Read through your bread machine manual and recipe first, looking for helpful hints. Add ingredients in the order specified in the manual. Carefully measure ingredients—small variations can dramatically affect the outcome. Use ingredients that are at room temperature, except for refrigerated items such as milk, sour cream, and eggs. Bread machine yeast gives best results. It’s more finely granulated and disperses more thoroughly during bread machine mixing and kneading. Bread flour is great for bread loaves, because it’s higher in gluten-forming protein, which gives bread extra height. Opening the bread machine during rising or baking can cause the loaf to collapse, so peek only during mixing or kneading. When you use the delay cycle, be sure yeast doesn't touch liquid or wet ingredients. Don't use your bread machine’s delay cycle with recipes that include fresh dairy products (butter and margarine are okay), eggs, honey, meats, or fresh fruits and vegetables. Bacteria can grow while these ingredients stand in the bread machine for several hours. If you want to experiment with ingredients, just make one change at a time in the recipe so you can clearly see the results. You’ll get the most consistent results if you keep the bread machine in the same place and away from areas where drafts, heat, and humidity fluctuate. Keep the area around your bread machine open for good ventilation.