If you have lost your bread maker manual, or don’t have one, things can be tough to manage. Handling the bread maker for the first time would indeed be a nightmare for some. Fortunately, if you don’t, here’s a proper manual for you. Be it any specific brand that you use, these pointers will help you to become a pro at bread making.
Know Your Machines
Well, this is basics. If you don’t know your bread maker, you won’t be able to use it. Additionally, with the manual lost, no one will be there to teach you stuff. Fret not, because your machine comes with a basic structure, which is common for all.
Almost all machines contain a hinged lid, which you need to lift. Just next to it, you would have a control panel for easy control of your bread maker. Lastly, there is the bread bucket, which acts as a mixing pan and baking pan. The baking pan contains a kneading paddle, which helps to mix the dough and bake it easily.
When you have a bread maker, you need to know about your bucket capacity to bake breads effectively. Not all bread makers have the same bucket capacity, and this is why you need to pay special attention. The easiest way to do this is to take the bread bucket out, and then fill it with water from a measuring cup. Pour the water, until you have filled the bucket, and you would know about the capacity of the bucket.
At first look, things might seem a bit tough for you, especially the knobs and buttons. However, when you look closely, you will be able to unveil the mystery easily. Some buttons denote the temperature, while others denote the speed, and other controls.
For example, when you look closer to the ‘Select’ button, you would see a lot of options like ‘white’ or ‘basic’. Some bread makers would also have options like ‘rough’, ‘sweet’ or ‘dough’. All this enables you to specify what type of dough you want to make, and what materials you will be using to make the bread.
Contrary to this, the setting options for ‘crust’ are not available for all bread makers. So, if you see that in your machine, it should be a light button with the label ‘crust’. Also, it will have three options, of different varieties, i.e. ‘light’, ‘medium’ and of course ‘dark’. The default setting is generally medium.
Although, this doesn’t strictly fall under the bread maker manual, yet knowing the correct ingredients is essential because it affects the bread you make. For example, when you are using yeast for bread in bread maker, make sure that it is labeled as ‘active dry’.
On the other hand, when you use bread flour for making your breads, they contain more wheat protein and thus produce better bread. All purpose flour is not that good, because it is made from hard wheat, and not necessarily for breads.
Moreover, when you are adding the ingredients, make sure that you are doing it in the correct order. For example, the first ingredient should be the liquid, then you need to add the flour and mix it properly.
After that add the dry ingredients like sugar, salt, dry milk powder and any other stuff you feel like adding. The last thing to add in the mix is yeast. You need to make a hole in the flour and then add in the yeast. If it is dry, you can sprinkle it on top.
The timer is something simple, yet can be confusing at times. Generally, when you are preparing bread with bread maker, you would need a recipe. On the recipe, you’d have the details such as preparation time, ingredients and so on.
So, a recipe, can be your cheat sheet, even when you don’t have a bread maker manual. In case you don’t have a recipe near you, you can try using mathematics to calculate quickly. All you need to do is prepare a cycle, use the arrows and anticipate how soon your bread will be out of the maker.
Some Helpful Hints
So now that you know how to use a specific bread maker, you would need to prepare a recipe for your breads. However, since we are all human, we might have some questions and confusions. So here are some frequently asked questions answered for you.
#1: My Bread Is Hard. Why?
When you are using water to prepare your bread, you need to use the chlorine free version. This is because the chlorine in the water reacts badly with the yeast, hindering in the process of preparing a fluffy bread. Also, when you are buying yeast, make sure that you check the manufacturing and expiration date. Yeasts, which are kept for longer periods, does not yield good results as fresh yeasts.
#2: Why is My Loaf Coarse?
This might be because of low moisture content. So, while preparing your bread, make sure that you have added the correct amounts of water in the maker. If for any reason, you cannot add water, you can add some oil to keep the dough soft enough.
#3: Can I Use the Normal Bread Recipes In The Maker?
Yes, you can. When you are going through the recipe, just make sure that you add the correct ingredients. As for the timer, you need to make an approximation on the quantity and how hard you want the loaf of bread to be.
#4: When do I stop the Maker if I want to use the Oven?
After the dough cycle, you can remove the bread from the maker and use the oven. However, remember to heat at 425 degree Fahrenheit for at least twenty minutes. You can also change the time depending on the dough type.
So, now that you know about these awesome techniques to prepare bread with the help of a bread maker, all you need to do is go ahead and start doing. In case you have any questions, just drop in a comment.