Lucky me. My husband bought me a bread machine. Now that I've made a few hockey pucks, I'd better get some help
I started out bread making this year when I received a bread maker. I made bread in it once and never again. HOWEVER, I do use it for the mixing and kneading process. Then I finish off the bulk fermentation, proofing, and baking in the oven. Works great and takes out the most complicated part of most bread making, which I believe is the kneading process.
Good luck and let me know what model you have so maybe I can recommend some recipes.
We can use some hockey pucks right about now (wink). Welcome.
Welcome, Nora. I'm a new Vancouverite myself.
My machine is a Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme. It seems to fail every time I use whole wheat, but even using white bread machine flour with one of the manufacturer's recipes I still get a pretty flat loaf with overcooked sides, using either Breach Machine Yeast or traditional yeast. I also bought 300 best Canadian Bread Machine Recipes, which has nothing but great reviews on Amazon, and each and every recipe has proven to be a disppointment so far. Basically nothing really rises, and so I can tell before the baking starts that the bread will be stodgy.
I'm not wedded to the notion of having the bread machine make the loaf from start to finish each time, but I'd like to be able to make a loaf that way sometimes.
It's probably the flour. Try another brand. I've had some luck recently with Roger's no additive all purpose and their whole wheat as well.
Can you program the machine, so that you can get a longer proofing time?
The machine is programmable, but i have no clue what the times should be, so I would welcome advice on where I could learn such a thing
I am already using Roger's flours, the Bread machine varieties and the regular 100% whole wheat. The only whole wheat loaf I've had any success with added gluten to the recipe, using a recipe in the Zo booklet. It was acceptable, if not anything to brag about, on the heavy side and very dense.
I have a model similar to yours and I've been having a lot of fun and a few challenges transforming my old formulas. One problem that I have not had is the bread not rising. If anything, my bread has risen too much.
The next factor to check would be your yeast. Are you using the kind specified in the recipe? Are you putting it in a little well that you make on top of the flour (a minor thing, but very important). Is it well before the expiration date?
Are you sure you are using the right cycle? (I know that kind of like asking "Is the printer plugged in?" - but sometimes worth asking.)
Are you weighing your ingredients? This may make a difference. If you aren't weighing ingredients are you using the methods suggested for volume measures?
I just pulled a 100% whole wheat loaf - with no vital wheat gluten - out of my Zo'. I'm not 100% happy with it, but it is light and not at all dense. Rose almost to the glass. When I'm happy, I'll be writing up the formula - but all those little things mentioned above really do make a difference.
Good luck - you have a very nice machine and should be enjoying the output a little more.
I am most defintely not enjoying my machine. Something is wrong.
At the suggestion of the Zojirushi customer rep who I contacted, I used Traditional dry yeast in the loaf that is just finishing now. I was using Bread Machine yeast before that. The Zojirushi rep indicated that Bread Machine yeast should also work just fine.
I am putting the dried yeast in a dry well in the flour and it is always the last ingredient I add. It always touches nothing but flour. The yeast is very much active (both kinds of yeast).
I am not weighing my ingredients, but I use a spoon to put the flour in a nested measuring cup and I use a knife to level the flour to the top of the cup, just as the manufacturer recommends.
I'm using the exact ingedients in the recipe, no substitutions, not the slightest deviation.
Because the loaf I am currently making is whole wheat, I'm using the basic wheat cycle. I can tell the loaf will be awful when it bakes; the dough didn't knead properly and has jagged ridges, it has huddled to one side of the pan as usual, and although it is now almost at the end of its third rise cycle, it has not reached the edges of the pan. That means I will end up with a loaf that is flat at both ends and miserably low, just like all the rest. The dough just doesn't rise. It's almost as though the dough needs more warmth; if I was making bread by hand that would be my guess and I would move the dough to a warmer place to rise.
I think there's something wrong with the machine, frankly. I know a number of people who use a bread machine all the time and they say the hoops this machine is putting me through are just ridiculous. If I follow the manufacturer's very simple recipe for bread I should get at least a half decent loaf, and I'm not getting that, time after time after time. In fact, the best loaf I've made was one where I took the dough out of the machine and let it rise in my bathroom for half an hour just before the bake cycle started; at least I was able to place the dough in the centre of the pan. But even that one was flat and heavy and didn't rise all the way to the edges of the pan.
A friend of mine who has used her own bread machine for ten years believes the machine must be faulty. She is able to use bread machine recipes from almost any reliable source and produce a great loaf of bread almost every time. I can't even get a reasonable one using the manufacturer's own recipes.
I know, I sound pretty grumpy.
That was going to be my next suggestion. Return the machine and get a new one. It isn't working.
One more last, desperated "try this" - is to make absolutely sure that the loaf pan is inserted correctly and the paddles are on tight. But I have a feeling that you have already done that.
Just pulled a nice cake from my Zo' (with almost no effort) - I think you've gotten a bad machine.
This is a really good thread regardless of the wheat you use. The priciples are the same. Assuming your yeast is good, as mentioned above.
Hello Nora,It's nice to have another BC-baker here! Wishing you the very best for your bread baking.:^) breadsong
I may have jumped the gun. I've had so many bags of non working flour over the years that I always go there first! I would make a terrible scientist. Glad you got it sorted.