Bread Machine Tips

Copyright by Michael Jones, Bill Elkus, Jim Lyles, and Lisa Lewis 1995 - 1996 - All rights reserved worldwide.

These tips are designed to give an insight into the operation of a bread machine with our alternate flours. A tecnhique for converting these recipes to oven baking from Red Star Yeast is also included.

The bread machine can be one of the greatest inventions or, as some people will verify, a nightmare. Think about these tips when using your bread machine:

1. Some machines work better with our alternative flours. Check with a local group for recommendations before purchasing a machine. These intial machines produced the easiest GF breads and all may not be available at this time:

Welbilt: Models 100, 150, 2210
Zojirushi BBCC-S15 & BBCC-Q20
Red Star

These machines were added in January 1997:

Wellbilt 3300, 3600, 4000, 4800, 6800
Toastmaster 1154, 1156S, 1195
Regal 6750, 6751, 6760, 6762

If you have a current machine, information on making GF breads is available by calling (800) 4-CELIAC (Red Star Yeast).

2. Most of the recipes that come with the machine will not work with our alternative flours on a one-per-one exchange.

3. Different brands of flours will require slight changes in the amount of water. If the bread grows out the top of the machine or is soggy in the middle, try reducing the water by 1 to 2 tbs. This can also be true as a result of humidity changes in the house. Let your eyes be your guide to know when to add more flour or water to the dough in the kneading cycle. the dough should be a smooth somewhat tacky dough when touched. However, no dough should cling to your fingers when touched. Add flour or water if needed in small amounts gradually to get the proper consistency.

4. If the dough rises to the dome, use a fork to punch small holes in the dough. This will cause the dough to fall back and you avoid a big mess. Slowly punch small holes until it falls back. Because of multiple rising, the process may need to be repeated. 5. Separate pre-mixing of the dry and wet ingredients may give a better texture. It takes a few extra seconds and one large bowl to mix all ingredients before adding to the machine. Some machines will show no difference in bread quality, so try it both ways.

6. Use all ingredients at room temperature, except for melted margarine and frozen yeast (when stored in the freezer).

If your hot water heater is set at 105 - 120 degrees, tap water should be warm enough. Some bread machines requires the water to be at room temperature. This is because the bread machine's motor will warm up the ingredients during the first mixing stage. People have a tendency to make the water much too hot for the bread machine. This activates the yeast too quickly, causing a poor textured loaf which may often collapse. Too hot water may rupture the yeast cells and render them ineffective.

Do not warm ingredients in the microwave. This avoids cooking things like the eggs.

7. Some machines makes a 1-1/2 pound loaf of bread, while other machines makes a 1 pound loaf. Therefore, use only 2/3 or 1/2 of the recipe in a smaller machine. Recipes with 3 cups of flour are considered to be 1-1/2 pound machines. The first time that you convert a receipe, a technique that reduces the risk is to make the first loaf with only one half of the ingredients.

8. Pieces of fruit can be added at any time. If you add them immediately after adding the liquid, a majority of the fruit will be in the lower one third of the loaf. The best choice is to add them after about thirty minutes. Use about 1/8 cup of the dry dough mix as a dusting for the fruit to prevent sticking. Some machines call for the addition of fruits at the ten beeps, at about two hours on the four hour machines. The disadvantage of this is that you might forget or the dough may be too heavy to allow the fruit to settle. Some of the new machines released during 1992 have a stronger motor and are better able to mix these fruits.

9. If the bread is not eaten within three to five days, go ahead and freeze it. It can be frozen whole or sliced. Sliced is a little better because you can retrieve individual slices.

10. Whipping the egg thoroughly instead of beating lightly will normally give the bread a very nice texture. Regardless, the egg should be beaten to break the yolk before adding to the machine.

11. Some measuring cups give slightly different measurements. The most accurate technique is with a scale.

12. If you want the top of the bread to brown all over, cover the outside with aluminum foil, shiny side down.

13. Cottage Cheese / Ricotta Cheese: Cottage cheese and ricotta cheese are used to add moisture to the breads. Except for changes in flavor cottage and ricotta cheese are interchangeable.

14. Gourmet Blend: Gourmet Blend is from Bette Hagman's cookbook, The Gluten Free Gourmet. It can be ordered from Ener-G Foods as a mix or you can mix your own. It is 2 parts white rice flour, 2/3 part potato starch, and 1/3 part tapioca flour. Mix a master batch by using cups in place of parts and then take the required number of cups from the master mix. The easiest way to mix the flours is to put everything into a gallon size zipper bag and then shake or whisk the flours.

15. Ground Coffee / Instant Coffee: Several of the bread machine recipes call for instant coffee as a dry ingredient. The instant coffee can be replaced with regular dry coffee grounds. Once the bread is made you will not be able to locate the coffee grounds.

16. Reference Material: Most bread machine cookbooks, except for Bette Hagman's 1993 cookbook, _More from the Gluten Free Gourmet_, do not have GF bread recipes. Some useful general bread cookbooks are:

Red Star Yeast has a GF Hotline for questions about baking GF bread products. Their phone number is (800) 4-CELIAC.

17. Sourdough Starter: To make starter: Using a glass bowl and wooden spoon, dissolve 1 package yeast in 1 cup warm water with a pinch of sugar added. Add 1 1/2 cups white rice flour, a little at a time, stirring well. Let starter sit in a warm place until fermented and bubbly. It may be as little time as 20 minutes in a warm area, but could take as long as 1 hour if area is cooler. When bubbly and risen a bit, you may cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use. The starter will be the consistency of pancake batter.

If you are successful in making the starter, it will last forever. It can be left loosely covered on the kitchen counter. It also can be stored, tightly covered in the refrigerator for several weeks or months between uses. If you don't bake often, you may want to take the starter out once a month and refresh it by adding some flour, water, and sugar. Let it sit out for 12 hours. A clear tan or gray to yellow color will come to the top when allowed to stand for any length of time. Before using, just mix to combine liquid and batter. Discard any starter that turns color (orange or green) or develops an unpleasant odors.

To "feed" sourdough starter: Each time you remove an amount of sourdough starter from your sourdough crock you must "feed" the remaining starter so that you can have more starter to use the next time. To feed your starter do the following: Using a glass bowl and wooden spoon, mix remaining batter from starter pot (at least 1 cup of sourdough starter), 1 cup of warm water and 1 1/2 cups white rice flour. Mix together well. Let stand until doubled in bulk. Sourdough starter is ready to use when it has bubbled and risen up. Cover and refrigerate until next use.

One of the advantages of using sourdough starter is that the bread will normally stay fresher longer. Depending on the sourdough used, the actual sour taste common to many sourdough breads may not be noticeable.

Yogurt Sourdough Starter: Sourdough starter made with yogurt has a stronger "sour taste" for those desiring that effect. Make the starter as stated above, except change the ingredients to 1/2 cup yogurt (must contain live cultures), 1 cup of water, 1 cup of flour, and 1 tbs. sugar.

Sourdough Potato Starter: Peel and slice 1 medium potato. Boil in 1 1/2 cups of water until tender. Drain and reserve 1 cup of water. Cool to 115 deg. Blend in 1 package yeast and 1-1/2 cups white rice flour. Cover and allow to bubble. This starter can be blended with basic sourdough starter or used by itself.

18. Xanthan Gum / Guar Gum: Xanthan gum and guar gum are used by celiacs as stabilizers or to add smooth texture in breads. The two gums can be interchanged with no impact upon the recipe. The difference is the cost differential between the two gums and some people report a laxative effect when using guar gum.

19. Melted margarine: For health reasons and ease of preparation, most recipes will accept olive oil as a direct replacement for melted margarine.

20. Breads made with our alternative flours do not need a second kneading. Since most machines cannot be programmed to stop this cycle, the same effect can be accomplished by removing the paddle when the mixing cycle is complete and before the bread starts rising. Alternatively, start the machine empty, then add ingredients in the proper order after the first mix cycle is finished.

22. Milk free bread can be made by following these general replacements:
for 1/2 cup instant nonfat dry milk

23. There are many yeasts on the market. Red Star is reputed to make breads rise higher than Fleischmans yeast. SAF instant yeast (French imported yeast) produces higher better textured bread using less yeast than called for in recipes. Judge for your self by experimenting.

24. These ingredients which help improve texture, rising and character of bread:

25. Other miscellaneous tips for the breadmaker:

26. Cooking bread mchines recipes in the oven.

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This fact sheet has been designed to be a general information resource. However, it is not intended for use in diagnosis, treatment, or any other medical application. Questions should be directed to your personal physician. This information is not warranted and no liability is assumed by the author or any group for the recommendations, information, dietary suggestions, menus, and recipes promulgated. Based upon accepted practices in supplying the source documents, this fact sheet is accurate and complete. Products mentioned or omitted do not constitute endorsement.

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