The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cake Maker?

The Erm's picture
The Erm

Cake Maker?

Hi Fresh Loafers! 

I am after some advise please..

I have a bread machine that seems to turn our very cakey/close loaves. I measure my ingredients using a electronic scale - any tips on how I can avoid this happening? 



yy's picture

Could you post an example of a recipe that you use?

The Erm's picture
The Erm

Hi YY, 

Here is the last one I tried which gave cakey results:-

Light seeded wholemeal bread

750g (1/2 lb loaf)

275 ml (9 floz) water (I used room temperature)

2 tablespoons  - milk powder

2 tablespoons - sunflower oil

1 teaspoon - salt

25g (1oz) Pumpkin seeds 

25g (1oz) sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons of golden linseeds

275g strong wholemeal flour

200g (7oz) strong white flour

1 tablespoon of light muscovado sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons fast-action dried yeast

1 tablespoon of milk to glaze

I added the liquids to the machine first, followed by the powder ingredients, adding the sugar and yeast in a well in the top of the powder ingredients. I didn't use any 'quick' programmes. 



yy's picture

Gluten underdevelopment is probably the major contributor to your dense, cakey loaves. There are a number of things about your recipe that support this theory (Please forgive the low level of scientific sophistication in my answer):

1. the seeds and bran in the wholemeal flour are physically impeding the gluten strands from forming.

2. the oil is chemically at odds with gluten formation.This is more minor, since there are only 2 tablespoons in the recipe.

In order to improve your result, I would suggest the following:

1. First mix everything together but the seeds and the oil

2. Add the oil after the "first dough" has come together in a cohesive mass that shows some gluten development. Then knead some more to incorporate the oil

3. Hold off on adding the seeds until you're almost at the desired level of gluten development.

I'm not familiar with your bread machine, but try adding the ingredients in stages while the machine is mixing, paying attention to your dough development and testing it along the way by tearing off a chunk and performing the "windowpand test" (search this site for more info on this). The problem may also be that your machine's settings do not call for enough kneading, in which case you might consider taking the dough out and kneading some more by hand in the middle of a cycle. I'm sure people with more bread machine experience could give you more practical advice that is compatible with the equipment.



The Erm's picture
The Erm

Thanks for the advice, I will give it a go!