The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hi and HELP!!

Tony Swiecicki's picture
Tony Swiecicki

Hi and HELP!!

Hi I have just joined the Forum in a fit of intense frustration, so this is a hello and plea for some guidance and help. 

I bought a Tefal Actibread machine a few weeks back. Full of enthusiasm, I set the machine up, threw in the ingredients for a simple, small loaf of bread and switched the machine on and 2.5 hours later I had a  perfect loaf! About a week later I did it again and again the loaf was perfect. 

But...... after those two successes I just can't get anything to work. I'm not sure if I should take this to a different part of the forum space but...

So I thought that my problem might have been old yeast, so I bought some new, checked that it was working and tried again but no success. Part of the problem seems to be that the machine is not properly mixing the ingredients (see photo 1). I have tried helping the mix process with a spatula and that helps get the loaf into shape but I am still left with the problem that it will not rise. 

I have measured out the ingredients as per the recipe and tried 3 different recipes. All result in the same - no rise slab of concrete! 

Any tips, hints or suggestions gratefully received.

 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Welcome to TFL!  (I've been here since Sep 2019.)

I used a bread machine a lot before I started doing artisan bread.

- - - First, the "General" - - - - - - - 

I learned three main things. These are BEGINNER Rules:

A)  You have to use a recipe for your specific machine, like one that comes in the owner's manual.  This is because of two things:   1) the size (capacity) of the pan. And 2) the timings.    Not all machines have the same size pan and timings.  If you use a bread machine recipe from a book or from the Internet, you are asking for trouble if you are still just beginnimg.

B) No substitutions.  You have to use EXACT ingredients.   For instance..... If it calls for "instant" or "bread machine" yeast, you cannot use "active dry" yeast, (without making other adjustments, and beginners won't know what those adjustments are yet.)

C) Even if you use EXACT ingredients, small changes still have to be made due to differences in flour and water.  Different brands of flour take more or less water than others.  So that is the main small adjustment, slightly more or less water, and slightly more or less flour.  Not all AP flour is the same.  Not all Bread flour is the same.  Even the same bag of flour, sitting in your pantry, will gain or lose moisture over time, and need an adjustment.

Those are only  "beginners' rules."  Once the baker becomes experienced, and reads up for more knowledge, and experiments "little by little", then of course you can change things, and use other recipes.  But, you will be successful in making alterations only _after_ gaining knowledge and experience, and "small step" experiments.

- - - Now the "Specific" - - - - - - 

Your recipe used to work, but now it doesn't.  That "begs the question".... what did you change?   Flour, or water, or salt or yeast, or oil, or honey, or sugar, or what? Either type, or brand, or quantity?  ALL changes "count."    

Did you change the "program setting"?

What was the recipe and the "program setting" that worked?  Did you use the delay timer?  Give brands if possible.

What is the recipe and the "program setting" that does not work?  Did you use the delay timer? Give brands if possible.

What country are you in?  ( Yes, that is sometimes a clue to the answer, because of local flour/water/yeast.) 

And ... the order in which you put in the ingredients counts, too.

--

Good luck, amigo!