How to Use an Oster Bread Machine

How to Use an Oster Bread Machine
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Nothing in the world is quite like the taste of fresh bread. The beauty of a bread machine lies in its ability to help you bake a delicious, homemade loaf of bread any time you want. Making bread with a machine is a fairly straightforward process, though it does require extremely careful measurements to ensure that the necessary chemical reactions take place properly. Your Oster bread machine can make a variety of different kinds of bread, and its manual spells out the process in simple, easy-to-understand instructions.

Oster Bread Machine Manual

Your Oster bread machine should have come with a detailed manual that not only provides operating instructions, but recipes as well. Each recipe tells you how to measure each ingredient, as well as the machine settings for creating each specific loaf of bread. Troubleshooting instructions are also provided, as well as contact information in the event you encounter a problem you can't solve on your own.

The manual also provide warranty information, a notes section and instructions in Spanish. It's a thorough document that will guide you through the process of making many delicious loaves of bread.

Tip

The Oster website contains digital versions of many of their instruction manuals.

Oster Bread Machine Directions

Oster's bread machines usually can make either a 1.5- or 2-pound loaf of bread. The CKSTBRTW20, for instance, offers several recipes for each loaf size. Many recipes are listed for both the 1.5- and 2-pound varieties, so you can choose the size that's most appropriate for your needs.

In addition to the size of your loaf, you also should be able to choose a setting that determines how brown your crust will be. Oster bread machines provide several options, ranging from dark to light. This setting simply changes how long the bread is baked. It's a great feature to have if you prefer a lighter golden brown crust instead of a darker brown crust.

You also can choose to bake a quick recipe or one that takes longer to prepare. Quick recipes are limited, but they can be prepared in under an hour. Typically, the longer recipes that your Oster bread machine can bake take around three hours. Depending on the amount of time you have available and the sort of bread you're in the mood to bake, you might want to experiment with both the fast and longer duration bread recipes.

Care of Bread Machine Parts

Your Oster bread machine comes with a measuring scoop, measuring cup, a removable bread pan, a kneading blade and a kneading blade removal tool. All the measuring tools are machine washable. However, you should not place the bread pan, kneading blade and kneading blade removal tool in the dishwasher, partially because they have a nonstick coating.

To wash the bread pan, kneading blade and kneading blade removal tool, use hot, soapy dishwater and a soft sponge. Don't use steel wool or a rough sponge as it may scratch the nonstick coating on the parts.

Following Bread Maker Recipes

When you prepare bread in your Oster machine, it's essential that you follow the recipes exactly. If the instructions specify "1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of boiling water," for example, the measurements must be exact, and the water must be boiling. This is because bread undergoes a number of chemical reactions during its preparation.

Hot water, for instance, may be necessary to dissolve the salt or sugar also called for in the recipe.

Tip

Be sure to place your measuring cup on a flat surface when adding water or other liquids and look carefully for the meniscus, the slight curve at the top of the liquid. This curve should align exactly with the measurement mark requested in the recipe.

Since yeast is involved in bread making as well, take great care to measure it exactly. Yeast creates a chemical reaction that causes the bread to rise, and if you use too little, the bread won't rise properly, even when baked as suggested. Using too much yeast, on the other hand, can create a bad-tasting bread or dough that rises too much.

Sample Traditional Bread Machine Recipe

In your Oster instruction manual, you may find this or a similar recipe:

Italian Herb Bread ‒ 2-lb. Loaf

  • 1 and ¼ cups water
  • 1 and ½ tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3½ cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  1. Measure and add liquid ingredients to the bread pan.
  2. Measure and add dry ingredients (except yeast) to the bread pan.
  3. Use your finger to form a well (hole) in the flour in which you will pour the yeast. When you are adding ingredients, the yeast must never come into contact with a liquid.
  4. Measure the yeast and carefully pour it into the well.
  5. Snap the baking pan into the bread maker and close the lid.
  6. Press the "Menu Select" button to choose the "French" setting.
  7. Press the "Loaf Size" button to choose 1 pound, 1.5 pounds or 2 pounds.
  8. Press the "Crust Color" button to choose light, medium, dark or rapid crust.
  9. Press the "Start/Stop" button.

Note how the recipes provided in the manual give you, not only the ingredients to include, but also specific instructions as to which buttons to push to make the bread. Depending on the size loaf you choose and the crust color you prefer, you will need to opt for certain settings, however.

Sample Expressbake Bread Recipe

If you are hoping to prepare a delicious loaf of bread in a short amount of time, your Oster machine can do that for you in under an hour. Generally, these loaves are less complicated and more limited in flavor. However, what they may lack in variety, they more than make up for in convenience. Here's a sample recipe:

Expressbake White Bread 1.5-lb. Loaf

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot water (115F to 125F)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 5 teaspoons fast-rising yeast
  1. Important: Carefully measure the hot water to make sure it is at 115F to 125F by using a cooking thermometer.
  2. Measure and add liquid ingredients to the bread pan.
  3. Measure and add dry ingredients (except yeast) to the bread pan.
  4. Use your finger to form a well (hole) in the flour where you will pour the yeast. Yeast must never come into contact with a liquid when you are adding ingredients.
  5. Measure the yeast and carefully pour it into the well.
  6. Snap the baking pan into the bread maker and close the lid.
  7. Press the "Menu Select" button to choose the Expressbake setting. (Expressbake 5 for 1.5-lb. loaves and Expressbake 6 for or 2.0-lb. loaves)
  8. Press the Start/Stop button.

Variety in Recipes

Once you have the hang of preparing bread in your Oster machine, you may wish to attempt to alter recipes to create unique-flavored breads. Without altering the ratio of dry to wet ingredients or changing the amount of the basic components of your loaf, it's possible to incorporate spices, herbs, nuts or cheeses into many bread recipes and achieve excellent results. Take care to follow all other instructions. To ensure the best possible loaf, you probably want to choose one of the provided recipes to serve as a guide and then veer off-course only slightly.

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