Thanks, Kami, for your excellent suggestions! A few comments/questions:
> 1) Putting a piece of tinfoil in the dome makes for a much
> better crust on the top. It also saves on cleanup when
> my bread over-rises. This was recommended by Consumer
> Reports in their comparisons of the machines.
INSIDE the dome? Interesting. I'm pretty sure the person at Welbilt
suggested putting it ON the dome... presumably to reflect heat back in.
I'll miss being able to see the dough inside, but I think your suggestion
makes more sense. I'll give it a try.
> 4) Bread is much better when baked right away and warm liquid is used
> rather than using the timer (especially in the winter -- this did
> not matter as much last summer).
> 5) The bread's texture changes when it rains or is humid. I almost always
> get a concave top when it rains.
These comments make me wonder if some of my "gooey center" problem is
caused by weather changes. For the first month or two the machine made
great bread 2 or 3 times a week, but by December it was turning out
gooey gunk. I wonder if the winter temperature and/or humidity could be
the culprit? I suspect overnight bread would have particularly bad problems,
since my setback thermostat lowers the temp to about 55-60F at night.
But lately all my bread has had gooey centers even when I started the machine
right away during the day.
Has anyone experimented with salvaging gooey bread? I.e. cutting off
a slice, discovering it's gooey, and tossing it in the oven a while
to finish? Would this work at all, and if so, would it only work
if you did it before the bread cooled?
> 6) Oat Blend flour is wonderful.
How so? Taste, texture, ? Speaking of which, we made an oatmeal bread
based on the DAK recipe and threw in some walnuts. It was good,
but it had sort of a "powdery" texture to it. The recipe calls for regular
non-instant oatmeal, but we used "quick" oatmeal because that's what we had
on hand. We ground it up in a blender like the recipe specified.
Would it work better to use regular non-instant oatmeal?
> 8) Heavy breads (e.g., Anadama) come out gooey in the center.
The heaviest I've made was the Onion Pecan bread in the DAK book.
Which was wonderful, by the way! It was heavy enough that it, and
a bottle of red wine, made our dinner one night. :-) But it's not
an incredibly dense loaf. It sounds like there's no way to make
dense bread in the DAK/Welbilt. Oh well...