Thursday, June 21, 2012

Making bread

I make bread quite a lot in the winter months. Last year I made lots by hand,  this year I've been making it in the breadmaker, but even though it tastes really nice it's not baking very well and it's a bit dense. Is this a yeast issue??



Now, our breadmaker is pretty old, so perhaps that's the problem. I don't really know as I'm no expert at all when it comes to making bread.
Today I decided to look for a recipe that made the dough in the breadmaker but that I could cook in the oven. I found this one on food.com
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 3 cups white flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons powdered milk
  • 2 teaspoons yeast

Directions:


  1. Add ingredients to bread machine in order given, bake.
  2. For a traditional loaf, use the dough cycle, then shape dough into a loaf, place in bread pan.
     Let rise until doubled. Time will depend on the warmth of your kitchen, 33-45 minutes Bake 30-40 min's at 175c
I bunged it all in the breadmaker, set it to "DOUGH" and went out. I had quite a lot do do but timed it so I'd be back to let it do the final rise in the bread tin.
When I got home it had risen beautifully, but it was quite wet and sticky. If I'd been home and watching it I would have added a bit more flour.

Final rise in tin - when it went in

After it had risen

I cooked it for 35 minutes and it seemed ready, the colour was nice - but LOOK! what happened? Help me, bread people.

It totally sunk in the middle. It was light and fluffy, though and had a lovely taste, but what am I doing wrong? Too much yeast? Not enough yeast? Dough too wet? Goblin snuck into oven and punched it?
(I favour this option)





This is what it looks like when completely made in the breadmaker!
I call it batman toast!

40 comments:

  1. ...looks lovely! Those blasted gobins punching my brekkie...

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  2. Make the same dough up and hand knead it, just to make sure it is not the recipe....I only ever hand knead so I cant really help you, but I am sure someone who makes with the bread maker will be able to help...

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    1. Hand knead!!!! Oh ok then!! thanks :)

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  3. I will be keeping an eye on this post. The same thing happened to me on the weekend with a fruit loaf. It tasted fine but just a little too dense. Fingers crossed someone knows what is going on.

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    1. I'm actually really glad it's not just me! ( sorry!)

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  4. I find breadmaking in winter a bit hit and miss. I think it has to do with the yeast and the rise. The fact that ambient temperature is just not conducive for the yeast to work at its best. The last batch turned out fine. The batch before that ended up really dense like yours. I tend to do rolls rather than the loaf. There's a more even heat through it then. I also try to proof the yeast BEFORE adding it to the bread machine - so yes even though it does throw the whole wet ingredients first then dry it still seems to work. So I put the yeast in a separate container, add the warm water (I find that because it's winter I have to make the water hotter than it usually is), then add the rest of the ingredients in the breadmaker. After I see bubbles (it varies timing wise because sometimes I walk away to do something else and forget about it till an hour later - not ideal!) - usually under 30 minutes, I pour it into the breadmaker and then set it on dough and start it proper.

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    1. I wonder why it's the time I make most of mine! We have a wood range, and in the winter it's on, so I tend to prove the bread beside it. I'll try doing that with the yeast tomorrow - or when we've eaten this loaf - cos the bread is yummy! thank you so much!

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  5. Ooooh - I wish I could help but this is the same problem we've been having - well either this or the loaf weighs a ton and the crust is too hard. The only thing I can think of is to keep researching online and see what others have done..... Good Luck! :-)

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    1. here's hoping some of the lovely ideas here work for both of us!

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  6. He he, I'm no help to you! Tried to convince Mr Eternity to invest in a bread machine - he said no, I've already got too much on my plate. I'll read the more insightful comments with interest.

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    1. The odd thing is the breadmaker used to be pretty fail safe. Its annoying! argh!!

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  7. Hi Laura, am an avid follower of your blog. You are using "surebake" yeast for breadmakers? I have a 15yr old Sunbeam breadmaker which lost its baking abilities yonks ago and I now just use it for the dough function. My failsafe recipe is, in this order: 3 tsps surebake yeast, 4 cups high-grade flour, 1Tbsp sugar, 3Tbsp milk powder, 2 Tbsps of either marg/butter/oil and 1 3/4 Cups water. I usually put in a few Tbsp more of water as sometimes it tends to still be a little dry after the first few minutes. Once its finished, I'll knead it quickly and pop it in a tin and leave for the 2nd rise.

    Many ways to adapt this recipe, I've used it for pizza dough, left out the sugar, added herbs and garlic salt. Foccacia,rolls, hamburger buns, wheatmeal bread substitute 1 C white flour for wholemeal, added pumpkin, sunflower and linseeds.
    Hope this helps, let me know how it goes.

    Renata

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    1. Hello Renata :) :) The yeast is the stuff that comes in sachets and it says especially for breadmakers on the box. My breadmaker would be about 15 years old now, wonder if that's their cut off point. You know what, I didn't put the ingredients in in the right order - but I always do that! doh! I'll try your recipe - AND do it in the right order! Interestingly I make pizza dough a lot in the machine and it always works a treat - it's just my bread that's duff :)
      thanks you so much for taking the time to write all the tips and the recipe - really appreciate it! xx

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  8. Possibly either too much yeast action ie. it's risen too much at first then given up and gone for a lie down! OR you could have banged the loaf tin as you put it into the oven or closed the oven door to hard, either would cause this sinking in the middle.

    At least it's homemade bread and no matter what will taste brilliant when toasted :-)

    Sue xx

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    1. I wondered about the too much yeast bit ( cos I did put a tiny bit extra in - oops) I'm careful not to bang the tin cos I know that can make it just flop. But yeah, it does taste pretty darn good!

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  9. Can't help you with technical bread stuff. I really think it's the goblins. Then again, maybe it's trolls or pixie's as I'm sure they all take turns in taking over my oven on occasion.

    xx Susan

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    1. you see, that's the reason I want to go with too!

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  10. Laura I use Rhonda's basic recipe in the BM, then do a second rise outside it and then bake in the oven. http://down---to---earth.blogspot.com.au/2009/02/baking-bread.html

    I always prove the yeast. When the dough comes out of the BM, punch it down, shape and then rise the second time. The dough when it's in the BM should draw away perfectly from the sides, add a little flour or water to get the consistency for this to happen. A good bread dough will leave virtually nothing on the pan just some around the paddle.

    Hope those ideas help.

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    1. Hi Rose, I have tried that recipe in the past! And now I know about proving the yeast. I'm hoping it works better next time! It's an awful lot of work for a flatbread!

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  11. I hand make my bread too so I'm afraid I can't help with any bread machine issues but I do know that a drop in the centre (of anything that rises) often indicates a lack of heat at some point. The fact that the bread was lovely and fluffy showed the mixture was fine but perhaps the oven played havoc with it - I've found that a cool oven can mess up the best bread :( So blame the oven...it can't argue anyhow :)

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    1. Our oven is not the best oven in the world. So that maybe did have something to do with it, tbh it sort of looked like it was collapsing before I put it in - could I have left it too long? thank you x

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  12. hi i think it maybe youre using to much sugar try 1 tbsp and 1 tbsp milk powder because theres sugar in that also.

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    1. ok! thank you loads - I have so many ideas to try now! I will perfect this!!!!!!

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  13. Anonymous7:50 am

    Hi Laura,

    I have made bread for 15 years in various breadmakers & always at this time of year the bread doesn't rise as high as usual due to temperature fluctations. I don't use Surebake yeast - it is full of fillers. Get some decent imported yeast (about $8 per 250gms) vacuum packed from Bin Inn & taste & see the difference. My recipe is easy - 300mls water, 1 tbs salt, 2 tbs oil, 3 cups flour, 2 tsps yeast & 1 tbs sugar.
    As above, being homemade bread, it will always taste good! Keep up the good work.

    DeeJay from Whangarei

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    1. thank you Deejay, I'm off into Kerikeri this morning so I'll get some yeast from binn inns
      ( brill shop!) Something else I forgot to mention was I put the bread to rise in the bedroom near the heat pump!!! prob not the best idea!!!!!
      thanks you xxx

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  14. I was going to also suggest Rhonda's recipe as per Rose.

    I add flour then salt + oil into BMW. Then add yeast that I have add to warm water and sugar in a coffee cup let it do it's thing for approx 10min then add to BM with additional water.

    Hope that makes sense.

    I only use the dough setting then punch it add it to the tin do the second raise in the pre warmed oven for 30 mins then cook it for 25mins.

    I comes out lookin beautiful

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    1. Beautiful bread would be a bonus! :) I only want to use the BM to make the dough - so this will be perfect - thanks!

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    2. Kristina/IngStina8:15 am

      Hi Laura, love your blog, have followed it for years. I only make dough in breadmaker, put dough in baking tin and into cold oven. While the oven is heating the bread is rising, bakes up well, haven't had any problems this way.

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    3. Hello!! thanks for posting! So put it into the cold oven and bring it up to the temp you need for cooking. Ok! :) I must get a decent loaf from all these lovely suggestions!

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  15. We'll all be waiting with baited breath to see which tip works best for you. Good luck! Just saying..... still think my recipe is failsafe, lol.

    Renata.

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    1. Haha! well I shall use it first then! We're still ploughing our way through the last loaf - with only being the 2 of us it takes a few days to eat a loaf - even if it is only half size! We're having very small breakfasts!

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  16. We make a lot of our bread in the bread machine too. There is a learning curve to it and most bread machines bake too hot at first. When we got out bread machine, we read that you need to make 8-10 loaves before it settles down to a regular correct temperature and they were right. Hopefully you will get it to bake correctly before long!

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    1. I think the problem with mine is that it's old. I reckon I've had it for around 15 years and it's been used a lot. I reckon the heating part is past it! That's why I'm beginning to just use it for the dough part.

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  17. I got my breadmaker from a garage sale and we kinda....don't measure anything and it always works!

    1 1/4- 1 1/2 cups of water

    Good Splodge of olive oil (recipe says 2 tbs)

    Small pinch of salt

    Good sprinkle of raw sugar

    4 cups of flour

    GOOD sprinkle of yeast

    I use NO milk powder.

    Maybe it is the breadmaker?

    I have never made bread by hand

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    1. heehee! I thought the kinda not measuring and just bunging in was part of my problem!!!

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  18. Your dough has risen enough so the yeast was working. The secret is in gluten development. Gluten gives structure to the dough and locks in the gasses which are produced by the yeast. Different flours have different amount of protein. Gluten is formed by protein. It needs flour hydrated by water and it needs a certain amount of mechanical stimulation i.e. kneading. The dough when fully developed and stretched should form a thin skin you can almost see through. That's called the window pane test. If you stretch the dough and it rips it hasn't enough gluten. And it needs more kneading.

    The next thing is proofing - that is fermentation once you have shaped the loaf or it is in the tin. What you want is that the dough rises when put into the oven called "oven spring". If you over-proofed the yeast is exhausted and won't create the last push in the oven. Push a finger into the dough. If the dent stays in it still needs more proofing, if the dent springs out it is over-proofed (nothing much you can do then). You want the dent coming out but not completely. Then it is ready to be baked.

    Hope this helps.

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    1. thanks you loads, Peter. I was really hoping you'd be along to offer some advice. I understand everything you said. Only one question - if you have overproofed it can you knock it back and let it raise for a third time??? or is that a totally daft question?
      xx

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  19. Anonymous5:31 am

    What a lot of suggestions! One thing seems obvious - it's nice enough to eat even if it collapsed. At least I'm assuming it collapsed. It's a pity you weren't there to see if it initially baked how you'd expect. I'm British and we don't do cup measurements so I can't comment on your quantities but in my experience a little too much water, and I'm talking a tablespoon or two, can make the bread rise too much and then collapse near the end just when you think it's looking great. And you did say you thought the dough looked wetter than you'd normally expect. I only saw this post because I have some wholemeal dough being made in the breadmaker at this very moment. I usually let the breadmaker do the baking but I thought I'd give the oven a go and I was just looking on the internet to see if I was going to miss anything obvious I should do in putting the dough in the tin to rise. It might be summer here but it's only about 20C in the kitchen.

    Paul
    London 2012, UK

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    1. Hi Paul, I'm a fellow Brit :) We moved here from Scotland 8 years ago!
      How did your bread work out?
      I think you've got it - I had too much water - even in the second lot I made there was still too much. I'll cut it down a fair bit for the next one.

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I love it when you leave me comments, it lets me know there are folk out there reading my ramblings! Thank you, I appreciate them loads and loads
Laura x