The Fresh Loaf

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Foolproof Bread Machine Recipe isn't quite foolproof

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sb23508's picture
sb23508

Foolproof Bread Machine Recipe isn't quite foolproof

I've just started making bread again (after a year's hiatus)..... The machine I'm using is a Zojirushi bbcc-x20.  The recipe is for a basic peasant white bread:

2 cups water
1 1/3 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 2/3 cups bread flour  (Pillsbury)
3 1/3 teaspoons active dry yeast (Red Star brand)I followed the instructions --- warm water first, followed by dry ingredients, followed by putting the yeast in a "well" made in the middle of the dry ingredients.Here are the sad results:


The recipe has worked fine in the past, but not anymore. The only thing I can think of that's different is I'm using sea salt instead of the regular iodized salt.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

 

p.s. Our family is vegan, so please don't suggest adding eggs or milk!

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

 

yy's picture
yy

Would you be able to slice the loaf open to give us a clear view of the insides? That might help us figure out the problem.

sb23508's picture
sb23508

Here's a cross section... seems to have a decent texture -- it's just the crown that looks torn and pale instead of smooth and golden the way bread SHOULD look.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

How does your machine bake the bread?  Are there lid coils?  I would check the connection between the machine and the lid first.

sb23508's picture
sb23508

In thinking about it, coils in the lid would make perfect sense, but I didn't see any wires leading from the base to the lid and when I looked online, I couldn't find any reference to there being any coils in my model (BBCC X2o).  I believe the newer models are available with a heated lid -- but not this one.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

record which ones you use and check the settings.  There might be a magnetic connection to upper wiring.  Make sure the rim is clean when closed to bake.  Um,  um,  um,  all I can come up with for the moment.  

There is a touble fixing site Fix-ya that I found using the model no. but I had to join the site.  I did not see the trouble you're having...yet.

yy's picture
yy

The top of the loaf also looks torn, as if there was insufficient gluten development. Are you certain your flour was unbleached?

sb23508's picture
sb23508

The bread I'm using is Pillsbury's bread flour, which SHOULD contain sufficient gluten -- but it is probably 6 months old or more.   (the bag was still sealed when I started trying to make bread this season, but it was just the standard paper bag -- not sealed in plastic)  Does gluten lose its effectiveness over time?

 

yy's picture
yy

The gluten development is more likely related to improper kneading rather than the flour itself. I don't believe the protein in the flour would degrade over 6 months of proper storage. When the kneading cycle is over, is the dough a smooth ball, or are there tears in it, and approximately how long is the final proof before baking?

sb23508's picture
sb23508

I'll have to bake another loaf and actually look at the dough after the knead cycle. 

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

and reduce the yeast to 1-1/4 teaspoons of instant yeast for bread machines, even though the crumb of your bread looks quite nice.

 

sb23508's picture
sb23508

After reading posts elsewhere on this site and also on the web, I changed the order in which I put the ingredients AND bought some fresh King Arthur Bread Flour.

Here's the result.  Bread with a nice even crust and crown.

 

As far as the order of ingredients go....

1)  Warm water
2)  Sugar
3)  Salt (iodized, instead of sea salt)
4)  Flour
5)  Yeast (put into a small indentation in the flour layer)

Machine set to light crust, no pre-heat.

Thanks to all for the suggestions!