I have a Panasonic SD253 breadmaker. The function chart shows 2hr 55min - 4hr 10min rising times available for the French Bake program. How do I make sure it rises for the full 4hr 10 mins?
Take a peek of the dough every 1/2 hour.
If you see in a certain peek it's lower than the last time you saw it, it has fully risen and is starting to fall.
The dough should be about to reach it's rising limit before it begins to be baked, but not pass it. You can change the dough's rising speed changing the amount of yeast from your recipe, or controlling the dough's temperature, among other ways.
Its down to the volume of yeast you use.
Yeast will continue to rise the bread as long as there is food and the temperature maintains within its required range (45c 115f)
so if you have 1 hour yeast and use 1/4 of the required amount for 1 hour bread, then it will take 4 hours to rise.
see the link above for an example of bread cooked using the no knead 4 hour rise method.