We sent out an e-mail to ask people if they had a bread machines we could borrow.
We gathered all the machines and tested them all to see how they worked (and if they worked properly). This was important, especially after discovering one of the machines (the Breadman) made a lot of noise when it was kneading. And it beeped a lot in the beginning cycles.
The timing of the entire process varied (from 80 minutes (Oster machine) to two hours (Breadman machine).
The commonality we found was: the last rising and baking for each machine was 1 hour. This meant there wasn’t any noise going on during that last hour. That is how we determined the timing.
We babysat each machine and unplugged it when it was down to one minute on the timer. That way it didn’t beep at the end.
We used Hodgson Mills White Bread Mix (under three dollars a box). It was simple to use, it included the yeast and we only had to add warm water and oil.