I don’t bake bread in my machine, but use it to make the dough. Then I knock it back and shape it, and rise it again in flexible silicon bread tins or moulds before baking it in the oven. It’s a little more work, but the bread is much lighter, and there are no holes where the paddles were!

I’ve experimented with various recipes, and have settled on a base recipe for both white and wholemeal bread. But this Easter I made hot cross buns for the first time, and we liked them so much I now make the dough regularly – sometimes shaping it into buns, but sometimes into a loaf.

All bread machines are different, but to your normal amounts of flour and water add (in whatever order is appropriate for your machine) …

2oz melted butter
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dried milk powder
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 tablespoon castor sugar (optional)
½ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1¼ teaspoons quick yeast
4 oz sultanas

Shape, rise and bake at gas 5 for 15-20 minutes before turning over to finish for a further 5 minutes (because of the sugar it will burn easily, so take care).

Meanwhile, warm 1 tablespoon milk and 1 tablespoon sugar until melted. While the bread/buns are still hot, glaze with the milk.

(Don’t glaze them if you intend to freeze them.)