setting adjusts the baking to prevent over browning and burning.


Many brands offer a special setting that allows you to bake a loaf of bread in a very short time. Both the name of this setting and the cooking time will vary from company to company.

This option generally has higher temperatures for the rise and bake cycles. Often the types of bread it can be used for will be limited, so be sure to check this before attempting to bake. Also, the resulting loaves can be shorter and denser.

Also, some manufacturers will require you to use fast-rising yeast for best results.

MASS setting

This setting is designed to create a dough that will then be removed from the bread maker, shaped by hand, placed in the appropriate pan or pan, allowed to rise a second time, and finally baked in a conventional oven.

ARTISAN Bread Configuration

Artisanal bread is a term that refers to bread baked using traditional methods and ingredients.

In the case of bread from the bread machine, an Artisan cycle will have several long, slow, and crisp rises. It is important to read the instructions carefully. Ingredients may need to be cold and there may be restrictions on where to place the machine, for example out of the sun.

The purpose of this setting is to improve the texture, flavor, and crust in the final bread or baguettes.

Similar to the DOUGH option, the artisan bread is removed from the machine, shaped and prepared as needed for baking, then baked in a conventional oven.

PIZZA setting

The Pizza option may differ slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Basically, it is a process that mixes, kneads and rises the dough through the first rise cycle. The dough should then be removed, deflated, shaped by hand and allowed to rise one or two more times, before being topped with the pizza toppings and baked in a conventional oven.

It is appropriate for many dough recipes, except for low carb and gluten free recipes.

It can be used to produce pizza, focaccia, other Italian breads, and pretzels.

PASTA setting

According to the manufacturer, this cycle can also be used for Cookies.

The machine is used to mix the dough and is then removed from the machine to prepare and bake it. Please read the instruction book of his machine carefully.

These doughs are very heavy and your machine may need help during the mixing cycle. If this is the case, it will be explained in the manual for your bread machine.

Cookie settings

According to the manufacturer, this cycle can also be used for Pasta.

The machine is used to mix the dough and is then removed from the machine to prepare and bake it. Please read the instruction book of his machine carefully.

Again, as mentioned above, these doughs are very heavy and your machine may need help during the mixing cycle.

GLUTEN FREE Bread Configuration

Most flours contain gluten, making them unsuitable for gluten-free diets.

The adjustments required to produce a gluten-free product result in a yeast bread, however the dough itself ends up much moister and more dough-like than a traditional bread dough.

You have to be careful not to over mix or over knead the dough/dough. The cycle has a single rise and a longer bake time. These are necessary to adjust to the increased moisture content.

Some manufacturers specify a particular brand and type of yeast, so be sure to read and follow the instructions for your machine.

Bread Setting LOW CARB

Low carb cycles will generally have a tight bake time, due to the low sugar content. Be careful not to over mix or knead. Read the instructions for your machine and follow them carefully.

jam setting

This cycle is used to produce Jams and sometimes Chutney. (Hot sauce is a sweet and sour condiment. It is made from fruits and sugar, along with vinegar and sometimes onions. It can also be seasoned with hot and spicy ingredients. It originated in India)

Read the instruction manual of your machine carefully before preparing jams. It is important to prevent the ingredients from boiling. If this happens, stop the machine immediately and follow the cleaning instructions for your machine.

CAKE Settings

This setting, available on some models only, is used for making and baking cakes in the bread machine. Read and follow the instructions carefully.

SANDWICH Bread Setting

Available on select models only, this setting allows you to prepare bread with a texture suitable for sandwiches.

BAKING setting

This is one of those settings that is available on quite a few models, but the actual mechanics of the cycle can differ from company to company. Read the instructions for your machine to understand when and how to use this setting.

Generally speaking, this setting is for baking dough that you may have prepared without using any of the previous machine settings. It can also be used if the crust is too light or used to bake pre-made dough.

make your decision

As you can see, the large number of different options available will greatly increase the scope of opportunities for any bread machine. As mentioned above, it can be difficult to compare two different machines, especially if the options on offer are different.

My recommendation is to review the available options, prioritize based on your needs, and then base your decision on those decisions.

Best of luck and happy bread baking!