Substituting cooked rice for part of the flour in my bread dough was an entirely new concept for me until I found a recipe noting that rice “makes delicious bread that is moist, flavorful” and has an interesting texture.

My go-to bread machine recipe has always been quite moist and soft. However, when I decided to try using some leftover rice, I found that rice does indeed produce a very soft, moist bread. Be aware, though, that, for some reason, it doesn’t toast very easily.

Here’s my Bread Machine Rice Bread recipe:

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour (may need to add some additional flour)

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 ¼ cups water

3 Tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1 ½ teaspoons yeast

1 egg

1 ¼ cups cooked, cooled rice

3 Tablespoons butter (you can soften or melt this or cut it in chunks when you add it to the canister)

Heat the water to a temperature range between 105 and 110 degrees (Fahrenheit) (or use hot tap water that’s in this temperature range). Dissolve the sugar in the water; add the milk. At this point, check the temperature of the mixture with a digital thermometer. It should be a minimum of 105 degrees (Fahrenheit) and not more than 110 degrees (Fahrenheit). If it’s too cool, warm slightly on the stovetop. If it’s too warm, stir it to cool it down.

Once the water/sugar/milk mixture is in the desired temperature range, dissolve the yeast in it. Set the mixture aside.

Blend the flour and salt thoroughly and set aside.

Beat the egg slightly; set aside.

Before you place the yeast mixture into the bread machine canister, warm the canister with hot water. This helps maintain an ideal temperature range for yeast activity.

Once the canister has been warmed, pour out the water you used. Place the yeast mixture in the canister, followed by the flour mixture, then the beaten egg, cooked rice and butter.

Set your bread machine on a mix/knead cycle of mix/knead for 15 minutes, rest for 20 minutes, mix/knead for 15 minutes. If your bread machine can’t be programmed for this cycle, simply set timers so you know when to start and stop the machine.

Once this cycle is complete, you can either bake the bread in the bread machine or place it in a bread pan (ideally 8.5×4.5). Prepare your bread pan by warming it (if your kitchen is somewhat cold); then use non-stick spray, butter or some non-stick ingredient to coat the pan. Place the dough in the pan and set it in a warm place to rise. Your oven, heated to at least 100 degrees (Fahrenheit), is a great place to raise bread dough. Don’t leave the oven on while the dough rises. Cover the dough with a light towel to help keep it from drying out while it raises.

It will take approximately 30 minutes for the dough to rise. At that point, remove the dough from the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit). Bake the bread dough for 30 minutes. Once you take the bread out of the oven, immediately remove it from the pan and place it on a cooling rack.

To store the bread, use a plastic bag or bread keeper. Unless you plan to use it within 24 hours, always store homemade bread in the refrigerator.

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