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Old 08-25-2008, 12:08 AM   #1
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Help w/Breadmaker

I dont know what is wrong. I made about 4 or 5 decent loaves of bread right off the bat with this thing and now the last 3 or 4 loaves have been basically not risen, by much. Someone mentioned that maybe the flour should be measured in dry weight and the water in liquid. I dont think it much matters. I am trying the basic french bread recipe w/2 cups water/2 TB oil/4 cups flour/some salt and the yeast.

I think I have the fast rising yeast and I bought it recently. Last 3 loaves have not risen much, maybe only 50%, the bread is tough and chewy obviously not risen enuf. ALso there is a thin layer of dry flour on the upper part of the loaf when the baking is finished, like some of the flour did not get used in the mixing...

Help.

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Old 08-25-2008, 04:08 AM   #2
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If you made a few loaves that came out OK and now you are making exactly the same recipie and it dies not come out it is most likely an ingredient. You did say you just bought yeast and that you "think" it is the right yeast.
I suggest that you closely check quantities against the recipie and technique against the instructions.
Also, if youstill have problems, please post the model of the machine.

AC
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:28 AM   #3
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I always check my dough during the kneading cycle. This way I can help get the dry flour out of the corners and check for dough consistancy. You don't have to be off by much in one of your ingredients to have dough that is to dry or too wet. It sounds to me like yours is too dry if it is not mixing in all the flour. And this is just a guess, but maybe there isn't enough moisture in the dough to properly activate the yeast.
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:47 AM   #4
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Are you measuring the temperature of the water? I think that was my problem when my bread-machine loaves weren't rising properly. I had forgotten that warm water was needed to activate the yeast. Once I started measuring the water with my instant-read thermometer, all my loaves have been great HTH.
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:37 AM   #5
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I'd try getting some new yeast.
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:54 AM   #6
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I had been using warm water from the tap. But I didnt measure the temp. It never seemed to be an issue before. Could it be too hot? The time before I forgot to use warm so the last two times it was hot..Hmm.

As for the yeast I think the book called for fast rising yeast and that is what I have. I am sure it is new..

I am thinking there may be an issue with the amount of water and that is why I am asking about dry measure vs wet measure. So my question is when recipes call for quantities of dry and wet ingredients do I use different measuring spoons for this? THe book that came with the gadget does not say..
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:53 AM   #7
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flour or othe ringredients could be old, too
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpinmaryland View Post
I had been using warm water from the tap. But I didnt measure the temp. It never seemed to be an issue before. Could it be too hot? The time before I forgot to use warm so the last two times it was hot..Hmm.

As for the yeast I think the book called for fast rising yeast and that is what I have. I am sure it is new..

I am thinking there may be an issue with the amount of water and that is why I am asking about dry measure vs wet measure. So my question is when recipes call for quantities of dry and wet ingredients do I use different measuring spoons for this? THe book that came with the gadget does not say..
A tablespoon of water would use the same measuring tool as a tablespoon of flour - or cup, etc.

Make sure your flour hasn't settled. I take a whisk and loosen up/lighten up the flour then measure.
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpinmaryland View Post
I had been using warm water from the tap. But I didnt measure the temp. It never seemed to be an issue before. Could it be too hot? The time before I forgot to use warm so the last two times it was hot..Hmm.

As for the yeast I think the book called for fast rising yeast and that is what I have. I am sure it is new..

I am thinking there may be an issue with the amount of water and that is why I am asking about dry measure vs wet measure. So my question is when recipes call for quantities of dry and wet ingredients do I use different measuring spoons for this? THe book that came with the gadget does not say..
If the water is too hot, it can kill the yeast.

As KE said, you use the same measuring spoons for liquid and dry ingredients, but different measuring cups for liquid and dry.
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
If the water is too hot, it can kill the yeast.

As KE said, you use the same measuring spoons for liquid and dry ingredients, but different measuring cups for liquid and dry.
GG - 'cause I don't bake I have to clarify this - - - if a recipe calls for 1 cup of water and 1 cup of flour I would most definitely use the same cup for both. This is where it gets confusing, for me anyway. I shouldn't do this?
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:29 AM   #11
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I use a liquid measuring cup to measure in the water. I fill it to the line, because as we all know, filling a liquid measuring cup to the top is more than a cup. Then I have separate cups I use for the flour. I "loosen" the flour a bit with a large spoon, then lightly spoon it into the measuring cup, then use the edge of the spoon's handle to level it off, scraping the excess back into the flour container. I suppose I could use the same dry cup to measure the liquid with, but since that is the first thing that goes in the cup would then be wet, messing with the flour. My measuring spoons have a spoon on each end, so I can use one for wet and one for dry without pausing to clean or dry.

I'm not sure if this is what GG meant, probably not, but that's how I do things anyway.
Your mileage may vary.
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf View Post
GG - 'cause I don't bake I have to clarify this - - - if a recipe calls for 1 cup of water and 1 cup of flour I would most definitely use the same cup for both. This is where it gets confusing, for me anyway. I shouldn't do this?
That's right, you shouldn't. That came out right, right?

Here's why, according to Cook's Illustrated: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/imag...asuring101.pdf

Pacanis, that's exactly what I meant.
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:00 PM   #13
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OK - let me clarify again. My measuring cups are individual. A cup measuring cup has no line - it just gets filled. I CAN use that type of measuring cup for 1 cup of flour AND 1 cup of water then? Now you see why I don't bake!
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Old 08-25-2008, 12:44 PM   #14
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OK - Now! I am getting confused. One cup of flour is the same volume as one cup of water. Hopefully that is correct.

Liquid is usually measured in something like a pyrex measuring cup and filled to the line.

Dry measure is usually done with a set of fixed volume cups or spoons.

Hopefully all of that is correct.

So - To avoid drying the cup that we measured water in we use separate measuring tools for wet and dry, however, there is no difference in the volume of either.

Is that correct?


On to the bread maker. I do have one, but, I never use it, even though I bake a lot of bread, so I am not the best help. Those that I know that have / use them say that the measuring of the water is absolutely crucial to success. I suspect that and the temp of the water is where the problem lies.

Just my opinion - AC
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
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OK - let me clarify again. My measuring cups are individual. A cup measuring cup has no line - it just gets filled. I CAN use that type of measuring cup for 1 cup of flour AND 1 cup of water then? Now you see why I don't bake!
The point is that a measuring cup with headroom and a spout is usually used for liquids, because it's difficult to measure liquid accurately with a dry cup measure without spilling some, because a dry cup measure has to be filled to the top. If some spilled, that would make it less accurate and might be enough to alter the recipe.

Conversely, a liquid cup measure is not used for dry ingredients because it's difficult to level off the dry ingredients in a cup measure that has headroom to allow for liquid.

Hope that makes sense
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:50 PM   #16
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...Hope that makes sense
Poifectly
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpinmaryland
Someone mentioned that maybe the flour should be measured in dry weight and the water in liquid. I dont think it much matters.
Measuring: You can bet your bippy that how you measure matters - although your examples are volumes, not weights! Measuring cups and spoons measure volumes - scales measure weight.

Use dry measuring cups for dry indredients - use liquid measuring cups for liquid ingredients - measuring spoons can be used for either due to the small margin of error. Using a dry measuring cup to measure your water - instead of 8-oz you'll wind up with only about 7-oz, if you don't spill any - because of something called a Meniscus - and how you measure your flour using a dry measuring cup also matters ... you might want to read this information on How to Measure at Baking911.

Incorrect measuring could throw off your ingredients (dry vs wet volumes) by as much as 6% - 20% for the ingredeints you mentioned. That would account for the unincorporated flour you noticed.

FWIW: Even if measured correctly - changing the flour in the recipe can cause problems because different types of flour absorb different amounts of liquid. Maybe someone here has a copy of Cookwise by Shirley Corriher and can look that info up for you if you need it - mine is packed in a box somewhere in my garage getting ready to move next month. You didn't mention doing this - just thought I would mention it.

Water Temp: What do the instructions for your bread machine say? Normally, if you are proofing the yeast in water before being added to the dry ingredients you would want the temp about 105F-115F (and you would want to add a pinch of sugar to feed it). If your recipe calls for mixing all of your dry ingredients together and then adding warm water - you're looking at wanting the water to be closer to 115F-125F. Some bread machines that use a 1-hour cycle will call for the water to be at 80F. Read and follow the instructions for your bread machine and do what the mfg says. Water over about 130F-135F will kill the yeast. Yep - you need to take your water's temp. And, no it doesn't have to be an instant read thermometer - it just has to be one that will measure in the range of 100F - 140F.

Yeast: If your yeast was getting fully hydrated, and you were following your bread machine instructions (as to the order you add ingredients or how you may need to combine them before adding to the bread machine and using the correct temp for the water) ... you probably have the wrong type yeast, or you need to adjust the amount for your bread machine cycle. One thing you might want to do is check your yeast and see if it says it is for use in bread machines.

Hope this helps you more than it confuses you ...
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:04 PM   #18
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Git digital scale and weigh all of your ingredients, water,flour,salt,etc. Git a instant read thermometer and use it , use your scale and your bread will come out much better. Every baker worth his yeast has both and has very few failures, Temperature is critical any thing over 115*F will kill your yeast
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Old 08-26-2008, 05:33 AM   #19
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With all of this discussion, I am curious. Is a bread machine really any easier? I use my Kitchen Aid and my hands. As I see and feel the dough, I can make adjustments. I can avert some problems before they get to be big problems. I am not being combative, just curious.
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:00 AM   #20
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It's so much easier for me that, before I found out about the NYT no-knead bread method, I never made bread at home at all. With my machine, you measure the water (temp and amount) and any other wet ingredients into the container, then top with flour and yeast, turn it on, and leave it for three hours. When I come back, it's done. The exception is when I make cinnamon-raisin bread for DH - then, I have to put the raisins in after about 20 minutes, but it beeps to remind me

If it wasn't for the bread machine, I simply would not make bread at home. And in the summer, I don't want to heat up my oven to 500*, so I haven't made the NYT bread since spring.
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