~ ~ ~ Common Problems & Solutions ~ ~ ~

Many of the common problems, as well as hints for specific bread machines, are covered in detail in THE BREAD MACHINE MAGIC BOOK OF HELPFUL HINTS. However, new questions continue to fill our E-mail boxes.

Here are the answers to some of your most recent questions.

I want to add some "extras" to my breads like raisins, bran, etc. How much can I add then without ruining the bread?

The more you add to the basic dough, the more it will weigh it down and make it harder to rise. Limit the extras to 1/4 cup per cup of flour.

How can I add Sourdough starter to my recipe?

Count half of it as liquid and deduct that amount from the liquid listed in the recipe. For example, if you use one cup of starter, reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/2 cup.

My whole grain breads just don't rise as high as my white breads. Am I doing something wrong?

Heavier breads such as the whole-grain loaves containing whole wheat,rye, oatmeal, etc.and breads with a large amount of nuts, seeds, grains and cheese will not be as tall as simple white breads.

My breads all have a crack around the bread or on top of the loaf.

Your dough may be too dry. Next time add 1 to 2 tablespoons more liquid. If you have a programmable machine, increase the rising time.

Will refrigerating the dough kill my yeast?

No. You can refrigerate the dough for about 5 days. It does continue to grow, but at a slower rate. Be sure and punch it down every morning.

My breads always have burn crusts.

Set the Crust Color to Light.
Choose the Sweet Bread setting if your machine has it.
Reduce the amount of sugar.
Remove the loaf from the machine 5 to 10 minutes before the Bake cycle ends

I have a 2 pound bread machine but yesterday I made a 2 pound recipe that overflowed the pan.

Not all 2 pound bread machine pans are the same size. We suggest you start with the medium size recipe first to determine if it's a high riser.

I want to freeze my dough for rolls. Should I make them and freeze them?

It's best to shape your rolls and then freeze them. When you are ready to bake, just remove the rolls from the freezer, let them come to room temperature and let them rise again. Then bake as usual.

How can I add seeds to the top of the Bread?

Check your manual for baking cycle times and set a timer to ring just before the bake cycle starts. Combine an egg white and 1 tablespoon water. Very gently brush this mixture over the top of the dough. Sprinkle liberally with seeds of your choice such as caraway, sesame or poppy.

When a recipe calls for butter or margarine should I melt it first?

It's not necessary, but if you are using 2 tablespoons or more, just cut the butter or margarine up in small pieces to facilitate the mixing.

How do I use buttermilk powder in a recipe.

Use it just as you would non-fat dry milk powder. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of powder per cup of water.

I can't find bread flour in my grocery store. I would like to use all-purpose flour.

You can add 1 1/2 teaspoons of vital wheat gluten per cup of flour to your all-purpose flour and get a "bread flour". You can find vital wheat gluten in most health food stores or you can order from the King Arthur Flour Company. Their toll free number is 1-800-827-6386

My husband and I just cannot eat all the bread that my bread machine makes. I hate to throw it out.

Try slicing and freezing the individual slices in individual plastic bags.That way you can take out the bread as you need it. Also you might want to make some croutons or bread pudding with those leftovers.

Is it necessary to proof yeast in water first before placing it in the bread pan?

No it is not. You can place your liquid in the bottom of the bread pan, followed by the rest of the ingredients and add the yeast last. It's especially important to keep the yeast dry if you plan to bake the bread on a delayed timer cycle.

How much yeast is in a 1/4 oz package?

About 2 1/4 teaspoons.

Can salt be omitted from a bread recipe?

Salt controls the yeast's activity. It prevents breads from rising too rapidly, then collapsing during baking. The amount of salt in a recipe can often be reduced by as much as one-half, but it shouldn't be omitted entirely.


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