The situation:

I put all ingredients in the bread machine pan as usual (but with a little extra sugar or honey and liquid) and start the cycle. After the first or second kneading cycle, I restart the cycle. Sometimes I'll restart the cycle a second or third time, as well. My thought is that this would produce a more uniform bread texture, and perhaps some sourdough flavor. I add the extra sugar so the yeast will not starve, and the extra liquid so the dough will not dry out. None of the ingredients are by themselves perishable (e.g. milk, eggs), so I'm not particularly concerned about spoilage.

The Question

I'm curious what the effects of extra kneading and rise cycles are on a loaf of bread in the bread machine. What outcomes should this produce, in theory? Are there things I should be aware of if I do this for different kinds of yeast breads (e.g. white vs. whole-wheat)?

I know I could experiment with this a number of times and find out, but I don't have the time to perform this experiment with sufficient control and precision, or to my standards, so I'm appealing to community experience instead.


1 Answer 1


I'm not familiar with how bread machines even work, so I'm not sure if you mean that you are restarting the cycle and that means that (A) you are just mixing the dough longer, or (B) the dough mixes, then rests, then mixes, then rests, etc. Either way, not a good idea.

For scenario (A), you're overworking your gluten. If you do this, it's just as bad as undermixing. You can find plenty of information on the perils of overmixing.

If it's (B), it's also not a good idea. When bread rests, you should never mechanically mix it again. You only need to 'punch it back' to expel the carbon dioxide. Mechanically mixing at this point will actually break your gluten threads. Also, adding extra yeast or sugar is just a bad idea in general. You are not going to increase any flavour, certainly not going to create a sour. For that, you need to learn how to create, maintain, and use sours / sponges.

I am not speaking flippantly here, but I would suggest reading a proper baking textbook to learn about the theory of breadmaking to enhance your knowledge and understanding of ingredients and their role...

Having said that, I'm sure someone will come along and refute everything I've said - happens here all of the time. I only speak from 20+ years of experience plus baking and pastry papers.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.