Bread Machine Tips

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Bread Machine Tips

1.Use good quality hard wheat unbleached, unbromated flour that has at least 12 grams of protein per cup.

2.Use fresh, quick dissolving active yeast, not rapid rise.

3.Open the machine and check the dough during the first 5 - 10 minutes of the first kneading cycle!!! Even if your manual says not to do it: flour acts as a sponge absorbing moisture on wet days and becoming dehydrated during dry weather. You'll have to adjust for fluctuating humidity and barometric pressure by adding small amounts of flour or liquid to the dough.

4.If you've never made bread before and don't know what dough is supposed to look like, buy a package of frozen bread dough (available at your local supermarket), and let it defrost according to the package directions. Place it on a lightly floured surface and play with it until you are familiar with the consistency. This is what you're aiming for in the bread machine.

5.Now, to adjust the dough in your bread machine during the first knead cycle: wait until the ingredients have been kneaded for 3-4 minutes. If the dough looks sticky and wet and is coating the bottom and sides of the pan, then sprinkle in flour, a tablespoon at a time (you may need up to an extra 1/2 cup) while the machine is kneading, until you have a smooth, supple ball of dough. If the mixture is dry and corrugated looking or the dough doesn't hold together then sprinkle in additional liquid, a little at a time, until the dough is smooth and pliable and forms a cohesive ball. If you've wandered away from your machine only to return to find a wet messy glob or a dry desert thumping around in the machine, press stop (you can do this at any time - except if the machine has gone into the bake cycle), add a small amount of flour or liquid and press start. Stick around and make additional adjustments, if necessary, until the dough looks right.

6.I have found that when you are either making dough, or placing the ingredients in the machine to make bread at that time, you can add either the liquids first or the dry ingredients first. The major exception to this is the old dak (no longer made) where the yeast must be placed in the bread pan first in a position farthest away from the kneading blade. When programming ahead make sure to place any dried fruits away from contact with wet ingredients as they will absorb those liquids and throw off the recipe.

Extra kneads and extra rise times all contribute to the depth of flavor, character of the crumb and general personality of a loaf of bread. One of the reasons I dislike rapid rise yeast and rapid cycles on the bread machines is that the dough really requires the entire life span of the yeast to become the amazing miracle that is bread. If you are partial to whole grain breads and are winding up with lower loaves than you wish, then try a double knead cycle: place the ingredients in the machine and program for dough or manual. At the end of the final knead reprogram the machine for bread (of Whole Wheat) and press start. You've given the dough an extra work-out to develop the gluten - that will result in a higher loaf. For an even higher loaf you can (if your machine permits) program for a longer rise time, or simply remove the dough from the pan after the final rise cycle (but before baking) transfer it to a bread pan and allow it to raise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Then bake it in the oven.

Sweet doughs with lots of butter and eggs also respond well to a second long rise in a cool place. I remove my brioche from the machine after the dough cycle is complete. I place it in a large freezer strength zip lock bag and refrigerate it overnight. Then I place it back in the machine (my Zojirushi has flexible programming), program for 2nd rise and bake. If you can't program your machine this way you can place the dough in a bread pan after you remove it from the machine, give it a long, refrigerated rise, and then bake it in the oven. Even non-wheat and non-sweet doughs can benefit from this extra rise.
From: Dinner Co-op

Bread Machine Tips

Make clean-up easy by spraying the kneading paddle of your machine with nonstick spray coating before adding ingredients and by soaking the paddle and pan in hot soapy water immediately after removing the baked bread.

Use the end of the handle of a wooden spoon to remove the kneading paddle from the hot loaf of bread.

When rolling out dough mixed in a machine, stop and let the bread rest about 5 minutes; then finish rolling it out. The dough is very elastic and letting it rest makes it easier to shape.

To store baked bread, cool it completely; it will take several hours. Wrap it in foil or plastic wrap, or place it in a plastic bag. Store it in a cool, dry place up to 3 days. To freeze yeast bread, place bread in a freezer bag or container, or tightly wrap it in heavy foil. Freeze it up to 3 months. Bread can be thawed in the package for 1 hour or wrapped in foil and reheated in a 300°F oven about 20 minutes. From: Bread Machine Bounty-Better Homes and Garden Books

Bread Machine Trouble Shooting

Problem: Top inflated with a mushroom like appearance.
Possible Cause + Solution: Too much yeast; decrease yeast or sugar Too much sugar in the recipe Not enough salt- try adding a little more salt Substituted fast-acting yeast for active dry yeast- If substituting fast-acting yeast for active dry, decrease amount by 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Yeast was not added according to manufacturer's directions.

Problem: Top and Sides Cave In.
Possible Cause and Solution: Too much liquid. Try reducing liquids 1 Tbsp at a time. Used canned fruit but did not drain well. Liquid off-balanced by the addition of cheese. Used coarser flours such as whole wheat or rye. If using too much coarse flour, try increasing yeast slightly or reducing coarse flours and increasing bread flour.

Problem: Soggy Sides.
Possible Cause and Solution: Did not remove bread from pan soon enough. If possible, remove bread immediately when baking is finished.

Problem: Centre of loaf is raw or not cooked through.
Possible Cause and Solution: Used coarse flours or rye. For coarse flours try adding an extra knead. To do this, after the first knead, let dough rise, then restart machine at the beginning of a cycle as for a new loaf. Used moist ingredients such as applesauce or yogurt. If too many moist ingredients are used, try reducing liquids 1 Tbsp at a time.

Hints for Successful Sourdough Baking

Always make starter in a glass container. Never store in metal containers or use metal utensils. The starter will react with the metal.
All ingredients, including starter, should be at room temperature (70°- 80°F). Cold ingredients will slow down the activity of the yeast.
When removing starter. always replenish it. Let stand at room temperature for 3 to 5 hours, until bubbles start to form. Cover and refrigerate.
If starter separates (liquid forms on the surface), stir until blended before using.
If the liquid that forms on the surface of starter turns pink in color at any time, discard the starter and start over again with fresh ingredients.
important: Sourdough bread made in an automatic breadmaker requires the addition of yeast. The starter’s strength and the rising times in the breadmaker are not sufficient to allow for proper rising without the use of additional yeast.

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