Long-time breadmaker here -- I've lost my touch. Please help
Me: I always use a breadmaker and I ALWAYS make whole wheat. I bought the original DAK Breadmaker when it first came out. I had tweaked my DAK WW recipe so that the rising bread nearly kissed the glass top every single time. Then I bought an Oster about 3 years ago primarily because they had a WW recipe that did not require any added Gluten flour. The Oster worked fabulously. That is the good news. My problem now is that I cannot repeat my successes now no matter what I do. Now, Every single loaf comes out to about 1/2 of the expected size -- in BOTH Bread Makers.
Ok, to provide more specifics: 1) My room temperature is now (Chicago winter) is set to 57 degrees. Not expecting things to work right because of this, I have warmed the breadmakers, the flour, the water, the yeast -- everything. 2) I've proofed my yeast. According to Red Star, 1/2C water + 1t sugar + 2 1/4t yeast (all at 115-120 degrees) + 10 minutes should raise the volume from 1/2C to 1C. It does. All my jarred yeast stays in the freezer. 3) I've created a nice warm environment by putting 1/2 gallon jars of hot tap water outside the BM. Then I put blankets around the whole thing plus a warming pad on top. All this was of course is removed when the baking starts. 4) I am very careful when measuring. I use the same measuring cups & technique I always have.
Just recently, I've also began milling my own flour. Today, I thought to use store-bought WW flour to see if the milling was causing an issue. I fired up BOTH BMs and they now both have 1/2 loaves in them. I'm at my wits' end here.
What has happened to my bread-making capability? Assistance appreciated. Oh, and this is my 1st post here.