Two posts in one day. This one is time sensitive, since I am going to try again today when my groceries arrive.
A few days ago, Gordon turned to me and said, “I bought a bread machine.”
This is strange for many reasons, primarily because I’m the only one who makes bread and I didn’t ask for the bread machine. Also Gordon isn’t a huge bread fan.
Me: Would you like some bread?
The next day I get up in the morning and put together a loaf of milk bread and some milk bread buns, which I then bake in the oven. Here are the leftovers.
The bread machine arrives and it’s a massive high tech beast.
And then come the extras.
Husband wants bread.
So I unpacked, I washed everything, I read the instructions, I chose French Bread, a simple recipe, I followed instructions…
Here it is from another angle.
That is a spectacular fail. The dough clearly did not come together. I can’t tell if it even rose. I suspect not, although I know that yeast was alive since the milk bread rose.
I am betting on the yeast. The yeast I have is in a plastic container, but I am guessing it’s not bread machine or rapid rise. But still, like shouldn’t the dough be more cohesive than whatever cauliflower mess this is?
Before you ask, it tastes worse than it looks. I mean, you can kind of taste French bread in there, but it’s not even suitable for croutons.
I am going to try again today and will report back on the success or failure. I have rapid rise yeast coming from HEB.
No helpful thoughts for bread making, but cheering you on to victory!
If I make anything but honey saffron milk bread or cream biscuits I get negative feedback. Over 45 years of marriage and it is ” I liked the regular bread better but this is good”. You also need rapid rise yeast. My relatives have bread machines and use them.
Oooh honey saffron milk bread sounds amazing!
Right? My next stop is googling that…
Moderator R says
Bev, I think you need to share the recipe before we riot 😀 . Please and thank you.
It is a basic classic sweet dough made with 2 cups milk, a stick of butter ,about a third to a half cup of mild honey ,1 tsp. salt, 2 packs of rapid rise yeast, 2 beaten eggs and 9-10 cups of flour. Also a double pinch of saffron threads. I add the salt to the milk and scald it with the saffron threads. I pulverize them first in a mortar and pestle. Add cold butter and honey to the saucepan to cool the liquid. Proof the yeast with sugar and warm water . Mix the cooled liquid with the yeast and eggs in a big bowl and start mixing in the flour. I do it by hand. When it is bread dough let it rise till doubled and make into rolls or loaves or both. Bake 350 F. for about 20+ minutes for rolls and longer for loaves. Maybe 25-30 minutes. I braid it and bake it free form. Really you can just substitute the sugar in a recipe with honey and add saffron to taste.
The dough rises in a separate oiled bowl covered with a clean dish towel. The dough is mixed right when it doesn’t stick to my hands as I knead it. I hope this helps. I’ve made it for about half a century in one form or another.
Randi Marie Addicott says
Thank you, Bev!!
Living in Europe: how much is ‘a stick of butter’?
1 stick is 0.5 cups butter or 4 oz. by weight.
Cymru Llewes says
113 grams according to the wrapper but occasionally it will be 114 or 115 grams according to the scale but 90% of the time it is 113.
I have taken to weighing all my ingredients lately and annotating my recipes. (Dina’s apple cake took 400 grams of peeled, cored apple. Also my photos were over 1mb so wouldn’t post here.)
Half of a UK block, so 125g.
When proofing the yeast, I’m assuming a teaspoon of sugar, but how much water? Being wrong here could make a real mess.
With 2 packets of yeast I use about 1 to 1 and a half teaspoons of sugar and about a fourth of a cup of water. The main things I actually measure are the milk, the salted butter and the salt which I measure in my palm. I looked up the Farm Journal Country Cookbook’s Classic Sweet Dough recipe which I have adapted over the years for the basic measurements of most of the ingredients. Sometimes I use 3 eggs, sometimes I add more honey, sometimes I make it too wet and add more flour. Sometimes it is too dry and I’ve had to add another egg which is not fun because it is incredibly slimey until you get it worked in. I make this bread completely by hand because I like to but a mixer with a dough hook can be used. There have been times over the years when it doesn’t rise the way I want it to. Making bread by hand is a learning process. While watching the British baking show on PBS recently I learned some new things about making enriched dough as well about gluten development! I wish you joy and satisfaction as you use this recipe.
Thank you for the quick reply Bev!
I hope it helped.
Moderator R says
At this point, I would just dye it blue/green and make a diorama of an alien planet hit by weirdly shaped meteorites ????
::side eye:: Laugh at my pain, why don’t you…
Don’t ever let Orro see it…
I wasn’t until Mod R’s comment. That definitely calls for it. Good one, Mod R.
(You’re probably lucky you’re across an ocean from her, though.)
Cymru Llewes says
Does that bread machine cookbook not have a troubleshooting section?
Mine does and Middle has spent quite a bit of time reading it before she starts a new recipe for the bread machine (I’d rather make it by hand but I use it as my arm day exercises. )
My first thought upon seeing it is alien terraform. Glad I’m not the only one.
Patricia Schlorke says
It looked like an anatomy lesson on the brain gone bad. 😀 If you dyed it grey with red and blue, it could be the grey matter, red for the arteries and blue for the veins.
I’m guessing there’s no point where you feel the mix with your hand the way you do when you’re kneading? My ingredients seem to vary a lot in water content, so I mostly add flour until it feels right, no-matter what the recipe says. If you can’t do that with a machine, I have no idea how you could possibly make bread. The more I think about it, the more confused I am by the whole idea of bread machines.
Nope, there is no point where you can get your hands on it. Once the ingredients are in there, they are in there. 🙁
With my bread machine, I can lift up the lid to check on the consistency during kneading…
It looks like a ‘Zo’ – I have a (much older, but still working well) Zo. You can lift the lid to check on it during mixing/kneading. You do have to make sure the paddles are seated to the bottom and add the liquid and dry ingredients in the order recommended or you end up with disasters. It is possible to bake in it, but we (well, these days mostly my husband since he took up bread and bagel baking during the pandemic when he couldn’t safely get fresh as often as he wanted) use the dough setting and bake in the oven (prettier bread that way). It generally does a really nice job making dough. Costco has instant yeast (large package, just freeze – I have had yeast in the freezer for a couple of years that still worked) [realize that just because Costco has been mentioned in Innkeeper a couple of times that there is not necessarily an obsession or a theme – sorry about tongue in cheek, BDH please don’t degenerate into a Costco debate] – wish they had bread flour. King Arthur Flour has information about the Zo bread machines – they use as their test machines – so can be a resource for trouble shooting and some recipes.
I am a Costco devotee. Thank you for the yeast tip!
Deborah Parker says
Did you ever get Gordon to tell you why he bought a bread machine?
Moderator R says
Here is Ilona’s answer from their Fb page:
“ My time is limited. Also my hands hurt so I think Gordon was trying to make it easier on me. Even when I have a dough mixer, I still end up kneading by hand to make it “right.” My husband loves me very much.”
If you and the bread machine come to a reasonable accommodation with the recipes it provided, know that you have to make adjustments to your recipes to get them to work in the bread machine. We use one regularly for bread for toast and everyday usage. I usually use the mixer for specialty breads from traditional recipes. Bread machine recipes can be very good and the book Gordon got you is the bread machine bible as far as I can tell, but recipes in the bread machine usually require more yeast and sugar than traditional recipes.
Swoooon! We love how Gordon loves Ilona! Totally #couplegoals
“ add the liquid and dry ingredients in the order recommended”…truer words have never been spoken. Why magic exists between the layers I’ll never know, but it does.
Sorry if I am repeating someone else (I scrolled through and didn’t see anyone else ask this question)… Did you use BREAD MACHINE FLOUR? When I got a bread machine several years ago, the instructions said that I needed to use flour that is specific for bread machines. I had never heard of it, had to go looking. My local grocery store does carry it, so I’ve never tried to use regular (all purpose) flour in the bread machine. Don’t ask me what’s different about it, I have no clue, LOL.
I do find that my bread machine saves me some time. Good luck.
We have used both types of flour. When we use APF we add 2 tsp. Vital wheat gluten. Why you ask? No idea except Google said to.
Karen the Griffmom says
King Arthur Baking also recommends it. What they say, I do!
You don’t have to. I use regular bread flour and it works fine. But yes, you do need the quick yeast.
I have never made bread “by hand”, but I do like my bread machine. I took it to work once and made several loaves during my 12 hour shift. I had all kinds of employees stopping by to taste test.
My bread machine allows a lift of the lid. I’ve had to do that a number of times if something doesn’t turn out correctly. Good luck.
At the moment, I’m only good at eating bread and not making them. Hopefully will get to learn it soon because it seems more cost-effective in the long run since I frequently crave soft, fluffy bread with sweet toppings.
Kim D says
There are some great guides for dipping your toe into making bread. There are some really interesting no-knead options that use time to replace muscle, and some fantastic basic kneaded recipes that are remarkably forgiving. I like King Arthur Baking and Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, as well as Basics with Babish.
Moderator R says
Kim, all my love, but “dipping your toe into making bread” conjured the absolute most cursèd imagery ????
+1 Srsly. And I am not a squeamish person, by any stretch of the imagination.
There is. well heeled pun I would loaf to share with you … but I must cut and bun.
Melina Behrens says
Toe Bread requires Toe Jam.
I did a little googling to those three and gonna check their youtube or facebook page for a look. Thank you :3
Fingers crossed for triumph over the machine 🙂
With my bread machine, I have to actively check it as it is kneading to make sure it incorporates, isn’t too wet or dry, etc. That naturally happens when one makes bread by hand but it seems to be a step often left out of the bread machine instructions. Best of luck!
Karen T says
Clearly he accidentally bought you a zombie bread machine.
Tell me that’s not what it looks like. 🙂
Moderator R says
Bwahahahah! I lost it!
Rolls vs Zombies, the new game by Zombie Bread Machine ????
I was thinking brain coral, but that works too. It probably says something about me that my mind went to coral before plain old brains, maybe because it’s not the right shape for human brains? At least not before they’re partially eaten.
Wait, is that the finished product? Wow, epic fail! For that price, I think I’d want the machine to actually self-destruct if it produced something like that.
It’s not the machine’s fault. This is probably user error.
I mean, probably, but possibly the machine really did mess up. I got rid of my bread machine because I can mix dough in my stand mixer, and I hated baking it in the machine, but when I *was* using it, I rarely had instant yeast on hand, but it never did *that*.
And, on one hand, “How can you mess up dumping ingredients into a bread machine?” but on the other hand, “I’ve literally forgotten to add the blueberries to my blueberry muffins.” So… Don’t throw away the box in case it’s a defective machine, but definitely give it another try first. 😉
Hm. One additional comment is that we did once buy a machine where the included recipes were all fails. When we used our old bread machine recipes, it was fine. Bad conversion from metric to English measurements? Translational issues? I don’t know.
I’m convinced HEB is just a constant blessing machine made specifically for the TX area.
I was in Austin over the holidays and saw HEBs everywhere, but then I realized what I really wanted to see was the BUCEES. BUC-EES? Whatever. Apparently those were further out by the highways heading out of the area so I didn’t get to see one. Nephew driving back to NC hit one, though, and they bought some souvenirs for his future in-laws.
My husband and I had great fun in our first BUC-EES visit last year. My husband practically had a melt down because he couldn’t decide what to choose in the huge selection of jerky (I’m a vegetarian). Celebration galore. The bathrooms were super clean, too.
My hubby sometimes suggests I get a bread machine as I make bread regularly. I’m saving this picture for the next time he suggests it 🙂 I’ll stick to the old fashion way, though that’s a very nice bread slicing setup.
Kim D says
The bread slicing setup is available on Amazon and probably from many culinary stores; if I actually made loaves (instead of always doing rolls) I would so invest in one of these. Some even collapse for storage.
I have that exact bread machine, and yes, I’ve made the French Bread multiple times and it has never ever looked like that.
My thoughts are twofold- 1, it looks unmixed. Which may be if the paddles weren’t fully pushed down, or if the machine didn’t mix when it was supposed to do so. 2- the loaf won’t rise if the heating element doesn’t turn on correctly.
Since your loaf is baked, the second may not fully apply, but it’s worth checking during your second attempt if the machine is warm to the touch on the outside, or if there is steam in the viewport.
Good luck- I love my machine, and I hope you solve the issue!
I came here to say this too!
Additional tips I learned from using this exact machine:
Weigh ingredients with a scale – turns out vastly different to scooping with measurement cups.
Use specifically “bread machine yeast”.
Tasha A says
I second the scale weights vs scoops! Usually when baking but definitely when using bread machine. I love mine because it saves me so much time and I ( usually) get a good loaf.
Also instant /bread machine yeast is necessary!!
Bread machine yeast has a different optimal growth temp (95F) than conventional yeast. You bread machine’s warm rise may have killed your conventional yeast.
Yes, I have set some sort of record with this fail. 🙂
amal chaabanA says
As someone who tried (and absolutely failed miserably) to make sourdough bread a couple of times, I feel your pain though in my case, I think I just am not a good bread person. LOL
Kim D says
Honestly, sourdough is just touchy enough that it is easy to flub. Especially if you haven’t learned what 3/4 of the baking terms mean. Like ‘stretch and fold’, ‘hydration’, ‘baker’s percentages’, and so on. My first several loaves, while edible, were not really pretty, nor did they have good structure.
My loaf was edible but not fluffy and pretty at all. epic fail.
you should not decide you are not a good bread person because of sourdough bread. sourdough bread is finicky and a colossal pain in the tail feathers, front to back. feeding it is a pain, keeping it happy is a pain, using it is a pain, kneading it is a pain… clearly i was deeply affected by my sourdough period during lockdown.
i started baking as a child, have been doing it over 40 years, routinely wow people with my creations, and sourdough almost broke me. i eventually triumphed, but felt nothing but relief as i poured the rest of the starter down the drain.
That’s so funny because I feel exactly the same way and decided to yeet the starter ( that I have carefully kept alive for more than a year)
Karen the Griffmom says
I’ve killed every sourdough starter I’ve ever owned. They’re all named Bob. “Welp, Bob X died this morning.”
Have you read “A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking”? It’s by T. Kingfisher. The only reason I mention it is because there is a semi-sentient sourdough started named Bob as a character…(not sure if it s a character if semi-sentient, but really, don’t make Bob mad…)
Anne-Marie McRoberts says
Love it, the BDH need to read this wonderful book and then all her others and the Ursula Vernon (same person different pen name) ones as well!
Funnily enough, I LOVE to bake. I taught myself to bake – even a pie crust. Not kidding. I come from a family that likes to eat the results but hates the actual baking part so I love to bake and they can eat. I make a wicked strawberry rhubarb pie and my peach pie is pretty tasty.
Making sourdough actually made me detest bread product baking and I was going to teach myself to make cinnamon rolls next.
It is nice to hear from others that my sourdough should not kill my baking love and I am not the only one who had trouble.
Martha L says
Your milk bread looks delicious. Would you post your recipe?
Moderator R says
Here it is ???? https://ilona-andrews.com/2020/milk-bread/
Mod R how on Earth do you remember Ilona posted the recipe for milk bread in 2020?
I am amazed at your powers of recollection!
Moderator R says
I remembered there was a milk bread recipe, but I just used the search function (down on the bottom of the page) for the specific post 🙂
Or maybe I’m actually Bug 😀 . I like that better.
But you did actually have to recall there had been a recipe! I’ve been coming to the blog for years and I definitely didn’t remember until you posted the link.
Humm Mod Bug, Mod R Bug not sure either works but having Bug like powers would be cool just without the need for Equizol (spelling is probably wrong)
I feel like I’m preserving some wonder in the world because I’ve never looked up how bread machines work. Dumping ingredients in and getting a loaf of bread out feels like magic. Of course sometimes magic goes wrong!
My mom uses hers. Hers has a paddle in the machine that mixes.
Personally, It is just as easy to put dry contents for a loaf in a plastic bags. Then pull them out add the wet and activated yeast and kneed, grease a bowl, rise, punch, rise, bake
A machine seems troublesome. Too much cleaning.
Oooh, what a great way to avoid the mess! I use my food processor to make and knead my dough, and then knead it a few turns by hand just to make sure the gluten has developed enough, but I like your idea! Do you use a gallon bag, or larger?
There really is hardly any clean up. The baking pan is specifically prohibited from being immersed in water, you just remove the paddle , wipe out the pan and put the paddle back in and clean up is done .
Don’t give it to the birds – they would never take off! It looks like aggregate the road makers leave behind.
I love making bread; the physical process, and the smell of the yeast. At one point, we got a bread maker so that even if I didn’t have the time to make it, we could have fresh bread. I finally got rid of it for just the reason that you gave us an illustration of (altho I must say, yours is a spectacular fail). I can’t wait to see if your new, highly technical maker can actually make bread consistently well. If anyone can ‘make’ it work properly, I’m betting (and rooting) for you!
We have had a bread machine for decades. Well, we had to replace one because it fell on the floor as it was mixing the dough rather violently. But rather than bread we make pizza dough. Like 3-4 times a month. And it is amazing. I will say that we did indeed try to do bread once. I did a beer bread but it was nothing to write home about. If I produced that bread though, I would show it off so everyone could see it’s monstrous beauty. It’s very unique and others would be jealous, I am sure.
I say instead of bread, try the pizza dough. It is so worth it.
This is my favorite comment so far. Thank you.
Oh man, now you’ve done it. I had in my obscure to do list to make bread, I kept putting it off… but now I have to make it…. No knees seed bread, here I go!
I have that bread book and it is the best! I haven’t used it in a long time; kid was diagnosed with EOE and isn’t able to eat bread. Regardless, it has some amazing recipes! yum. I hope you get the machine to work.
Well I can’t say that we’ve gotten a cauliflower loaf out of our Zojirushi, but we have had more than one “ski jump” loaf. We found that if we position the paddles so they are pointing towards their respective ends of the loaf pan, we get a nicely shaped end product. And yeah – I’ve found that instant yeast yields better results.
Interesting! I never tried the tactic of paddles pointing opposite directions to begin with! I tend to set them identically for my symmetry-obsessed brain. But I’ll try this next time! Also, there is a point on the gluten free setting of my zojirushi bread machine where it beeps, and I can wet a spatula and wipe over the top of the bread, and this sometimes is super helpful to get all of the bits and bobs mixed in well together. That being said, my last load from mid last week was a mess, and I hadn’t had a chance to engage with it at all after adding the ingredients…
Kat in NJ says
Oh dear…I hope the new yeast solves the problem. ☹️ My hubby asked me once if I’d like a bread machine, but while it would be really convenient for those times I didn’t feel like baking, I decided against it because 1) I always feel like baking and 2) I love taking out any frustrations or annoyance I might have on the dough while I’m kneading it! ????
I’m with you. Baking is my happy place and I’m always ready to be happy ???? ????
It looks like a mixing problem. There should be a small paddle in the bottom. Have you checked it post-washing to make sure it is still attached and spinning freely?
My mom loved her machine so much she gave me one but I never used it so I gave it back and now she uses 2. But she always does a little mixing of the ingredients first herself with a fork for similar reasons.
Sandra Houston says
Yep this what I was thinking too. I did have a horrible mess once when the paddle hadn’t been put in correctly. It was found amongst the soggy mess.
That or the flour as someone else suggested.
I recommend checking out this page in the zojirushi blog: https://www.zojirushi.com/blog/?p=4617
It’s the troubleshooting page and has photos of things that commonly go wrong, the reason and how to fix it. Closest picture actually looks like a moisture/flour imbalance maybe?
I have had great success with my Zoji virtuoso. I started with the first recipe in the Zoji book — that let me check if all the parts (like beaters) were functioning, that the rise was ok and that the baking element was hot for the correct duration. You might give that a try, though YMMV.
I’d be very interested in how you like the bread slicing board. I have an old plastic one and a Mercer Millennium bread knife. Works great. But I was looking at upgrading and would love to know how you like the wood.
I have been using a Zojirushi for about 10 years. You do have to check the dough after it starts mixing to adjust the flour or water content. You also have to make sure the bucket is pushed down all the way and the paddles are spinning. I use SAF red star and gold star yeast, they seem to do well in the Zojirushi. Like anything, practice makes perfect. We all throw out a dough gone wrong now and again.
Great bread slicing board!
It may be the flour. When I was reading the instructions for my new bread machine, it mentioned that regular all purpose US flour doesn’t work. In the states you need some sort of bread flour. In Canada, our all purpose is a different grain/grind? In all the years I’ve been making bread machine bread, I’ve never had one as interesting as that. 🙂
Bread flour just has more gluten. Bread machines need more help rising in the quick times the bread machines run for. This means more yeast, fast yeast, usually some sugar and bread flour.
And cake flour has the least gluten and can’t be substituted. We have run it witH all purpose and it is a heavier loaf. When we use all purpose we don’t make the largest loaf size.
And default English flour is actually self-rising and explodes out of the machine. I learned some stuff about baking when I lived in England. Their granulated sugar is bigger than ours so you need to use more of it Their caster sugar is close enough to use for granulated sugar. Their sugar is usually made from beets and isn’t as sweet. And for ordinary flour, you must see the word Plain on the wrapper.
In Canada most of the wheat grown is hard wheat, and the US it is usually soft wheat. All purpose flour is whatever wheat was easy to find for the mill. I gew up between the two countries and now make sure I know what kind of wheat is in my flour. Hard wheat = bread flour. Soft wheat = all purpose AKA cookie flour. I have given up on finding Cake flour in my usually grocery stores in the US. Cake flour is finely ground soft wheat. I don’t know what is in pastry flour, but nothing else works for piecrust, so maybe magic?
Mary P says
If you have a Publix, look for Swans Down Cake Flour. It’s in a box!
We had an older model of this brand bread machine that we used for years. We mostly used the recipe printed on the machine. And we bought flour that said on the package it was for bread machines (I don’t remember the brand.) Good luck!
sic vis pacem fac bellum says
Looks like yeast issue, but ymmv.
Meg Fielding says
That is the exact bread machine that I have (my second one – the first lasted 30 years!) and my favorite bread recipe book. If you read the information in the front of the book it will give you really helpful information to improve your finished product. Yes, I suspect you had dead yeast. Enjoy!! and don’t give up if at first you don’t succeed.
Jennifer Meyers says
I have the same machine. I went and bought all new yeast, dried milk, and flour – even though I had all these things, just to make sure the bread would be successful. After trying several recipes in the included recipe book, I have found the recipe for the small loaf of white bread to be the best. Good luck to you!
My bread machine is a life saver. My husband is allergic to gluten and using alternative flours can result in either a good loaf of bread or another failed science experience.
That’s an amazing picture. I’m sorry it didn’t work. Very disappointing! I love my bread machine, but as others have said, I most frequently use it for the dough setting. Perfect rise, no checking the spot I put it for warmth or time spent mixing. That being said- I always use instant yeast. And I usually add the liquids, then add the salt and mix and little before adding flour and yeast as the very last. (Just don’t forget the yeast! Done that too…) since salt inhibits yeast from rising, I find I get a slightly better rise that way. ????????♀️
Sorry, no help here! My dad had a bread machine, used it several times and complained about it and finally stopped using it at all. I thought, maybe I’ll use it and took it home when he passed away. Ha. If I make bread, I really prefer it to be hands on, so that machine lived at my house unused for 7 years until it went to Goodwill.
I have to admit, tho, my dad’s bread attempts did look better than the one you got, they just weren’t very good either. heh
Many years ago we had a breadmaker. It made reasonably good bread. Then it stopped making good bread and started making what we referred to as crumpet bread (You may have to google UK crumpets if you don’t know what I mean). Crumpet bread was interesting and tasted nice but wasn’t strictly bread. It had a LOT of holes. Unfortunately, depressed by its inability to make proper bread our bread machine then decided to end everything by throwing itself off the kitchen counter partway through the final loaf. RIP Breadmaker.
Ms. Kim says
We have that model and it’s a wonderful machine once you get used to it! We’ve used ours every day for five years. (five kids)
I don’t know if you chose the recipe from their manual or the cookbook, but the result suggests one of two things from our experience.
1. The bread pan was not seated properly and so the dough didn’t knead properly.
2 the ingredients didn’t go in, in the preferred order. It has the best success if you put in all the liquids, then the salt and sugar. The flour then in a depression the yeast. The yeast and the salt don’t play well together for some reason. And the dough just doesn’t combine well if the liquid isn’t on the bottom.
My eldest who bakes also said make sure it’s an instant dry yeast preferably granulated. It didn’t combine and proof properly.
Plus she said to share the recipe
2lb bread machine recipes
1/3 cup milk
11 grams salt
35 grams sugar
26 grams oil
544 grams four
3 tsp yeast
1 1/3 water
40 grams oil
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
540 grams Flour
3 tsp yeast
The bread is fluffier in the summer. Right now our bread gets chilled because the counter is near the back door.
Best of luck! 🙂 It’s one of our favorite appliances. 🙂
Ps. My oldest said to say we do use high gluten flour (we buy 25lbs from GFS) Because 3 boys (aka locusts)
Everything else is standard except we use generic olive oil as our oil.
(Mom that matters!)
I don’t bake, I cook. ???? (let me tell you of turkeys and roast pork loins)????
I have had the same bread maker for 15 years and have been using the same recipe for about the last 14. This recipe doesn’t come from the instruction book – they all turned out horribly and I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. Then, one day, I was saved! I was standing in the baking section of my local supermarket and an elderly lady started talking to me as I was obviously looking very perplexed. I told her my problem and she told me what to buy and wrote out her recipe in my diary and said just find a setting on my machine that will complete in 3 hours. I did and now I make a wholemeal bread that my husband loves. If I want any sort of ‘fancy’ bread I have to make it by hand and I’m scared that my machine will give up the ghost one day and I’ll have to upgrade and my recipe won’t work any more!
I have to premix the dough, my breadmaker won’t mix the ingredients completely by itself. (It is supposed to, it does not.) According to the manufacturer, adding ingredients according to the owners manual prevents this. The manufacturer is fibbing.
I’ve also added the ingredients and then scraped the sides of the bread maker a couple of times (with it on pause) during the kneading phase and that works but is more trouble.
I use yeast from a large block that professional bakers use that I keep in the freezer. The bread maker yeast might also help, but I don’t tend to bake bread types that require a lot of oversight, where it might really make a difference.
My main complaint about the bread maker is that I get distracted and bake the paddle into the loaf constantly. Oops.
Does the bread slicer work? Or help to get slices of bread instead of chunks, which is how I usually cut bread.
Louis Boyle says
Chuckle – thanks for sharing!
Love your home-made bread pictures – yummy!
You’ve probably already heard back on this but here goes anyways. We have had bread machines for a long time. We use bread machine yeast, Fleishmann’s brand FYI (it’s specially labeled as bread machine yeast). It works great in our bread machine. I (who is not the cook) make the bread, and like yours, our French bread recipe takes less than 5 minutes to put together, then 4 hours 10 minutes to get our final product of 1lb (we’re only 2, so we make small loaves often… ).
Hope this helps in some small way.
We have used and worn out 4 bread machines during our 30-year marriage, and are on #5. Helpful hints (I hope):
1) Start with recipes from the User Manual for the machine, not the generic cook book. Different machines are designed to add ingredients in a certain order. We have had machines that started with liquid first, and we have had machines that started with dry solids first and liquids last. It does make a difference, although it would seem not to.
2) The earlier commenters are correct in that rapid-rise yeast (sometimes labeled bread machine yeast) is required for correct rising.
3) Before starting, make sure the paddle is correctly inserted and DOES NOT SPIN AROUND when you jiggle it. If it does not correctly catch on the spindle, it will not knead the dough.
4) About 3 minutes or so into the kneading cycle, open the lid and look at the dough. It should be starting to form into a smooth ball. If it’s dry, add VERY WARM water, only a tablespoon at a time, until the rest of the dry ingredients get incorporated. If little piles of dry ingredients sit in the corners, but the rest of the dough looks good, carefully nudge them into the dough ball with a rubber spatula.
All in all, it really is not very difficult, but it is important to get the little details right, or there will be many spectacular fails. Once you get your rhythm right, though, you will throw things into the machine and a wonderfully perfect loaf comes out at the end.
OK, now I have to go put on a loaf myself! Umm, rosemary buttermilk …
I got the same bread machine a year ago. My husband took it over and uses it constantly. We’ve had no problems with it. He buys bread mixes online because he doesn’t want to mess with it. You may have a defective machine.
Yvonne A says
Somtimes things go wrong 😉
Kathy Scramlin says
I use a different brand machine but I always have trouble with french bread, the recipes always seem like they have too much water. My other bread recipes usually are great in the machine. Good luck
I made brioche by hand once. It was long-winded and involved patience.
I don’t have patience.
I do have a bread machine, and I can throw the ingredients in, go away and do other things. 5 hours later I have a warm, fluffy granary loaf slathered in butter. In fact, my only complaint about the bread machine is that my family finish off the bread before it’s had time to go cold.
I loved my Zojirushi while I had it, but got out of the habit of it. IIRC, I used rapid rise, and I usually had to open the top to add some water. The dough should look like it does when you are kneading by hand, smooth and stretchy on the outside, by the time the kneading cycle is done. I used to check halfway through the knead cycle and add water a little at a time. Which meant setting a timer for halfway through, because I’d forget, which made the whole thing really not hands off.
My timer loaves were hit or miss for this very reason. This is when I learned that the moisture content of flour changes with the season and the humidity.
Dina should get a bread machine. Orro would have a fit. (I know, she would never do that to him. Maybe she wins it in an HEB contest. . .)
Nancy Dow says
Definitely the yeast! Need the special yeast. That being said, your result looks like it could possibly be crumb cake. I’m assuming it didn’t taste like crumb cake. Your milk bread looked beyond wonderful!
I have that same machine. I usually use it to make dough and then shape and bake it myself. Your dough is way too dry in the second loaf. King Arthur Baking (flour) has one of the best problem solving/recipe websites out there. If you follow their instructions and weigh the ingredients your failures will recede to a distant memory.
The bread looks yummy. I’d get a bread machine, but it looks bigger than my apartment:-)
I am curious about why Gordon bought the machine. Was he a victim of infomercial or in store demo (w/yummy bread smell)?
I hope you all enjoy the machine and the bread!
PS: I love Mod R’s alien planet diorama idea ????
Lol! The first time I tried to make biscuits, I forgot to add any butter. I made bricks. The male members of my family used them as ammo to launch at each other. They CLAIM one of my brick-biscuits caused a head injury. I think they exaggerated, tho ????
Nothing to do with bread, just saying I saw on the news that a giant fossil sea dragon was found in the UK in a reservoir… it was on our morning local news outside Boston. They find the coolest stuff in Mod R “neck of the woods “!
Moderator R says
I saw that! The ichthyosaurs https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-59915689
As a frequent bread machine user, I can say that they are stupidly sensitive to the yeast. I buy “bread machine” yeast (which is rapid rise). If it’s even close to the expiration date, the bread fails and I get a sad dense lump as a loaf. They also do not work well in very hot and humid environments. I don’t have air conditioning in my apartment and I can’t use my bread machine in the summer for that reason. Certain brands also have different requirements for the order that you add the ingredients. Some want the liquid first, others liquid last. That may have contributed to your mixing problem. I also always check to make sure the yeast dispenser isn’t stuck at all (though this may only be an issue in my heavily used machine). Good luck!
Your homemade bread is very beautiful. I am sure it is the best tasting bread in the world. I am sorry that your bread machine failed you. I think it is a stupendous looking failure, though. I love very much how ugly it is. I feel as that is an accomplishment in its own right. You should be proud! Personally, I don’t like electronic kitchen machines. They confound me. I bought a slow cooker recently, not an expensive one. Most of the heat comes out the surface of the device. Of course, the food on the bottom cooks faster than the food at the top, so you have to stir. My friends tell me that you have to let it sit and cook. How is this good? Why would you want to cook for 6 hours this way? It seems like the food on the top sits at room temperature for about half the time! I like stoves and ovens. I like mixing, stirring, checking the temperature, knowing that my food gets heated quickly and then it is done. It feels safer that way. I also think it tastes better.
Interesting fail, I suspect you’re correct and the yeast just didn’t rise in the time available. I would rather make no-knead bread than use a bread machine. I’ve never had good bread from one of them. However, I know many people who feel it’s a waste of time to make bread from scratch and want it to be ready just as they rise in the morning.
I love that cookbook so much I have also given it with breadmakers or to people I know have one. It’s almost time for a new copy of my own, it’s so beaten up, but transferring all the notes will be a pain.
And the Zojirushi was the best breadmaker I ever owned, and I am saddened I can’t get one in Europe.
Good job, Gordon. Ilona, I promise the yeast matters big time, but if you’ve never used a breadmaker before, If you’ve been doing it by weight or by feel, using cups takes an adjustment. You have to make sure to aerate the flour. I now keep my flours in big Tupperware-type containers and shake really well before measuring. And if you haven’t been using the wheat gluten, it also makes a big difference. Huge.
I’ve never had the feel for baking*, so I’ve always used machines, but a good friend got such bad arthritis she stopped being able to knead. She could not make breadmaker bread come out right, so I gave her that recipe book, because it has all kinds of explanations about the difference between making bread by hand and using a breadmaker.
*I’m a good cook, but a crappy baker
Lee Tincher says
We use our bread machine all the time – the same one Gordon purchased. You will need to buy bread machine instant yeast if you want anything to rise and keep it in the fridge once open. The finicky thing is the mixing. Use a flashlight to peek into the top window. Occasionally, it doesn’t mix well and needs a bit of help. My husband makes Oatmeal Honey every week. All the purchased loaves taste like chemical now. It took several “bricks” before he got the recipe down but the end product was worth the experimenting.
What a coincidence! My husband was also requesting bread last weekend, so I dragged out my Breville machine. Made brioche, rosemary bread and oatmeal bread. Happy to have the machine do the kneading as I have a bit of arthritis. POINTERS-quick rise turns out much better if you add vital wheat gluten. Also, sift your flour if using measuring cups, or just weigh it.
I switched to a bread machine a number of years ago (for both gluten free and ‘normal’ bread), and I’ve found bread machine recipes are WAY more sensitive to humidity and liquid temperature than hand kneaded recipes.
I think this is because during hand kneading or mixing we develop a feel for the texture of the dough and know to add a bit more water or flour. With bread machine you don’t have tactile feedback. During first knead, rest, and 2nd knead I always check texture.
Also I’ve learned to make sure eggs and any other liquids are pre-mixed and at room temp before adding them to the machine, and I also whisk all the dry ingredients (except yeast) together before adding to the pan.
Jan parks says
Always,always, blame the yeast. I most certainly do!
So hilarious. Thank you for sharing. Those pictures…perfect!
I used to host a bread baking forum on a recipe site, and spent a lot of time walking people through the finer point of bread machines. I switched to a bread machine when arthritis in my hands become bothersome, and have made hundreds of loaves. You can use any kind of yeast, but I would proof active dry yeast and add it to the liquid in the recipe. After about ten minutes into the cycle, always open the top of the machine and look at the consistency of the dough. As an experienced baker, you know what a good dough should look like. Add water or flour, as needed, to adjust the dough at this point. To me, it looks like you needed a little more liquid. Also, if like me you occasionally have a moment and forget to add yeast, tear up the dough into chunks, throw them back into the machine, and sprinkle some freshly mixed up yeast water over them. Restart. I almost never bake in the machine – I prefer shaping the dough myself. Because I am a single person household, rolls are often a better choice for me.
Good luck with the machine. I only use mine for dough, it proofs it for me and it is fun to work warm dough. I hope it is yummy and you can program it to complete a loaf for first thing in the morning.
Amy R says
You know how on science fiction shows/movies they always try to make alien fruits and veggies by spray painting something tropical and hoping no one realizes what it actually is?
That bread machine bread would make an amazing science fiction food.
I don’t have a bread machine, but I did come across the easiest bread recipe for dummies (me) that is excellent.
It takes time but hardly any work and no kneading.
Maybe a fun ‘do with your husband and kids” project, then he can make his own!
Diane Mc. says
I’ve had two Zo’s. I wore out the first one (love bread of any kind) and the second I ended up giving it away because the loaves were horrible on the second and I tested many versions. I found out it is easier to use my kitchen aid mixer and make my own.
This makes me sad, as I confess after seeing this I realized I could replace the Zojirushi I had twenty years ago by ordering from the US. And so I did.
The current line is no good?
Diane Mc. says
It was over 10 years ago when I had it so I’m not sure about the current models. I wanted one that I could set up and have fresh bread in the morning and I had to watch it when it kneaded because of the amount of moisture needed.
A Zojirushi and a voltage converter. The reason I can’t get the Zoj breadmaker here is that they only make the rice cooker on the 220 voltage. Japan & the US are both on 110, so at some point a cost benefit analysis told them they could make a profit off of a European line of rice cookers, but not their breadmakers or vibrators (oh yes. Please don’t try to put those three together in your head).
Some things are cheaper to buy from the US and gave shipped here, and I include shipping, import fees, and the correct wattage voltage converter — KitchenAid stand mixers and Cuisinart food processors come under this heading. Other cheaper things seem random — The Bread Machine Cookbook cost half to buy from Amazon US and have shipped here (gifts, I brought my copy with) than to buy from Amazon.de.
Someday I will have enough counter space for the KitchenAid.
“(oh yes. Please don’t try to put those three together in your head)”
Bwahahaha obviously that comment immediately got stuck in my head ???? thanks for the laugh!
Anna L says
I only make breadmachine bread because im lazy, and i only use rapid yeast so that might be the case, also i found adding yeast on top of dry ingredients works and i have to make sure my milk isnt too hot. Good luck, we are spoiled by multiple posts
The dough needs more water. Check dough after it starts mixing. Add a little at a time until smooth. Facebook has bread machine groups with lots of tips.
Maria Schneider says
Sadly, I’ve yet to meet a bread machine that works very well. And while I finally did get one to put out decent bread, it still is not as good as the bread I make by hand. And my hand made bread is nothing special, but it’s good bread. I have 3 recipes and they work every time. One for pizza dough, one for one of those round loafs–I can’t think of what you call it, but it’s got a great crust and is wonderful for dipping in olive oil, and one for buns. Oh and I make bagels and yes I use lye water.
The bread machine works now and then with certain recipes. Mostly it puts out doorstops. Sadly the bread isn’t even big enough to use as a boat anchor although sometimes it is that hard.
I’ve had a Zojirushi for years and my bread turns out great. But I use bread machine yeast. Plus you have to put the ingredients in the pan in a certain order and the yeast shouldn’t touch the salt. Hope that helps. Happy bread making!
A person could be jealous of the Zo, but baking only for myself I got a less expensive brand, which is fine. And that is the best bread machine book. Yes, the right yeast makes a difference. Have fun! Try the wheat and multigrain breads.
I tried to make no-knead this weekend, but my yeast was OLD…..so needless to say it did not rise & I picked up new yeast at Target the next day…..bread was wonderful with live yeast.. Hahaha….
Also, I loved my bread machine I got 28 years ago for my bridal shower, until it died about 8 years ago…,,
That bread! Bahaahahahahhaaaaa! That is hilarious!
I’m a bread baker and also have never had success with a bread machine (typically for me the end result was a small square of dense ‘bread’). But if anyone can get that sucker working, it’s you! Good luck!!
I have that Zojirushi. ALL of the recipes included don’t call for enough liquids – this is the result. I do my own recipes – but since I HATE holes in my bread, use the dough setting and bake in my own pans. I do check the the dough about 2 min into the first cycle to see if it’s come together and needs a bit more water to come together.
And wanted to add, I do NOT use Bread Machine yeast. I use Red Star. I buy the 2lb pack, divide and keep some in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. I’ve had it last YEARS this way.
I make pizza (and don’t pull out a bread machine) and give the yeast a head start in warm water with a tiny bit of sugar and it gets frothy in about 2 min. My yeast was purchased at least 2-3 years ago at this point.
The Zojirushi has a separate setting for “quick” yeast – so Quick\Rapid rise isn’t really needed. My standard Honey Wheat\Milk loaf is about 2.5 hours from putting ingredients into the machine to pulling it out of the oven…..
Giggle, do the kids need supplies for a science project? I think dying it for a space asteroid is a good suggestion. We appreciate your sharing, who knew that many of the BDH have bread machines.
Good luck. My favorite kind of bread to make is beer bread. I love the crunchy outside, and the soft inside. I haven’t made it in forever though. I wonder if I can still do it.
Heather Hanley says
I had a bread machine many years ago, I used to bake fresh bread with it often. I had one loaf that came out exactly like this, I realized that when I cleaned the machine I never put the rotating blades back in so it never mixed, just rose and baked in all it’s half mixed glory. It was absolutely terrible but highly amusing. Don’t know if that’s what happened here but I will say good luck!
If I may venture a piece of advice (I am a French professional Chef Pâtissière et Boulangère = I am supposed to know how to make bread and cakes) : it looks as if there wasn’t enough water. It might be because American flour tends to be very strong and needs more water (to completely rehydrate the gluten.
This is a Japanese brand (very good one, I am jealous) and the recipes might need tweaking as their flour is very different.
Or it might be a mistake when the ingredients were weighed? (It happens to the best of us! You don’t want to know my horror stories).
Another easily done mistake is putting inadvertently yeast with salt… Then the salt kills the yeast and then you end up with a supposedly edible brick, that could actually turn into a lethal projectile…
Please let us know how your second bread turns out!
PS: i hope this comment wasn’t too boring… I cannot help myself when food is the topic….
Moderator R says
Thank you so much Diana, not boring at all! Food talk is always fun!
* wasn’t too boring! Did this typo turned into a moment of truth?
Moderator R says
I saw no typo ;). Fixed it for you :*
Thank you ModR, you’re a star!
My first try at making bread by hand turned out to be a brick! More loaves and I could have built a house ????
Maybe your expectations are too high. You have bread!! Even if it is a bit wonky. Smother it in butter.
I have a Panasonic bread machine & French bread is very high rising but you do need to get the right quick rising yeast. Best to get the type in individual sachets so they stay dry/OK/effective.
French bread tends to be my favourite but have tried different types. Never had anythingike the picture you posted even with heavier bread mixes. Also, important to add ingredients in right order according to model & ensuring separation of yeast from wet ingredients- hopefully instructions from breadmakwr & recipe book mentioned this.
Good luck on next effort!
Huh, whats that, mutant bread? I have used this recipe before and enjoyed it, maybe you would too: https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/100-whole-wheat-bread-for-the-bread-machine-recipe
Reviews say it works well for the bread machine? Unfortunately I’ve only ever made it by hand or stand mixer. bu
barbie doll says
I used to bake all of our bread when our kids were home. I mentioned this at preschool one day and someone asked if I had a bread maker and I said yes, me. I have never been good around machines. My yeast is a very large bag that is old and I need to proof before I use it. I am sure that your next loaf will be a vast improvement. Why is there always a process to getting things right? My husband’s gadget of the year was an onion/garlic dicer. Definitely not on my list but he was so proud of himself I couldn’t take it back.
Jon-Dean Green says
I used mine (have that exact same model) yesterday to make rye bread and it came out perfectly.
liquid on bottom
then on top of dry ingredients
The zojirushi made a beautiful loaf as always! Hope it gets better
I have this bread machine and I love it! I still prefer making bread by hand but this comes in handy. The only time I’ve ever had a bad bake is when I first got it and didn’t put the ingredients in the right order but it didn’t look anywhere close to that bad ????
Is it a type of bread that could be used by the dwarfs (see Terry Pratchett)?
sorry I couldn’t resist!
Moderator R says
It’s not proper dwarf bread unless it gets dropped in rivers and dried out and sat on and left and looked at every day and put away again. Bonus points if a cat pees on some of it. 😉
Good one modR, so it can still happen! ????????????????????
😀 It did look a bit like the Scone of Stone, or *a* Scone of Stone anyway.
Sandra F Schaeffer says
We have a bread machine and I can tell you from experience, not all good, that flour and yeast will make or break bread in a bread machine. Good luck and enjoy the experiment. ????
Mary Cruickshank Peed says
So what nobody told me was that salt kills yeast. For my bread machine I put the liquid, yeast, flour. sugar and salt very last. If I put the salt anywhere near the yeast my bread looks like yours.
Altho truthfully my bread machine is in the basement and I use my KitchenAid to make bread. And I was screwing that up until I went online and found that the new bread hook takes WAY LESS TIME than the old one.
Now I throw milk bread together at least twice a week. I’m really not fond of commercial grocery store bread.
Hi! 30 plus years using bread machines here. I also make bread outside a bread machine.
A couple of tips. Although you can buy “bread machine” yeast, it’s not necessary – I buy the one pound package of saf red instant yeast, and it works well.
The other thing I always do when using a bread machine is open the lid about 4 minutes or so after it starts and “pinch” the dough to make sure it’s the right consistency for the bread I’m making. I add water if it’s too dry…or add flour if it’s too wet/sticky. Then do the pinch test again to make sure I got it right.
I’m thinking your experience was a combination of the yeast and not enough water.
Please let us know how this goes – I have had my eyes on this model bread maker for over a year, but can’t justify until my current machine dies. I’ve been known to send negative vibes it’s way…
Oh my. Bread failures truly are be spectacular. I’ve been doing okay with no knead wheat or spelt bread. Rye sour dough has given me some trouble my husband suggested a bread maker. Still, I’ve now gotten some lovely sour dough starter from a friend and now it is all working fine.
Best of luck Ilona with your second go, the milk bread looked fantastic!
Erin Peters says
That bread slicing board is badass! Can you please share the link/item ID? Good luck with the bread making…it is def part science and part luck. I prefer making bread using our machine but my hubs likes to make it by hand. Sometimes we split the difference and make the dough in the machine, then do the rest of the steps by hand (and oven).
Erin Peters says
Bill G says
This has probably been said already, but I think you needed more liquid. My guess is that the amount of water in flour varies, because in my experience the amount a recipe calls for is very likely to be wrong. For me, at the time I’m using it. I’ve had to just keep watch on the dough during the initial kneading to see that it comes together in the proper bread dough consistency.
Best of luck!
Omar Mtz says
After my 2 and half week vacation in Mexico where i ate everything i could, I’m not going to eat carbs for awhile, so I will eat with my eyes the bread experiments that you make.????
It looks like an alien brain. . .
Sam E says
My mom loved to bake and my dad loved to eat anything she baked, so she baked something almost every day. When her RA got so bad that she couldn’t kneed the dough any more she was devastated that she couldn’t make Dad fresh bread and rolls every day. She decided to try a bread machine and after many horrible disasters she finally figured it out. She absolutely insisted that you had to have bread machine yeast and bread machine flour and always pay attention to the order the ingredients needed to be added. Over the years she perfected dozens of recipes by trial and error. In the 25 years that she was using a bread machine she wore out 4 of them before she passed away. My dad was thrilled that he still got fresh bread and rolls and Mom was thrilled to be baking them. I have her last bread machine which is only about 3 years old and all of her annotated recipes but I haven’t been able to bring myself to try a loaf yet. I will eventually and I’ll think about both of my parents when I do so.
Dawn Shreves says
Paint it with pretty colors and it would be an awesome paper weight.
Your posts of mishaps always make me smile and laugh. Thank you.
We use a bread machine and my top tips are:
-yeast – fresh packet of one that says it’s good for bread machines.
– flour – Canadian bread flour is the best we get here (uk) freshness helps
– the order matters – I don’t mean the order of merciful aid but the order of ingredients. In our machine you out yeast in first and salt and water last so they stay apart for a while. Makes a big difference.
My roommate had a bread machine in college. I can’t remember if we had bread machine yeast but yes on the bread machine flour. It took me at least 3 or 4 tries to make proper French bread in the bread machine. I would get hallow loafs, pretty crust no middle. I haven’t used a machine since. These days I buy bread and stick to things like pumpkin, corn, or soda bread and biscuits with or w/o yeast. Enjoy experimenting .
Is it just me or did anyone else see a face in the bread. Maybe instead of bread, it’s a new life form.
Wow, that bread maker looks intimidating! I have the cookbook, and I’ve baked bread out of it at least once a week for almost eight years now. Some have turned out better than others, true. I recommend the butter bread. You do definitely need bread machine yeast, though. I hope your next effort turns out better!
Kelly M says
I really hope this shows up in a future book. I could totally see this happening to Catalina (maybe a house-warming present she feels guilty for not using?) or to Dina while trying to use “Orro’s” kitchen.
I always buy the yeast in the brown glass jars and keep them in the fridge. I’ve definitely used the wrong yeast and still had nice bread.
I got rid of my bread machine when we moved about 5 years ago. I mostly make the bread using the hook on my stand mixer.
I usually use the recipe from this article. I mostly use it for pizza dough. I have teenagers.
My mum has a bread maker and she only uses it to combine the dough. She prooves and bakes it in the oven. She has arthritis in her hands so says it’s worth having the machine to save her from kneading the dough herself.
Laura Martinez says
Yes!!! It should go to the Dwarf Bread Museum too!
My family had a bread machine when I was a kid. The bread tasted awesome, but always looked basically like someone had used a trash compactor on a troll (though someone less deformed than what your bread machine managed to produce. I’m almost tempted to be impressed…). My mom hated how it looked so much that she stopped using the bread machine and eventually got rid of it.
Laura Martinez says
I love bread and making bread. Hand made bread is far superior to machine bread, but hey, it’s bread, so it’s all good. Good luck with the machine.
We use ours for pizza dough, took a bit to find the right recipe though.
I had to laugh when I saw this post because the items were identical to some my husband got me for Christmas . Except for the book which I am now going to buy. We’ve made 6-8 loaves and while their tastyness has ranged from meh to yum, their appearances have been perfect . I am a terrible cook and after years of drooling at the food descriptions in your books and food pics and recipes on this blog I can only think that your Zojirushi is a lemon .
I am on my 2nd bread machine but I only use it for dough. I shape the bread and bake in the oven. I use regular yeast that I store in fridge and either all purpose or bread flour depending on the recipe. I do raise the lid and check during mixing that the dough has come together into a ball and it’s been great. Dinner rolls, sweet rolls, oatmeal bread, you name it. It takes 90 minutes from start to risen dough. I do use the order of wet ingredients on the bottom and dry on top. Good luck!
Is Brinner the equivalent to Brunch?
in Australia we’ll often to a brunch when you sleep in and it’s to late for breakfast yet to early for lunch ????
Brunch is breakfast plus lunch. Brinner is breakfast at dinner time. Of course, this only works if you are used to thinking of the order of your meals as breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you’re used to breakfast, dinner and supper, you may run into some difficulties.So, good luck with that, Carey!
I need that bread cutting board. Unfortunately you do need yeast specific to a bread maker, regular yeast won’t cut it.
My husband makes a delicious beer bread recipe sometimes. It is super-popular among our friends and he sometimes makes a massive number of loaves for pot lucks or as Twelfth Night gifts.
We don’t have any special tools or machines. I will inquire as to his recipe and post it when he gives it to me.
P.S. I have never asked for the recipe all these years out of fear that I will be called upon to make it. 🙂
Akeru Joyden says
My mom has been making bread machine bread for over 2 years now… it is good.
Mix flour, sweetener & salt together in separate bowl. Pour milk (room temp) and butter into mixing bowl. Pour in our mixture and add yeast. Mix and knead until smooth. Let rise for 1 hrs and 20 minutes or until double. Make bread loaves, oil tops, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hrs to 1 hrs an 20 minutes. Remove plastic ( unlike what i did) and bake at 400 for 20 to 25 minutes.
Akeru Joyden says
Second attachment from her bread machine book…
Bill From NJ says
I went one up on that ( we never had luck w bread machines), I bought my wife a Mock mill for Christmas, so we have that and a ton of various types of grain berries to make flour out of around the house. The flavor is way different than store flour, that is for sure ( even our brutal cat demands some, go figure.).
Ha, ha, ha! Very good.
Thank you for brightening my day. I’d blame the bread machine, the recipe or the yeast but definitely not you. Your own bread looks scrumptious. I’m sure you’ll find a solution. Still, thank you. I loved the photos. 🙂
OMG! We just bought a bread maker too, and I really like it so far. We were looking at the zojurushi model but it was too expensive (and we arent really bread eating or making people – just occasionally) so we bought the cuisinart one, and we have had some great successes so far. We made milk bread at home for the first time and couldn’t believe how heavenly it smells.
I hope your next batch turns out great!
Kat M. says
I bought my bread machine from a secondhand store for $7. I looked up recipes for it on the internet. If you don’t have bread machine yeast, you just double your regular yeast. It makesv excellent bread
Oh, wow, I’m sorry but I laughed when I saw the bread from the machine. I do sourdough bread in my machine and I like being able to leave it for hours. I’ve had a few fails so I hope it’s an easy fix. Bread machine yeast works great. But your loaf looks beautiful whereas the other… Beastly ????
My question is, why doesn’t he make the bread in the machine and you do your way? A bake-off?
Maria R. says
Well now, that conglomerate is all sorts of pebbles and lumps. Perhaps use that artsy Modge Podge and tah dah, presto bingo a garden ornament?
Frankly not even suggesting any baking tip. My hubby was bread maker fellow. I was discussing your erm, effort & he recalled why we stopped using machine.
What a lovely and thoughtful reason for bread maker.
Have a good rest of your day. ????
Kira Hagen says
Bread machine recipes NEVER balance wet and dry ingredients correctly. Check a few times when it’s in the initial kneading cycle (you can open the lid) and add whatever it needs. If it doesn’t look like good dough 10 minutes into the initial cycle, add either water or more flour .
Monica Martin says
From the look of it…in the mixing process it didn’t get mixed properly. Therefore it wasn’t able to rise correctly and a mess ensued lol. I also want to say when it comes to bread machines that bake bread for you it always sucks. It just never comes out no matter what kind of machine it is. I’ve always just made the bread in the machine and actually use my stove to bake it in loaf pans or sheet pans for harder breads like french. Comes out every time. So, if it doesn’t work again try to bake in the oven and watch the mixing process to make sure it’s working right.
When I was in college, my dad gave me a breadmaker for Christmas. The first trial did not go well. Nor the second. Nor the third… My family called them “bricks.” The eighth or ninth trial ended prematurely, when my dad threw a ball for the dog and accidentally hit the breadmaker’s power switch halfway through the baking cycle. We used that as “glue” to build a tower out of my bricks. It was four feet tall before I produced an edible loaf. My dad said that, even if I never ate any of the bread, it was a good present, because I had played with it more than any other he had given me.
If your yeast were dead, you’d get a nice rectangular brick. Your loaf is much more interesting. It’s inhomogeneous. It didn’t mix. If something went wrong with the mixing mechanism, I’d expect dry flour and a gluey mess. Been there, done that. I think your dough was too dry. It’s harder to mix dry dough. By hand, you’d just knead it more. The machine doesn’t know to do that. Dry, stiff dough would also give the illusion that the yeast was dead. It doesn’t expand much.
Assuming that you measured ingredients correctly, your flour is at fault. Not faulty exactly. It just doesn’t fit the recipe. It needs more water than expected. To fix that, buy one large bag of flour and one jar of yeast. Using the same ingredients and the same recipe, change nothing except the amount of water you add. Repeat until it comes out the way you want it. Then edit your recipe. I’m guessing that you will need to add 25-50% more liquid.
You need to use dried yeast. Fresh yeast doesn’t work. And you have to put the liquid ingredients first. Love from Germany.
I have that bread machine and I love it…but I mostly use it for making low Fodmap friendly gluten free dairy free egg free “bread” because my poor husband is having a dietary issue and giving up sandwiches wasn’t going to work for us, and it had a pre-programmed gluten free course and I don’t have the time to make bread by hand once a week let alone gluten free bread which tends to be more finicky. I’ve found that if the bread recipe suggests adding the ingredients in a different order than generally the order recommended by Zojirushi, it’s best to try a different recipe. Almost everything we’ve tried (gluten free and gluten full) has come out resembling what it was supposed to – except the gluten free brownie cake – that was just….crumbs. It came out in a pile of crumbs. There is a “add” beep after the first rise cycle for most courses on that machine and it is the perfect time to scrape down the sides and “fix” any uneven mixing problems that may have developed.
Years ago I had a bread machine. Once I started the machine I would set a separate timer for five minutes. When that timer went off I open the bread machine up and I took a spatula to all four corners making sure that nothing was left unincorporated. I close the machine and let it do its job. That always worked for me.
That looks like my first loaf that I made when I got a bread machine for my birthday a few years ago. I had tried to use all whole wheat flour instead of a mix of whole wheat and bread flour, like the recipe called for. After several other mishaps in the years since I got it, the lesson I’ve learned is that bread machine recipes are very exacting. You really do have to follow steps and ingredient ratios precisely or you end up with a lumpy mess. And you absolutely need rapid rise/bread machine yeast.
Omg, that bread! I’m laughing so hard, I think we’ve all been there before
I love my bread machine, it doesn’t always love me back. I’ve made bread that looked like that when I used self rising flour because I didn’t have any other kind, stupid pandemic shopping. My recommendations are always use sifted bread flour in your bread pan and use a scale to measure, and during the first kneeding check if it needs more water. I’m in Phoenix Arizona and if the humidity is really low then my bread usually needs more water.. *shrugs* Some great recipes from https://breaddad.com/
Cyndee Good says
Guess I will try that recipe next few days. Have only done the white and whole wheat, but plan to do much more so as I can. Rapid rise/instant what I’ve been using yeast wise and using scale for gram measurements. No doubt, you will conquer this dilemma!
I have a breadmaker and you do have to use bread machine yeast and the ingredients have to be added in a particular order. That said, though my first loaves were bad, they weren’t that bad!
It’s funny to see all the various experiences people have with these machines. I use mine once a month to make pizza dough. My mother found a no knead recipe that has you cook your bread in a pie plate – it has become the go-to for the entire family.
Sara B. says
Wait wait wait … you mean the “Gordon” half of your partnership bought a bread machine for you to use, not for use by himself? In my experience (admittedly very limited), bread machines are “boy toys”. Maybe it will work better for Gordon.
Um, Dear Ilona, That is a picture & some huh. I haven’t made bread since I was around 27, maybe 28, and I turned 70 in August. My point is, bread can be like swimming, you may have done some strokes, but possibly most likely not all, and sinking can happen without warning. This bread sunk. So, sure try again tomorrow, and see how it goes. Warmest regards, and all the best good wishes.
Julie Edwards says
I have a bread machine and love it. I make the French bread and then bake a bulb of garlic and spread that scrumptiousness on the bread. So good. Hopefully the second attempt comes out better.
Ps….I also buy bread flour…..might make a difference.
Faith LaBarbera says
Zojirushi is an excellent bread maker. I used mine about a year (this was a while ago), and it just didn’t do it for me. It was ok. I wish you success in you bread machine endeavors 🙂 I love your Russian tea recipe. I’ve made it several times already.
Stacy McKnight says
I am not a bread machine fan. I like the process too much to let a machine do it. I also have no counter space – no storage or cupboard or pantry space either- to hold it. Your milk bread looked yum. I might have to make some.
My bread machine does this when one of the propeller things isn’t working correctly.
I have been using a breadmachine for gluten free bread and found that pouring honey or Karo over the yeast supercharged it.
Bread machines seem to be a bit fussy on ingredient prep. My better half uses one and he always makes sure that all of the ingredients are at room temp and the butter is really soft. Still every now and then due to an infinitisimal change to something, the bread goes wonky.
Also, where could one find the milk bun recipe? Pretty please.
Moderator R says
Here it is ???? https://ilona-andrews.com/2020/milk-bread/
Shelly P says
Have been a fan for years, read & re-read everything you have multiple times and you are the only blog I follow and I follow it pretty faithfully. This is the first time I have left a comment (I think) and I just had to when I read this post and saw the pics. My comment is:
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah (deep breath) hahahahahahahahahaha!!
OMG! I think I giggled my self to death. Good luck with all the bread advice for overcoming the problems you ran into. I think you have a novel’s worth on what you did wrong and how to fix it so I won’t add to it. I will say the loaves and rolls you made by hand looked really tasty 🙂
Wow, it looks like the brains of a cauliflower monster ???? found in Unicorn Lane. Definitely should go into a story as I don’t know …. *mutters to myself….
As a bread machine user, I can tell that your “epic fail” didn’t have enough liquid. The amount of liquid needed for machine bread is variable, depending on the flour used. Or the humidity. Or a dozen other variables. You can add more liquid or flour during the knead cycle, in increments. The final dough should form a smooth ball, neither too sloppy nor hard and lumpy. Good luck!
I think the milk bread you baked in the oven looks delicious.
Sorry, but I have no tips on the bread machine. I bought one years ago, because homemade bread…yum. I only used it a couple of times before donating. I just didn’t love how it came out.
But again, that was years ago. Yours looks like an amazing bit of technology and I’m sure you will master it!!
Please share pics!
I dug my bread machine out of the basement during the pandemic. That is correct, I still had it from when we got married in 1991. It still worked perfectly. I use it to make the dough since I have bad shoulders. I love homemade dinner rolls. The instructions I still have from then have different measurements for each type of yeast. I keep my yeast in a mason jar in the fridge as my husband bought a bulk quantity.
Such a brilliant gift to bring relief to the aching wrists of a beloved One. Thoughtful of Gordon ????
My mom uses regular yeast in her bread machine, which is a probably 15-year-old Zojirushi. You do have to make sure it’s on the right setting for the kind of yeast you have. It’s not very good at baking it evenly — one end is always darker than the other. Sometimes she has to adjust the liquid or flour during the knead cycle, and sometimes she has to help out with the kneading. But overall it usually comes out quite well, even the time she forgot entirely to put the yeast in. That bread was really dense but tasted good.
My mom bought one of those contraptions years ago. I found that whatever she baked in there tended to have the same base taste. (Special flour?)
But last December, I watched my brother mix some simple ingredients to start making yeast (for sourdough bread he said), and set it aside to let itself do its thing for a few days.
At showtime, he baked this awesome, whole-grain rustic loaf that was one of the most delicious rustic breads I’ve ever had, and I don’t even like sourdough.
Home-made yeast is the way to go!
I have the same machine just an older version. I use active dry yeast and bread or AP flour as the recipe requires. Most important thing is the make sure that you put the ingredients in as suggested. You can also check the consistency part way through the kneading, it might beep at you, but will get back to work when you close the lid
Debi Majo says
Scott Patlin says
This may be more about lugging in Colorado than using a bread machine, but if I get into trouble it’s because I need a little more liquid than the recipe calls for. If the mix is chunky I add a quarter cup of water.
I’m not sure if it’s helpful or not, but it looks better than my attempt at making gluten free bread…
Sigh. Yes, special yeast for bread machines. I went through 2 machines, then gave up on them. They could not handle the heavy workout I gave them. (I like multigrain, artistional breads) But I must confess that they were cheap machines. Not fancy at all.
I also received a bread maker for Christmas. Tried the French bread recipe first, since it only requires flour, salt, and active yeast, and that was all I had at hand. The result looked very similar to your picture. Was greatly disappointed. Then my wife went to the store and bought the nonfat dry milk I needed for the basic white bread recipe (which also needs some sugar and butter too).
The results were night and day different. The bread was fantastic. Before you toss your yeast as bad, try a recipe other than french bread. You may be surprised.
I have a Zo bread machine (that’s what the cheeky manual calls it, “your Zo”). I bought it from the King Arthur flour catalog. It’s an old model, yours looks like the Tesla of bread machines. I know you used unexpired yeast — my manual does not specify a type of yeast (rapid rise or standard). I know you read and followed the directions. My manual repeats three times that if you do not add the ingredients in the precise order: liquid first then flour floating on top, yeast in a well in the flour — then the dough will fail. The fails I have had come from the flavor of the bread, bland. Not quite worth the effort. I plan to try honey instead of sugar for my next loaf. I did buy a new packet of yeast.
Even good bread machine bread has the texture of styrofoam and tastes off to me. Grew up on homemade bread and I’m a snob about it. I say return the beast of a machine and keep making delicious bread the old fashioned way. I’ve used your milk bread recipe and it’s a favorite in my house. So fluffy.
If you don’t have rapid rise yeast, just set the machine to the dough setting. Let it rise, then set to bake. I’d just use your normal recipe. I didn’t like any of the recipes that came with my bread machine.
If you’re looking for excellent bread machine recipes, I recommend Rustic European Breads From Your Bread Machine by Ekhardt and Butts(https://www.amazon.com/Rustic-European-Breads-Bread-Machine/dp/1626540659).
Michelle Vogelsang says
I have a similar model zojirushi breadmaker and I enjoy it. However, in our old 1950s Houston house, my results were often sad, sunken loaves. We moved to a brand new house one street north, and my dough and baked loaves are great. We think it was the wide variations in humidity in the old house. I use Z’s recipe for whole wheat most often, and found I need to add an extra tbsp of olive oil so that the dough can stretch better.
I have an older bread machine and just use regular yeast in it. You do have to make sure that the yeast does not touch the liquid, which goes in first. I have had my bread sink a bit sometimes but never anything like your picture. I make an oatmeal wheat bread most of the time. It seems like if I wanted to make french bread I would have to choose a different cycle. Just some things for you to think about. Good luck, I hope you have success (or you could just make it by hand again!).
I love making bread but my wrists are messed up so my husband bought me a machine. I love it bc it feels like using an ez bake oven…you put stuff in according to the directions and yummy bread comes out. I don’t use special flour or yeast unless the recipe calls for it.
HOWEVER..I learned the hard way that I need to weigh my flour. My ‘regular’ bread books say to do this too. Flour gets compacted and stirring or sifting gives variable results. The book that came with my machine has a table with weight conversions (i.e., 1 cup of x kind of flour = x grams). I think my book said the reason for the order of putting things in is because direct contact with undiluted forms of some ingredients kills yeast….?
What she said about weighing the ingredients. There are too many variables if you just use measuring cups and spoons.
From experience, I can tell you that a bread machine is a lot like the girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead…When it is good, it is very, very good and when it is bad, it is horrid. I like mine, except when I don’t. I would suggest that you start out with breads that bake on “basic” settings and branch out into the other buttons once you have figured out the idiosyncrasies of the machine/manufacturer. They never put the stuff that you need to know in the owner’s manual. I just went a whole round with my machine because I wanted to bake sourdough bread. It has a button for that. In the end, after weeks of baking sourdough hockey pucks, I figured out that, changing nothing in the recipe or ingredients, I can get excellent results if I use the basic cycle. Go figure. And good luck with figuring out your own machine.
The first time I used my bread machine without my Mom’s supervision….well, let’s say not even the backyard wildlife would touch it. It was at least vaguely bread shaped, but I could have used it to increase my arm strength it was so dense and heavy! I have to admit since then, I use the bread machine mixes and make more bread from scratch without the machine.
May I suggest the Better Homes and Gardens bread machine cookbook? It has a lot of recipes that I love. I especially love the smoked cheddar loaf (it’s a beer bread made with smoked cheddar cheese- so good).
Also, if you like honey wheat bread, the recipe on the package of King Arthur whole wheat flour is excellent.
+1 for the Better Homes and Gardens book… The pumpkin nut bread with or without the nuts! My daughter gave away four loaves for Christmas.
I’ve had better luck with my (nearly identical, but older and from the thrift shop rather than new) machine when I use non rapid-rise yeast (which I have to go to the store today to pick up a new one!) in a glass jr.
But on a side note, your milk bread looks spectacular
Also, I tend to have mixed results as my breads have to be gluten free and with unusual sugars (weird allergy to cane sugar and honey). But I’ve done best with almond-based bread in my bread maker, and letting the dough sit/soak in all the moisture with a slightly longer rest period between mixing and the maker beginning to bake the bread. But I’m also guessing this is due to quirky gf dough, but who knows if instead it’s a quirk more related to this particular bread maker…
The bread machine is just a fancy mixer – I make all kinds of breads in it, not just recipes that are called bread machine recipes. If a bread does not taste good, it’s the recipe, not the machine. (Well, technique also, if you don’t check consistency of the dough early on). You can take a bread machine recipe and make the bread in a stand mixer or completely by hand, or a regular bread recipe and make it in the machine. Yes, you might need some adjustments, but you nearly always need to make some adjustments due to ambient conditions, specific temperature of ingredients, whatever.
30 book a month reader says
I bought a bread machine several years back. While I am happy with the bread, I can tell you that the machine is very unforgiving. Use EXACTLY the bread flour, rapid yeast, milk powder, etc. it tells you. Anything else will result in epic fail. Ingredients have to be fairly fresh too.
So many answers, most likely you don’t need my tips, but writing in case it might help.
We eat a lot of bread so we use our bread machine almost everyday. Store brought bread tastes strange, and that is another reason to make our own.
The ratio of ingredients that worked for us so far is:
• 2 cup of water (I prefer to use warm tap water)
• 4 cups of flour
• 1 tbsp salt
• 2 tbsp oil
• 1 tbsp dry yeast
The order you place the ingredients in is very important. For us water, oil, salt, flour and the dry yeast on top. Used this order on every machine we had, but there might be some out there that are different.
Find that you don’t need sugar to activate dry yeast, so no reason to add it.
The way the dough is baked also makes a difference. We don’t like the way it turns out in the machine, so we use it on dough preset only. Saves you the work and you get to finish the product however you want.
For the receipy above just bake in a flat tray (grease tray with a bit of oil) at 425F for 5 min and at 370F until done.
My mom likes to massage the dough a bit before putting it in the tray. I can’t be bothered, just slap it on the tray, pat it with a bit of water, stab it with a fork and in the oven it goes.
Is that a face I see in it? It looks like it will devour you. The new and improved Blob.
Mary Beth says
I had a bread machine two years before I tested positive for gluten allergy. Had to give it up forever.
That said? Your yeast was half dead, and the flour might have been old?
Before I had a bread machine that was what happened to me.
I hope future loaves are fantastic.
congratulations, you have found a replacement for rancid spaghetti lmao
Beth Leffler says
My inner kinder teacher wants to paint it into a landscape diorama. With a beautiful seascape and cliffs. ????????????
I’m a single mom of three. I have a Zo & we love our bread machine. It takes tweaking, and seeing the comments I’m sure you’ll have a beautiful loaf in no time.
Now each month I put together “bread bags” with all the dry ingredients. At night I put in the wet, dump the bag contents in & set the delay timer. Waking up to the fresh bread smell is amazing.
honestly i never liked the bread from my bread machine. It would have thick crust all over it so i used it just for the kneading but now i have a stand mixer and it looks a lot prettier then my clunky bread machine ever did
bread machines use instant yeast, which is different from rapid yeast in that rapid yeast needs to soak in water for a few minutes before being mixed with everything. Instant yeast starts working as soon as it’s wet.
Ms. Kim says
+1. Yes, that was it. I remember the warm water.
I miss HEB, great tortillas in their bakery.
Ista in Sydney says
If it makes you feel better, I once made couscous that turned out like cauliflower florets. We all stared at it and gave it side eye.
Ms. Kim says
I used to put all my ingredients in the machine the night before so we could wake up to the smell of baking bread. I can no longer remember what I did when adding the yeast. For me, the yeast either worked or it didn’t. Can’t say I ever got cauliflower. But the bread didn’t taste as flavorful as what I made by hand. I tried adding more butter and salt than machine recipe called for and that helped.
wow, are you sure that isn’t a Baha-char vendor?
It is interesting that if one becomes known for making bread, the offer of a gift of a bread making machine often follows.
I have a large extended family who treasures me for my baked goods. (otherwise I’m kinda the scary/intimidating/weird/out-of-step-with-popular-culture sister/sister-in-law/aunt/daughter-in-law).
I was able to diplomatically and firmly turn down several bread machine gift offers. (It would not have resulted in more bread making).
I enjoy and sometimes need the opportunity to pummel, er, knead dough…
and I make baked goods when I feel like it and it’s not always something with yeast!
Perhaps the inaugural loaf could be repurposed as squirrel/bird food. That would be a respectful disposal method.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! That is just …. so … UGLY!
We’ve used a zojirushi machine for decades. It’s great for making dough. Don’t bake in it. Never bake in it. The crust will be terrible. But that would be my advice for all bread machines.
As for the bread fail, it happens. Once in a while, it just doesn’t mix right or whatever. Good luck.
P.S. Are you familiar with Innkeeper Pie?
I had a wonderful bread machine. I would set it and in the morning the whole house smelled wonderful of fresh bread. I gained 30 pounds. It’s in the garage now. When I started the recipes that came with it were awful. Cooking light had a magazine of bread machine recipes. Wonderful. Unfortunately I burned it at the stake. My favorite was just a white bread recipe.
This is spooky….with the exception of the bread machine model, I just purchased those exact items even unto the bread slicer!
I used to make bread the old fashioned way a long time ago. Now, I have joint issues in my fingers and wrists and thought the machine would be less painful.
I planned to experiment this weekend. I’m sure you will have the bread machine code cracked in record time! =D
I think it’s incredibly sweet that in the background of the “cauliflower” bread, the small end of the milk bread loaf looks like a tiny sleeping mouse.
We gave my parents a bread machine one Christmas and my dad became a bread baking fanatic. We did try an old family favorite recipe and it was a massive fail… did not mix properly. Mythought ks a good bread machine should have a yeast type setting, not force you in to buying one type.
Good luck with the machine. I just got some variations on a basic bread recipe from my aunt i am dying to try…. basically stuffed bread. But onion dill is still a big hit for me ❤
Basic White Bread Recipe
2/3 cup Warm Water
1 1/4 tsp Regular Yeast
1 TB Sugar
3 cups Flour
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1/3 cup Milk
1 TB Butter
Combine the water, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl. Let the yeast activate for a couple minutes. Add all the other ingredients to the bread machine. Add the activated yeast mixture. Set the bread machine to the DOUGH setting. Let the dough rise for 30min or until doubled in size. Set the bread machine to the lightest bake setting, it should bake the bread to a light golden brown.
Bridget Crepeau says
Odd that this was posted. I have been baking bread for years – it’s the cream on top of a good meal, so I do it when I can. I had to go onto a low iodine diet for a month and they provided some “bread” recipes. I had new yeast, new flour and every bread product I baked from that cookbook was a failure. I should have taken pictures. Your “loaf” of french bread looks like my loaf of soda bread. I also tried saltine crackers and some white bread. All horrific. One more week and I can have baked bread with dairy in it!
I have a bread machine (and that exact bread slicing board, coincidentally) and I have read that different models of machines require you to add the ingredients in a specific order. Adding things out of order can mess with the mixing action. Best of luck getting it to work!
Hey, Ilona, if the bread machine continues to not cooperate, consider getting an Ankarsrum stand mixer. Sounds like you’ve already got killer bread-from-scratch recipes, and an Ankarsrum does a beautiful job of kneading. Instead of your typical bowl and dough hook (which can be too rough on bread dough) that rotates around the bowl, the bowl of this machine spins around a fluted roller that’s on a lever arm. There’s also a dough scraper attachment. The roller is gentle and thorough, so you get silky-soft bread dough in under 10 minutes. You still have to rise and shape it, but it would let you make bread by feel at every stage with minimal wear on your hands.
It’s a big-capacity machine, so making just a single 1-lb loaf in it requires one of us to stand over it and work the lever arm and poke with a silicone spatula to keep the dough engaged with the roller instead of thumping to the far side of the bowl. I expect if we made a larger batch of dough this wouldn’t be necessary, but a 1-lb loaf is plenty for just the two of us.
The machine and its components are all made in Sweden, so I expect it’ll last for years. (You need to order it through a U.S. distributor.) It comes with lots of other attachments for cookie dough, etc. The link below is through Bread Beckers, the Georgia kitchen store we used, since there wasn’t an Ankarsrum distributor in our state. Bread Beckers posted some good YouTube videos on using it, and I wound up talking to the very nice lady who made their videos when I had specific questions about high-altitude adjustments with this machine.
Lynn Thompson says
Thank you, Ilona Andrews for the post.
Gordon loves you a great deal. He bought you the bread makers “bible” AND a bread machine.
Personally I don’t have a bread machine as I don’t eat much bread. The closest I get is yeast rolls to go with roast beef and pancakes on Sunday. However my siblings that do (male and female) all say MUST use rapid yeast. G said something about adding layers properly but he can be rather Particular about things. There that should be PC enough. Bless his heart. ????
I’ve had this problem and it might not be the yeast. Although, as others have suggested, I do store mine in the freezer (quick rise).
Just like not all ovens are the same, not all bread machines are the same.
It might need a bit more water. The next time, try two tablespoons more and keep experimenting. It allows the dough to come together more smoothly.
One thing I’ve learned to do is use the dough option for kneading/rising and then bake it in the oven.
We use bread machine for last 5 years and everyone loves it.Usually the yeast is to blame for failure.
The milk bread looked great. Maybe he knows you love bread and wanted to make sure you got fresh bread? I mean, I once asked my husband what my favorite food was and I expected him to say something like lobster, or prime rib, or something. But he said bread and butter. And I’m like… yeah, I resemble that remark.
Looking forward to further bread experiments. I hope your hands are feeling better.
It’s been a while since I used a bread machine (found out I needed to go gluten free a few years ago) but I have vague memories of needing to separate out the yeast when combining. Something like needing to dig it a little hole in the dry flour so that it avoids the wet ingredients?
This is off topic but I tried the Fortnum and Mason Christmas Black Tea and loved it. Williams Sonoma has it on sale right now with an extra 20% off. Just fyi. Ilona may have found her bulk purchase place already. 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation!
I laughed so hard!!!
Anne Stuart says
I have the same machine and cookbook. It’s not the yeast. There wasn’t enough liquid in the bread. Next time check as it’s mixing and kneading and add a little bit of water till it’s smooth and forms a ball like regular bread making. The machine is wonderful – you just have to figure out what adjustments you might need to make.
Hey the cookbooks that come with the bread machines are rubbish. My MIL has one and it was lots of trail and error to tweak them. Now they make delicious bread. In my country, you can buy “live” baker’s yeast, the one that comes in small squishy cubes. I would say leave the yeast to leaven for 15 min on its own, add it and then start the process
Did we ever get an update on if the second loaf turned out with the different yeast?
Moderator R says
Different yeast and adjustment on the amount of flour resulted in success ???? https://www.facebook.com/100044564163704/posts/469233497905452/?d=n
I use regular yeast in my machine but I proof it first. So I take the required water salt and sugar, stir it up, add the yeast, let it sit for 10 minutes, then I pour it into the machine and then add the dry ingredients on top. Otherwise you have to use bread machine yeast.
Interesting result! it actually looks kind of scary. Reading all the comments made me want to bake. I used to have a bread machine waay back before the new millenium. #feelingoldnow and the thing I ended up making most in it was orange and lemon marmalade. There was a recipe for that in the recipes that came with the machine, made amazingly good marmalade. And the smell in the kitchen was lovely. Never used any kind of specialty yeast or flour for the thing, though. But I was never really fond of the way the bread turned out when baked in the machine and ended up using it mostly for marmalade and for kneading and proofing.
I got a bread machine and that same bread slicing board (without the knife) from my mother for Christmas. I did not know about bread machines! I read a lot of reddit posts on the r/breadmachines subreddit and saw first time users often suffered weird loaves. Mine fortunately comes with a clear top so my first recipe was pretty successful– I checked on it and added more flower or water as needed, and made sure it looked like a normal bread dough, and that it had risen significantly before I allowed it to ‘bake’ (bc I could open the top like a washer to check on it). Does yours allow checking partway through?
I’m excited to see your future loaves.
I have the same bread maker, and even the same bread book. However, with this bread maker, the only bread that comes out right for me are the recipes from the actual instruction manual from the machine. As far as I can tell there is no logical reason for this. I have tried comparing recipes that seem exactly the same but are somehow not. That blob you have? I had one of those too.
It is a complete mystery. But now thanks to the BDH I can go through the comments and perhaps get help. So, um, thank you for your strange and fascinating variety of posts! And thank you BDH,,,,
Apple bread pudding is perfect way to use up bread that you aren’t eating. Freese the bread and take out what’s needed for the recipe.
Bigmama Battillo says
What a VERY interesting result! I have a bread machine and have not achieved such spectacular results as this, even though I’ve come close! We definitely have a very steep learning curve to overcome! Have you thought of naming it something like “man’s inhumanity to man” and contacting a museum? If you look very closely at the top you can see a very small evil face peering out! Yellow slitty eyes and curly white hair!
I’ve made lots of bread over the years, some by hand and some by machines. That result looks like what happens when the blade doesn’t mix, for whatever reason, and you get a baked brick of whatever you put in for the recipe.
I’ve used lots of different flours, lots of ingredients including some that I never would have thought to put in bread, all varieties of yeast (including one brand that kept for over a decade in my freezer as I slowly used it up). There is no one perfect way to make bread. But the paddle does have to rotate and knead the bread for any of them to make anything resembling a loaf. I’ve started mine without the paddle & without the paddle seated properly and have gotten a very similar result both ways.
I haven’t seen another post about the bread so perhaps you have figured it out, but if you haven’t I’m sure you will.
I am wondering about the bread slicing component? I have a plastic bread slicing guide and it is very ordinary, to say the least. Have you used the wooden slice guide pictured and is it any good? I am in Australia and can’t find anything similar online. Thanks in advance.
KRISTIAN H says
FWIW, we’ve found Saf Red Instant yeast ‘us’ proof wrt to making bread. YMMV. It lasts forever in the freezer as well.
When I had a bread maker my favorite thing to do was make breakfast style breads using the timer feature. You would wake up in the morning to the house smelling like freshly baked bread and cinnamon!
I have an ancient zojorushi that’s still going. It has different settings for regular and fast rise yeast. You do have to check the fell of the bread when it’s mixing. Sometimes a little extra water, sometimes an extra table of flour.
Shirli Place says
Even though the loaf from the bread machine was a fail…. the photos are spectacular. Good job! 😀