The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Smaller loaves?

Cougsfan's picture
Cougsfan

Smaller loaves?

My daughter gave me her Panasonic SD YD250 bread maker that she never used, and I have been making delicious bread for several weeks now with good success.   All the standard recipes call for 3 cups of flour.   I find the loaves this makes in the bread maker are way too big  (mainly too tall).   A sandwich made with two pieces of the bread is way too big for me to eat.  A piece of bread is also too large to fit into my toaster.    I usually cut one piece in half to make toast or a sandwich, but then they are on the small side. 

What happens if I reduce all the ingredients by 1/3?   Is there another way to reduce the height of the loaf?

IceDemeter's picture
IceDemeter

it looks like the one you have should have settings for different sized loaves (medium, large, and xtra large).  If you still have the recipe booklet that came with the machine, then it should tell you what changes to make to their recipes to make "medium" sized loaves.

http://shop.panasonic.com/microwave-and-kitchen/kitchen-appliances/bread-makers/SD-YD250.html

If you are already using the smallest size (the "medium") and still need them smaller, then you could try just reducing the recipe, but you'll have to see if you can manually reduce the bake time as well (smaller recipes bake faster).  Another option would be to let the machine make and develop the dough, and then take it out and shape it in to loaf-pan that has the size and shape that you want, and then bake it in your oven.

For specific directions, your best bet is to contact the manufacturer to see what can be done with their machine.

Good luck!

Ingrid G's picture
Ingrid G

Use 400g bread flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon caster (fine) sugar, 1 teaspoon rapid (instant) yeast, 250g water and a dash of sunflower oil. Pay attention to the sequence of adding the ingredients, as per instruction manual.

Use the Rapid Bake; it takes only 1 hour and 55 minutes. Make sure you select a Medium Loaf with a Crust to your liking.

Don't use bread improvers. They only 'blow' the bread up and don't contribute anything healthy to your bread.

MonkeyDaddy's picture
MonkeyDaddy

that I've had for years.  It's round with a high, clear glass dome for a lid (the one that everybody thought looked like R2-D2).  The pan is cylindrical , i.e., vertical.  Scaling my recipes up and down worked very well.  In fact I had tremendous success with all four of the Bread Machine Cookbook series by Donna Rathmell German, in which she provides every recipe in large, medium, and small sizes to accommodate the bread machines available at that time.

I looked up your machine and it appears that the pan, while square, is also vertical.  So scaling your recipes should work.  I have done a lot of researching various machines and it sounds like the ones with horizontal pans do not do as well with changes from the recommended volume

One caution however: in Ms. German's books, the changes in ingredients do not always appear to be straight across-the-board percentages.  Sometimes one or two of the ingredients are tweaked a little in quantity, which I presume was the result of her kitchen testing (with the exception of whole eggs which are somewhat difficult to divide).  Also, my machine had light, medium, and dark settings for the crust browning, which was essentially a change in the bake time - so it was easy for me to adjust for the size of the loaf.

Good luck - let us know how it goes!

     --Mike

Cougsfan's picture
Cougsfan

Just as a note. My bread maker and it's instruction book does call for 3 sizes; "medium", "large", and "extra large".   It is the "medium" that I still find way too large.  It is short of a short loaf, normal width, but really tall.   I couldn't imagine making an "extra large" loaf.   My next loaf I will try cutting everything down by 1/3 on the medium recipe and still use the medium settings and see how it comes out.  

 

If I were just to use the machine for mixing and kneading (it does have a setting for that), how long and how hot does one bake the dough?

I have been playing with the ingredients outside the stated recipes.   Haven't made a bad loaf yet and they are just keep getting better.   My last loaf was 50% whole wheat and 50% white wheat, using 1/4 cup honey instead of sugar, and adding 1/2 cup almond slices plus 4 teaspoon full of gluten.     Absolutely delicious!

MonkeyDaddy's picture
MonkeyDaddy

is about all I use my bread machine for anymore.  When I have a busy afternoon planned, it works great to start after lunch and have pizza dough ready for dinner.

Temp and bake time will vary depending on the bread.  "Lean" breads (basically flour/water/salt/yeast) can tolerate higher heats and shorter times, e.g., 450F and 30-40 minutes.  But "enriched" breads (containing milk/fats/sugars) can burn easily at higher temps, so I drop the temp and add a few minutes to the time, e.g., 350F and 40-60 minutes.  Add-ins (like nuts/seeds/fruits/whole grains) will also change your times.  You'll likely have to play with it a bit before you find the perfect combination for your particular recipe.  You want to bake long enough that the internal temperature of your bread is 200-205F.  An added plus: when you're baking the dough yourself, you can experiment with all kinds of fun shaping techniques - it's awesome.  Be careful though, breadmaking is more addictive than crack - once you get your hands in the dough and have your first really successful loaf come out of the oven you'll be hooked ;-)

     --Mike

Cougsfan's picture
Cougsfan

Reducing the smallest recipe portion size by 1/3rd didn't work too well.   First off the finished dough ended up being stacked to just one side of the bread maker's cook pan, so it just made a tall, grossly miss-shaped  half loaf that didn't solve any of my initial concerns.   Secondly, the bread was considerable over-cooked, an option that the bread maker gives me no option to reduce further.

I have considered just using the bread maker to make dough and cooking it myself in the oven.   Not sure I want to take the time and effort to do that always, but probably will give it a try following MonkeyDaddy's cooking suggestions.  One of the things I like about the bread maker is the ability to just walk away and forget about it after you add the ingredients.

Cougsfan's picture
Cougsfan

I have figured out how to shorten the height of my loaves and make them more uniform.   The first thing I did was switch to using a scale rather than using volumetric measurements for ingredients.   This is quicker, easier, more accurate and far less messy.  Also changing the size of the recipe became a lot less hard to do.  I went to 85% my original recipe.  (85 percent of 13 oz, is a lot easier to figure than 85% of 3 cups).  Then I found that by tweaking up the amounts of water and oil just a bit allowed the dough to get a little more moist and rise uniformly.   My bread is now a reasonable, even height  across the length, not high on one end.    I do now have to be careful to let the bread cool completely before putting it in a plastic bag, or the bag sweats on the inside.