May 11, 2021 - 5:41pm
Best Bread Machine - Basic 100% WW Loaf
Does anyone have a recommendation for a bread machine that makes a really nice 100% WW loaf? I grind my own wheat, and currently use a Welbilt (Model ABM4100T-2), which makes a nice 60%WW/40%AP loaf. But the loaf tends to collapse on itself if I use 100% WW. It has a couple other issues too. If it loses power halfway through, I'm pretty much out of luck with that dough. The bottom of the loaf gets pretty torn up by the paddle Maybe these are issues with all bread machines? This is the only one I've ever used. I'm not trying to make anything too fancy with it -- just sandwiches and toast.
Thanks for any suggestions.
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Also, please make sure you have a solid bread machine recipe because great bread starts with a great recipe.
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I do not have much bread machine experience but I have helped a few people working with bread machines by using the basic concepts of working with whole grain. The best advice I would have is to buy a machine that allows you to adjust the times/timing of the every phase- the mix, an autolyse/soak phase, the proof and the bake. Do not buy a machine that just has a "button" marked "whole wheat". It is not flexible enough. I mainly worked with a few people that had a Zojirushi brand breadmaker, but they are costly.
Another option is to use the bread machine to mix the dough, remove the dough for a longer soak,,shape,proof and bake in a regular oven. Or return it to the machine after the resting/rising phase to complete the cycle (if that machine allows you to interrupt the cycle).
Amazingly, I found the posts I referred to above-see if THIS helps.
Welcome to TFL!
Collapsed bread in a bread machine is usually a sign of over-fermentation, and perhaps... perhaps... too much water.
The higher % WW in a recipe, the less yeast you need. Because of the enzymes in the bran, WW ferments faster, and you then need to use less yeast to compensate.
If you used the same amount of yeast in your 100% WW loaf as you did in the 60% loaf, there is your answer: just reduce the amount of yeast.
I just made a 90% store-bought stone-ground WW durum loaf in my bread machine with only 1 tsp instant dry yeast, and had a huge collapse. So next time I will try 1/2 tsp yeast and less water.
Also, home-milled WW ferments faster than store-bought WW because it is fresher and those enzymes are more active. I home mill too, but not lately.
Therefore, home-milled WW requires even less yeast than store-bought WW flour.
Home-milled flour also has more natural oil than store-bought WW flour. WW flour loses oil to evaporation sitting on the store shelf. So if your high % WW recipe was desgned for store-bought WW, and calls for oil, you can usually reduce or eliminate it when using home-milled WW.
Home-milled WW usually benefits from a long soak before adding yeast. This kinda goes against the convenience of a bread machine, but makes for better bread.
First, use the machine to mix just the flour, water, and salt. Do not let it go into the kneading phase. You do not want WW dough kneaded during the soak phase -- the purpose of the soak is to get the flour particles hydrated to their core. After it is mixed sufficiently, and the dough is homogenous, meaning no clumpy dry spots and no wet spots, turn the machine off, and let the dough sit in the pan for an hour. If due to your schedule needs, you could take the dough out of the bread machine, put it in a bowl or sealed plastic bag, cover, and put in fridge for up to 12 hours.
The tricky part is to add yeast to already formed dough without the yeast clumping together. (And you don't want yeast in there during the soak.) One way is to roll out the dough on a work surface and lightly and evenly sprinkle 1/3 of the yeast on 1/2 of the dough. Fold the un-yeasted half of the dough over the yeasted half. Roll out again. Repeat two more times.
Another way to evenly work yeast into dough is to dissolve the yeast in 2 tbsp water and slowly and evenly work the yeast water into the dough, either by hand, or... by putting the dough in the machine, turning it back on, and slowly dribbling the yeast water onto the dough as the machine mixes it.
During the soak, the natural enzymes in WW are busy breaking down the starch into sugar. Therefore, soaking WW "makes sugar." This sugar accelerates the yeast when the yeast gets added. Therefore, soaked WW needs even less yeast than not-soaked WW.
For power outages, as long as they are brief, a battery-backup from your local electronics/computer store (Best Buy, etc.) will fix that. First, Be sure to match the wattage capacity. Second, match the _time_ capacity to the length of your power losses. Most power losses where I am at are just flickers really, just enough to reset things, not even a full minute.
Good luck, and bon appétit!
Thank you all for the comments. Some days it feels like my 5 year old would starve without bread. Maybe with this Zojirushi I can sneak every other food group into her bread : )