MU Extension MU Extension       University of Missouri    ●    Columbia    ●    Kansas City       Missouri S&T     ●    St. Louis

MissouriFamilies.org - Food and Fitness

 

Feature Articles: Food, Fitness and Cooking and Produce
 

Improving Machine Breads
All You “Knead” to Know

Susan Mills-Gray, Nutrition Specialist, Cass County,
University of Missouri Extension

Bread Machine Stages


Come on, admit it. You just had to have a bread machine, but you only use it a couple times each year. Lots of kitchen appliances have stories like this. We want to believe we will use our appliances daily, but we struggle to make a good product with them.
 

When it comes to machine breads, you must do a few things to ensure success overall:
 

  • Always use bread flour in the recipe. All-purpose flour doesn’t contain enough protein to make quality gluten that can withstand the machine’s kneading process.
  • Precise measuring is crucial.
  • Follow the instructions in your bread machine’s user manual with regards to the order of ingredients.
     

Troubleshooting
The following is a list of common problems encountered with machine breads and how to correct them. Experiment to find the suggestions that may improve your breads.
 

If the crust is too thick:
 

  • Select the lightest setting on the machine.
  • Remove bread from the machine immediately after the bake cycle is complete.
  • Remove bread five minutes before the end of the bake cycle.
     

If the bread collapses during baking:
 

  • Use a thermometer to accurately measure liquid temperature when preparing ingredients.
  • Check dough consistency five minutes into the kneading cycle; if dough is wet, add flour a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is achieved.
  • Use less liquid, 1/4 to 4 tablespoons.
  • Use cooler water.
  • Slightly increase the amount of salt or sugar you use.
  • Avoid baking on high-humidity days.
  • Do not open the machine during the rise or bake cycles.
  • Try a smaller recipe.
  • Remove baked loaf from bread machine immediately.
     

If bread does not rise:
 

  • Check dough consistency five minutes into the kneading cycle; if dough is dry, add liquid a tablespoon at a time.
  • Increase the amount of sugar in recipe.
  • Decrease the amount of flour in recipe.
  • When you prepare the recipe, have all liquids at 80 degrees F and other ingredients at room temperature.
  • Check to make sure you have added yeast, and that your yeast is active.
  • Use bread flour rather than all-purpose flour.
  • Make sure salt and yeast don’t come into contact with each other.
  • Do not open the bread machine lid during the rise cycle.
  • Do not let yeast come in contact with liquids or wet ingredients if using the delay cycle.
     

If the loaf is short and dense:
 

  • Check dough consistency five minutes into the kneading cycle; if dough is dry, add liquid a tablespoon at a time.
  • Use bread flour.
  • Certain flours, such as whole wheat and rye, create heavier products than white flour. Your bread machine may have a difficult time kneading heavier bread doughs.
     

If the bread has a coarse texture:
 

  • Decrease the amount of liquid in the recipe.
  • Increase the amount of salt in the recipe.
     

If the loaf has a doughy center:
 

  • Decrease the amount of liquid by up to a fourth.
  • Check yeast activity.
  • Your bread machine may be malfunctioning. Check the user’s manual.
  • Avoid baking on high-humidity days.
  • Your recipe may be too large for the machine. Try a smaller recipe.
     

If the top of the loaf doesn’t brown:
 

  • Select a smaller recipe.
  • Increase the amount of sugar in the recipe.
  • Use milk instead of water in the recipe.
     

If the bread has mushroom-shaped top:
 

  • Check the dough consistency five minutes into kneading cycle; if dough is wet, add flour a tablespoon at a time.
  • Decrease the amount of liquid in the recipe.
  • Decrease the amount of yeast in the recipe.
  • Use fewer sugary ingredients, such as dried fruit, coconut, etc.
     

If the bread crust is too moist:
 

  • The bread sat in the pan too long. Remove it sooner.
  • Use the darkest setting available on your machine.
     

If the dough is too dry or stiff:
 

  • After the first five minutes of kneading, add 1 tablespoon of water.
     

Here’s a great bread recipe from Red Star Yeast Company:
 

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
Yield: a 1-pound loaf:
 

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon nonfat dry milk
2 teaspoons butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup hot-to-touch tap water
1 large egg, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon lemon extract
 

Add ingredients in the order specified in your bread machine owner's manual. Set the bread machine on the basic or standard breadmaking setting. Select the medium or normal baking cycle.
 

While the baked bread cools to room temperature, make the following glaze:
 

2 teaspoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
 

Cream the butter with the grated lemon zest and powdered sugar. Gradually add lemon juice until smooth and thin enough to drizzle. Glaze cooled loaf of bread by drizzling glaze on top and sides. Let dry before slicing.

 

 

 

Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


University of Missouri logo links to http://extension.missouri.edu

Site Administrator:
mofamweb@missouri.edu
Copyright  ADA  Equal Opportunity


MissouriFamilies is produced by the College of Human Environmental Sciences,
Extension Division, University of Missouri