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Get the Most Out of Your Bread Machine with These Upgraded Recipes

Cinnamon swirl bread; cheesy bread slices; cranberry nut bread
Brooklyn Farm Girl/Taste of Home/Salad in a Jar

There’s so much more to bread machines than just basic loaves! If you’ve been wanting to try some new recipes in yours, it’s as easy as choosing the one that sounds the tastiest.

A few creative recipes can take your bread-baking to the next level, while still enjoying the convenience of a bread machine. Gourmet recipes can be as simple as including additional ingredients, like dried fruit, herbs, and nuts, while the more complex might involve both the bread machine and oven.

Whether you tweak your favorite bread recipe or try one of the tasty concoctions we found online, you’re sure to love the delicious results.

The Best Bread Machines

Two silver bread machines, with ingredients and loaves next to them

A good bread machine is the basis for any customized loaf. While there are tons of options on the market, you’ll want to look for a machine that has lots of customizable choices. This will allow you to tweak the settings and bake loaves with upgrades or “mix-ins.”

For a bread machine that has all the options you need for customized breads, the KBS Extra-Large Bread Maker is just right. With 17 customized settings, plus a few extra features and a ceramic interior, this bread machine can handle anything you throw at (or in) it.

Best of all, for bakers looking to go beyond the basic white bread, there’s an automated fruit and nut dispenser, which releases ingredients into the dough at exactly the right time.

KBS Extra-Large Bread Maker

The perfect machine for mix-ins.

If you want more control over how your bread bakes, Cuisinart’s CBK-200 Convection Bread Maker might be your best bet. It has settings to specify how light or dark the bake should be, preprogrammed settings for certain types of bread, and a window so yuo can keep an eye on your bread.

Because it uses convection heating, it also produces a more even bake, which is also friendlier for loaves with extra ingredients.

Basic Bread Recipe

Slices of white bread next to the loaf, as well as glass containers of jam and peanut butter
King Arthur Flour

To get used to your bread machine, start with a basic white loaf. It’s not the most exciting recipe, but it will give you a soft, springy, neutral base to build on. Plus, starting with something simple will allow you to get more comfortable using your bread machine if it’s your first time at the rodeo.

It doesn’t get much easier than this basic recipe from the King Arthur Baking Company. You’ll just need some flour, butter, yeast, milk, water, and a hint of sugar (mostly to feed the yeast, not for a super-sweet flavor). You can use the results to build sandwiches, or experiment and tweak this basic recipe to your heart’s content.

Pepperoni Cheese Bread

Two stacks of sliced bread with bits of cheese and pepperoni in it
Taste of Home

If you love the flavors of the tear-and-share cheese bread you order from your favorite takeout place, but don’t want the mess of layers, try this Pepperoni Cheese Bread instead.

Instead of wrapping the spiced meat and cheese in layers for a gooey, pull-apart bread, this loaf incorporates them into the actual crumb of the loaf. A dash of cayenne and garlic gives the bread a little more kick, transforming a would-be boring bread into a spicy, cheesy delight.

Cranberry Pecan Bread

Two loves of cranberry pecan bread, one sliced and one being baked
Salad in a Jar

Adding your favorite dried fruit and nuts is an easy way to upgrade a basic bread recipe. You can mix and match your favorites to find a custom blend you like. Or, you can start with a pretested recipe, like this Cranberry Pecan Bread.

As the name suggests, dried cranberries and chopped pecans are the main additions that make this loaf unique. There’s also a bit of rosemary, which elevates the dough from plain to flavorful. All together, it’s a gourmet-style loaf that’s easy to make but tastes much fancier.

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

A slice of wheat bread with a honey dipped stick on top; a loaf of bread seen from above
Crave the Good

Put a healthier spin on that basic bread recipe with some Honey Whole Wheat. Tasting faintly sweet from the honey, and rich and nutty from the whole wheat, this is the kind of bread that’s delicious as part of a sandwich or on its own with your favorite spread.

The trick to this recipe’s light, soft texture is the blend of whole wheat and all-purpose flours. Combining the two produces a bread that’s lighter than your typical wheat, but sturdier and more flavorful than a typical white.

For a bread machine novice who’s looking to venture beyond simple white bread, this is a great first recipe you’ll definitely return to.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

A loaf of cinnamon swirl bread cut open; a slice of the same bread on a wood board
Brooklyn Farm Girl

Who doesn’t love a good cinnamon swirl bread? It’s actually pretty easy to get a beautifully swirled, sweetly spiced loaf. Armed with a bread machine and this recipe from Brooklyn Farm Girl, you’ll have a memorable loaf in no time.

You’ll only need your bread machine to make the basic, slightly sweet dough. After that, you take it out and build the cinnamon nut swirl center by hand. This kind of hybrid recipe is a great example of how your bread machine can come in handy, even when you’re not baking a whole loaf.

Whether you just bought a bread machine or have had one for a while, there are so many delicious things you can do with it. Once you go beyond the basics, you’ll probably never make that plain white loaf again.

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »
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