Soggy top loaf with new Pansonic breadmaker

All about bread

Postby Oddley » Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:05 pm

Hi poppikin, I live in London, an area renowned for it's hard water. I always use filtered water, as I have noticed my bread does not rise as much, when I use tap water.
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Postby poppikin » Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:47 pm

jenny_haddow wrote:Oh dear!

Poppikin may I suggest that you ignore all written instructions that came with the machine or with any packeted ingredients and give this a try.

1.5 tsps instant dried yeast, eg Doves.
500 grams strong white bread flour
1tsp salt
20 grams bread improver
320mls tepid water.

Put in the machine in the order of the recipe after making sure the pan and paddle are secure.

Use the rapid setting 1hr 55mins. Large loaf, dark crust.

Give it a go and see what you get, I use these proportions and settings most of the time both wholemeal and white and mixed and my loaves are usually about 9-10inches high.

Hope this helps

chin up


Jen


Sorry Jen but this has not been a success.

The sides of the loaf are very dark but the top is surprisingly white, although crusty. There is a loose white flakiness all around the sides.

The base is very crusty.

The loaf rose to a bit over 4 inches and the texture is marginally better, but a bit doughy.

I followed your instructions exactly.

The improver is the one you suggested from Lakeland - Claybrooke Mill, Organic Dough Improver.

I'll try the water next time.

I'm a bit fed up.

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Postby beardedwonder5 » Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:41 pm

I think you are putting your native wits on hold. Try making an ordinary tin loaf with the exact (EXACT) recipe which doesn't work in the breadmaker. Observe what happens. (Best of all try a "wasting" experiment. Put the kneaded dough in the tin, put the tin in a warm place, and see how much it rises. It could rise so much that when put in the oven, it will collapse. No matter. That will isolate the problem. It isn't, in that case, the water, or the yeast. It's got to be the breadmaker, or a mismatch between the machine and the recipe. If the dough in the tin doesn't rise, and the temp is right, it's got to be overchlorinated (or otherwise "killer" water), or defective yeast.)

Above all, don't tear your hair out.
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Postby jenny_haddow » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:46 am

Never mind poppikin, I think I agree that a process of elimination is the route to go, and making a loaf outside of the machine using the original recipe from the Panasonic manual sounds favourite. You could use the dough setting to knead and prove, then rise and bake in the oven. I rise my bread in the oven using a tray of boiling water in the bottom, (a tip from Oddley, works a treat).

If you have neighbours who use bread machines perhaps you could ask them how they get on, especially with the water.

HTH

Jen

Got your email, but the computer was on strike for a while, so I replied on the forum.
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Postby poppikin » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:22 am

Oddley wrote:Hi poppikin, I live in London, an area renowned for it's hard water. I always use filtered water, as I have noticed my bread does not rise as much, when I use tap water.


Hi Oddley

Thanks and that's very re-assuring. We live on the North Downs, which is near London, so I'll know where to come for a decent loaf!!

I am going to use bottled water.

Thinking about it at 4 o'clock in the morning, like you do, I realised I had used the same yeast throughout all of this. It's Doves dried yeast and I had kept it in a sealed packet inside a sealed container so it should be OK but I am going to try something else.

Do you have any sure-fired tips for yeast please?

poppikin

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Postby Oddley » Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:57 am

Hi poppikin,

yep, sometimes I stay up all night. As I'm retired, I think I'm old enough... :D

I found that doves yeast was OK at the beginning, but once opened, would last only a month, no matter how you kept it.

I always keep my yeast in the fridge, summer heat can severely effect it.

When not using fresh yeast I use mostly, but not exclusively, the little sealed packets of quick yeast. Obviously, because they are sealed they keep longer, so you can expect consistent results
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Postby clivmar » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:28 am

Hi poppikin,

I have been watching this problem you are having and today (Monday) I think the problem may be your Dove yeast.

I have been using Doves yeast for years I buy 125g packs from Tesco’s or health shops. Last month I purchased a new packet and the bread did not rise at all. I tested the yeast by mixing a spoon of yeast in a little sugar and warm water. After over an hour still no activity

I took the packet back to the health shop and they exchanged it for a new packet (different batch No) The new packet is fine.

I must say this is the first time I have had a problem. I keep my yeast in a fridge once opened and it lasts for a couple of months.

Try a new packet of yeast and test it first, it should start to work after a few minutes.

I’m on my third machine, all different models. Some are better than others. My present one is a Goodmans Cuisine from Tesco. Now sold under a different brand name sponsored by Warren Thompson, works well.

Hope this helps

Clive
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Postby saucisson » Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:33 pm

I would definitely follow the advice to use sealed one shot sachets of yeast while you are trying to solve this problem, to ensure everything is the same at each attempt. Another thing to try is to boil your water, this will do two things, some of the excess "hardness" will drop out as limescale and any excess chlorine will be driven off, both these may be affecting the yeast. I use the Allinsons dried yeast in the small tins that you have to reactivate before using, as I find I get more consistent results than with Doves from the packet. Because you have to reactivate it you can also tell whether it is alive before using it. They don't recommend using it in a bread machine though, although I think it would be OK if you were mixing the dough right away.

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Postby poppikin » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:09 pm

clivmar wrote:Hi poppikin,

I have been watching this problem you are having and today (Monday) I think the problem may be your Dove yeast.

I have been using Doves yeast for years I buy 125g packs from Tesco’s or health shops. Last month I purchased a new packet and the bread did not rise at all. I tested the yeast by mixing a spoon of yeast in a little sugar and warm water. After over an hour still no activity

I took the packet back to the health shop and they exchanged it for a new packet (different batch No) The new packet is fine.

I must say this is the first time I have had a problem. I keep my yeast in a fridge once opened and it lasts for a couple of months.

Try a new packet of yeast and test it first, it should start to work after a few minutes.

I’m on my third machine, all different models. Some are better than others. My present one is a Goodmans Cuisine from Tesco. Now sold under a different brand name sponsored by Warren Thompson, works well.

Hope this helps

Clive


Hi Clive

You are a star!

I copied your test and it's flat as a pancake.

I am reminded that I wasn't using Dove at the start with the other machine so it was not the problem then - just a rogue machine.

I don't want to use Dove again because it took too long to use up. I just need 3/4 tsp a week for one small loaf.

It is the reason I did not use the sachets as they are no good once opened and it's such a waste

So my question now is what is the best yeast to get and how to store it/use it to be certain of a good result for someone who uses only 3/4 tsp a week?

Thanks to everyone for help.

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Postby saucisson » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:19 pm

If a sachet is too much for a single loaf then I'd use what you need and fold down the top tightly and store it in the smallest air tight container you can find in the fridge. I'd put some grains of rice in the container to trap excess moisture as well. It should keep as well as any other dried yeast once opened, I would have thought...

Dave
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Postby poppikin » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:42 pm

saucisson wrote:If a sachet is too much for a single loaf then I'd use what you need and fold down the top tightly and store it in the smallest air tight container you can find in the fridge. I'd put some grains of rice in the container to trap excess moisture as well. It should keep as well as any other dried yeast once opened, I would have thought...

Dave


Thanks Dave

I wondered if dried yeast is best in my circumstances?

Somewhere I saw about freezing small cubes of bakers' yeast but cannot find it now. Would that work for me?

poppikin

PS I've read elsewhere that it's not much good keeping the leftovers of a sachet.
Last edited by poppikin on Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby saucisson » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:58 pm

Here you are:

Oddley wrote:As for freezing this is what Flourbin has to say:

Flourbin wrote:Fermipan bulk pack

It comes in a 500 gm. vacuum pack which once opened must be kept in an airtight container and then used in no more than a month. If using a bread maker on a daily basis, this is the way to buy yeast. Given that the equivalent price of the yeast in a small sachet equates to about 20% of the bulk pack, once you have used 100 gm. you will be in front financially, so it hardly matters if you have to throw away the last bit of the packet. Having said that, several customers have told us that they keep it inside another bag in the FREEZER. Apparently it does not go solid, so you can get it out, use a bit, & put it back in where it will last for a good 6 months. This is NOT a Flour Bin recommended course of action & we cannot be held responsible for any yeast damaged as a result of being frozen. We are just passing on tips that have been given to us by interested customers, for which we are very grateful!




If you can get some fresh yeast from a local supermarket with a bakery it should keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge and so maybe long enough to get to the bottom of the problem.
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Postby jenny_haddow » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:01 pm

Tesco will sell you some fresh yeast from their bakery dept for 20p. If you use it reverse the order of ingredients when you put them in in the machine, use bread improver and the rapid bake programme. If you use a full length programme you could easily fill the machine full of dough! I did this the first time I used fresh yeast in my old machine, it was fun cleaning it out...not!

The dead yeast explanation sounds promising poppikin, keep us posted. BTW, I use sachets of yeast when I go over to France and I just chuck in a whole one each time, works fine.

Jen
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Postby poppikin » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:34 am

jenny_haddow wrote:Tesco will sell you some fresh yeast from their bakery dept for 20p. If you use it reverse the order of ingredients when you put them in in the machine, use bread improver and the rapid bake programme. If you use a full length programme you could easily fill the machine full of dough! I did this the first time I used fresh yeast in my old machine, it was fun cleaning it out...not!

The dead yeast explanation sounds promising poppikin, keep us posted. BTW, I use sachets of yeast when I go over to France and I just chuck in a whole one each time, works fine.

Jen


Thanks Jen

I think the sachets are the thing to do and I will follow Dave's suggestion to boil the water.

I have been in touch with Doves about their yeast. This does seem to be the cause of the problem.

Meanwhile, I am off to Madeira for some winter sunshine over Christmas and New Year where many bakeries still hand make their most delicious breads so I am going to let someone else take the strain for a while.

Thanks again to everybody for help. It's almost become a way of life and I shall miss you all if this ever gets resolved.

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Postby jenny_haddow » Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:01 am

poppikin, have a lovely time in Madeira, but do stay with us when the bread machine behaves, we can teach you to make sausages and cure bacon!

Cheers

Jen
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