Home Bread-Bakers v098.n054.8

Re: Horizontal Auto Bread Makers

Thu, 23 Jul 1998 22:49:11 EDT
In a message dated Sat, 18 Jul 1998 14:09:42 -0700, you write:

<<I'm considering the purchase of a horizontal (traditional) automatic
bread maker.  

I had a vertical machine but was dissatisfied firstly with the density
of the loaves - despite numerous at adjusting ingredients - the 2 lb
loaves usually came out between 4" and 8" high.  Secondly, the crusts on
the vertical machine were very thick on five of the six sides.>>

Hi Jim

The problem you describe is not uncommon with vertical bread machines,
however, not usually so severe.  I have used two different vertical bread
machines over the last ten years, but typically the problem is the bottom half
of the loof is too dense and the top half is too light.  The loaf still gets
nice and tall.  I can't imagine baking a two pound loaf that's only four
inches high.  That sounds like more than just a vertical machine problem.

Assuming your machine is in good working order, it almost has to be a recipe
problem of a procedure problem.  Assuming the recipe you are using is proper
for your machine, take look at procedure.  

After your machine kneads for a few minutes do you check the consistency of
the dough to make sure it's not too sticky and not too dry?  Although the
manufacturers would have you believe otherwise, this is a very necessary and
important step.  If the dough appears to be too dry add a little water one
teaspoon at a time and let each knead in thoroughly before adding another.
Keep adding until the correct consistency is attained.  If the dough is too
wet, add flour at the rate of about one tablespoon at a time and again allow
each to knead in thoroughly.  The reason this is so important is because if
the dough is too wet it will rise beautifully then as it bakes it'll fall.  If
it's too dry it may never rise at all.

Are you using instant or instant-active yeast?  These are the best for bread
machines because they don't have to be proofed.  Is your yeast still fresh?
Put a teaspoon of yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water 110 - 115 degrees add a pinch
of sugar and wait about 10 - 15 minutes.  If it is not foaming by that time
assume your yeast has gone south.

Are you using bread flour?  It's generally better for bread machines because
of it's higher gluten content.  If you'd rather use all-purpose flour then add
one tablespoon of vital wheat gluten for each cup of flour in your recipe.
Vital wheat gluten can be obtained at your local health food store.     

As far as the crust problem, that's sort af a bread machine thing.  Bread
machines have just one or two little heating coils and begin baking from a
standing start.  The baking cycle lasts about an hour.  I've noticed this does
have a tendency to toughen up the crust just a little.  When baking in a
conventional oven this is not as apt to happen because you put the bread into
a preheated oven.

Jim, I'm not trying to talk you out of a horizontal machine, but if that's
your only reason for buying one make sure the machine you have really wont
make good bread.   Below I am including a simple recipe for a 1 1/2 pound loaf
of plain white bread. I've made this recipe very successfully for 10 years so
I know it works.  Try it in your machine and adjust the ingredients as
suggested.  Your machine will handle a 1 1/2 pound loaf just fine.  If you
still get a hockey puck, you probably do need a new machine.

Hope this helps.

Happy Baking!



                    *  Exported from  MasterCook II  *

                            Basic White Bread

Recipe By     : Takt EZ@ aol.com
Serving Size  : 18   Preparation Time :3:30
Categories    : Breads: Yeast

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
   1      cup + 1T        hot water
   2      tablespoons   vegetable oil -- or melted margarine
   1      teaspoon      salt
   1      tablespoon    sugar
   2      tablespoons   nonfat dry milk
   3      cups          bread flour
   2 1/4  teaspoons     instant-active yeast -- (one packet)

Place in all ingredients in bread pan in manufacturers recommended order and
press "start."

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