The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

frustration and the bread machine!

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mcKai's picture

frustration and the bread machine!

So several weeks ago i made the decision to lead ny family down the path of healthier food and lifestyle. Its been brilliant! Every thing portioned, cooked from scratch and free of msg, additives , preservatives and sixty letter ingredients thst require google to decipher.

Everything except making bread. Ive mastered yeast rolls, cinnamon bread and crescants galore but i cannot for the life of me get a loaf of usable bread from the bread maker. Using the recipes that came from the book and bread flour, cannot cut it. Wheat, same issue.

Out of desperation i tried ap flour with 4 tablespoons vital gluten ( should have been teaspoons-- my bad). I wait several hours- sometimes the next morning to cut it and the result is the same :(

I have a oster 2 lb express bake, i use king arthur wheat and bread flour, orgabic AP flour and reds mill vital wheat gluten.

I also live a altitude between 5500 and 6000ft.

Please help! We are a large family and i really need to make this bread machiine produce usable loaves!


SylviaH's picture

ingredients like water, yeast, size of loaf and adjust the salt, advice and recipes can probably be found by googling in your question on the web.


ccsdg's picture

May I ask what is wrong with the bread that makes it "unusable"?

If I recall correctly, AP flour yields less gluten than bread flour, but + extra gluten would have upped the gluten again - you might possibly have ended up with the same levels as bread flour anyway.

MisterTT's picture

to one simple formula and get it right. I don't think it'll take you more than 3 or 4 iterations. Also, there are some special concerns to consider when baking at higher altitude, so you may want to glance at this article:

mcKai's picture

Ccsdk-- in the case of my wheat bread it was great while freash. However the next day my kids told me the bread became very crumbly and dry. I checked the loaf my self and noticed this as well. Adding 2 tbl spoon gluten helped give my white bread the stretchy soft texture my kids liked about the store bread, however the bread seemed soggy overall, patricularly in the middle.


Mister tt-- I did make adjustments when i lived at 9k feet. I didnt adjudt hereat 5800. I will try adding three more table spoons to my dough. I generally add 1 teaspoon of liquid to my dough ball in the machine until it is smooth and spins freely

ccsdg's picture

I am new to these forums myself and am certainly no bread expert, but I found my initial loaves dry and crumbly the next day as well. I also encountered a smattering of other problems. 

My impression from what I have read is that store bought bread adds preservatives to make it as soft for as long as it does, and the obvious solution is to eat fresh baked bread instead. This was fine for me as I bake nearly every day anyway - I just made smaller loaves/buns/dinner rolls. However i have also learnt other tricks for keeping bread soft such as moisture content (eg enriching with eggs, butter, you can also google tangzhong) and a highly risen, fine crumb (very advanced gluten development among other things).

I can't tell you what to do in any detail as I am just learning myself, but welcome to the site, well done for making the switch to a healthier lifestyle and hopefully you will find some answers and solutions soon!

NillaFish's picture

is the Tang Zhong method or the 17h method (check my post). These techniques yield beautiful loaves. Or, if you want, you can just store the bread in the freezer and heat it up whenever you need a slice. It's a good way to store bread. And once you heat it up in the oven, it's as good as freshly baked.


jcking's picture

Skip the VWG, it's not needed. Use KA AP instead of KA Bread. KA Bread flour is too strong for a bread machine. The addition of potato flakes and egg whites make a crumb with a nice soft texture.

If your baking more than a loaf a week a scale is a great investment. The formula below will give you a very nice 1 1/2# loaf.

150g Water, 160g Butter Milk, 35g Egg whites, 18g veg oil, 37g Honey, 383 KA AP (or other brand Bread Flour), 32g Potato Flakes, 8g salt, 4g Instant or Bread Machine Yeast.

(edit: split KA AP with Whole Wheat Flour)