Newly registered member with prob saying hello.

All about bread

Newly registered member with prob saying hello.

Postby colin_l » Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:41 pm

Good evening all,

Just registered tonight after searching for a bread making forum in Google.

In forum posts I see there are some experienced bread makers here.

I have been bread making on and off for about 5 years though only using bread making machines.

The reason for my Google search is that I have recently bought a new machine and am having some problems - heavy and compact loaves quite often, occasionally 'raw' flour on the outside of the loaf.

I follow the recipe in the handbook and measure quantities accurately - this has happened before on occasions with other machines.

This is my 4th machine and out of the previous 3 only 1 gave consistent good results - the first one ( can't remember the make ). Others had varying consistency from OK most of the time to OK about 50% of the time. This is the reason why my bread making has been on and off over time.

I have paid cheap and paid dear for machines and the first one was a cheapie as is my new one
I have used ingredients mixed by myself and used supermarket bread mixes for machines.

I have been so fed up with the supermarkets' bread that I thought I'd have another go but have been disappointed on my new machine's ( or maybe my ) failures.

Over the years the good loaves have been excellent but consistency over time eludes me.

I also have done pizza bases where I use the bread maker just to produce the dough then bake it in the oven. Also done this when we needed small rolls as opposed to a loaf. Results have been good most of the time. I haven't yet done pizza dough or rolls on my new machine.

Using my new machine and following the heavy loaves experience I have started in the past few days to add a little more water thinking that the mixture is too dry. The machine's motor had appeared to be labouring at times when mixing.

The recipe for a standard loaf ( 1.5 lb ) recommends 250mL of water and tonight I have prepared a bake for tomorrow morning using 280mL, I tried 265mL a day or two ago and still the machine laboured. I wont be up at the time the machine starts tomorrow morning so won't hear if it labours, will judge by result.

Any Ideas as to why there is no long term consistency using various machines.

I need consistent results from the bread maker.

There's nothing like a freshly home baked crispy loaf - beautiful.

Bit of a long intro I know, but save me from the bought white cardboard I have been eating please.

Colin :cry:
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Postby saucisson » Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:17 am

Welcome Colin, it's far too late for me to comment more tonight.
I'll try and help tomorrow.

Last edited by saucisson on Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jenny_haddow » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:41 am

Welcome Colin,

I notice you say in your post that the bread machine will start before you get up so I presume you are using the timer. That means you can't monitor the opening stages of the machine which I think is the most important part. I've had lots of machines and worn them out, one of the best was �10 and the best a Panasonic which I now use; all of them made good bread once I sussed that I had to control the formation of the dough.

Here's a recipe I use:
500gr strong bread flour (50/50 white to wholemeal)
1 tsp Doves yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tblsp sugar
1 tblsp dried skimmed milk
1 tblsp butter or olive oil
300 ml water. (I put in 275ml to start with)

If you use bread improver you can leave out the sugar, fats and milk and add 20gr of that instead.

Put the ingredients into the machine in the order the machine requires, and select the programme. In the initial mixing keep the lid open until your ingredients have combined, this is the stage to add more water or flour to create a perfect dough, this can take up to 5 minutes. Close the lid and leave it to it. It could be that leaving the machine on a timer could be causing the problem the flour could create a solid lump overnight that would be difficult for the machine to cope with.
Hope this helps.


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Postby saucisson » Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:35 pm

Jen seems to have it covered, and has much more experience with bread machines than I do.

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Postby captain wassname » Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:53 pm

Hi I had all kinds of problems baking with bread machines but a few years ago I started to just use the machine on dough setting then knocking back then using a tin for second rising and baking this made a huge difference to my results.

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Thanks for your replies

Postby colin_l » Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:40 pm

Thanks for your replies.

This mornings bread using 280mL of water as opposed to 250mL as in the handbook was not dense and heavy and was acceptable, but only acceptable. I've made far better using other machines with the same ingredients.

I understand the importance mentioned of being there whilst the dough is being formed but I finish work most times late in the evening and need to prepare for the next days loaf. I will have to arrange for a weekend bake to test graduated addition of water some weekend though cant this weekend we will be away from home for a week.

Whilst today's loaf was acceptable the main problem was in the flavour/crustiness. My wife wasn't impressed with that.

Think I need to introduce some variation of ingredients re flour and yeast though I have had good results with past machines with those currently used.

Preparing the dough in the machine then baking in the oven has, in the past, yielded good results though am reluctant to use that as my standard practice as we have a big range cooker and heating a big oven for one loaf at a time seems a bit wasteful. Time of baking and the availability of an early morning loaf with the machine has its attractions.

That said I guess I could be described as an, almost lazy, breadmaker expecting village bakery results.

On the subject of ingredients I am currently using

Supermarket strong white flour (Asda)
Asda's own bread yeast packs
Crisp and Dry oil
Dried milk powder

I have had good results using these in years passed.

Have just loaded the breadmaker with a repeat of last nights bake to see if the results will be the same Ie: problem partly solved - flavour/crustiness etc yet to be worked on.

What is the main ingredient(s) affecting flavour and crustiness?

Can anyone recommend widely available ( probably supermarket ) ingredients that are likely to produce consistent good results just using the bread maker for the whole process.

Thanks for your suggestions - Colin
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Postby Mike D » Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:07 pm

Hi Colin,

I have a Panasonic breadmaker and it is the third one I have bought. I have now given up on it and use it only for mixing the flour. I had a succession of "bricks" from it (not wasted though as I turned into rusk for sausage making) and gave up on it.

I usually do a 50/50 mix of wholemeal and white bread flour (88p / 1.5kg and 48p / 1.5kg from Morrisons) The recipe I use is that posted by Wheels, and is his soft rolls recipe. Link below. - look about half way down the page above the photo

I have found no better bread mix than this. I bang it all in the bread machine, put it on the dough mix and let it mix the ingredients. I then place in a large bowl covered with a clean tea towel and allow to double in size in warm place (for me, bottom oven of Rayburn with door ajar work a treat). I then punch it hard in the middle to knock back, take it out of the bowl, knead for about 30 secs and place in a bread tin. I let it rise again (in bottom oven of Rayburn with door ajar) and when looking suitably loaf-like I place in top oven at about 170 deg for 1/2 hour, until the top goes slightly brown. In fact the Rayburn is always "on", and I can do the bread with it just "ticking over" and thus don't even have to fire it up.

My timings are approx:-

Mix dough 15mins
First rise 30 mins
second rise 45-ish mins
Bake 25 mins

I do this as soon as I get in, before anything else and by the time I'm ready to go to bed the loaf is ready and cool..

I make about 3 loaves a week with this method and the OH will not allow me to use any other recipe than that posted by Wheels....the breadmaker is no more than a fancy ornament now, as Wheels recipe never fails and makes superb bread!!

Give it a'll not regret it.


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Thanks Mike - I'll give it a try

Postby colin_l » Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:13 am

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your reply.

Your OH is obviously well satisfied with this recipe and I'll have to give it a try.

We had a Panasonic bread maker a few years ago and it cost us, if I remember correctly, about �100.
It was the Wrl Thingy one and 'stainless steel' ( hm hm ) finish.
At that price we expected the dogs bo****** and perfect loaves.
We had bricks whilst trying to get used to it but the main problem was the 'stainless steel' finish - it would have complemented other stainless steel kitchen appliances and accessories we have.
Luckily we bought it from Argos and returned it with refund ( no, I don't want a replacement ) even after the 16 day returns period.

This last week I have tried using Branded flour and yeast using the machine's recipe only to be rewarded by bricks.
Yesterday I decided to ignore the machine's recipe book and found the recipe book for a Morphy Richards bread maker we once had. I used the basic recipe in that book and it made the world of difference - it used more water in the recipe.
I am not completely satisfied yet as the flavour wasn't as good as I have had in the past but I have proved that the prob wasn't the yeast or the flour it was the amount of water.
I'll be playing about with the powdered milk, sugar and oil constituents now to get the flavour right.
I'll be searching out old recipes from other machines we have had to give them a try too.

Whilst writing this I just popped downstairs to get a glass of wine and I have a loaf 10 mins from completion in the bread maker - YES, I'd buy my house.

Hopefully I'm getting there now.

Thanks again
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