Home Bread-Bakers v005.n029.4

Re: New Breadmaker, comments, many questions!

Robert Rounthwaite <robertro@microsoft.com>
Tue, 26 Jul 94 17:57:36 PDT
I originally sent this on July 13, but although it was in the archived 
digests when I checked, I never received the digest with it in it. At 
least 2 others did not receive that digest, so I am repostiting my reply.

Elizabeth Schwartz <betsys@cs.umb.edu> writes
 ) We just got an Oster breadmaker as a housewarming gift! It's great!  I've
 ) never made bread before and I have a lot of questions!

I can't answer all of your questions, but those that I can be of help 
with I answer below. Sorry if these have been answered already - I am 
on the digest.

 ) here are my questions:
 ) 1)How to convert recipes with white flour to mixed whole wheat and white?
 )   We like as close to 100% whole wheat as possible.

You can make bread in a breadmaker with *just* whole wheat flour (as 
the only flour - you still need all those other ingredients <grin>) You 
can generally substitute whole wheat for half the white flour in an all 
white flour bread without much trouble. For 100% whole wheat bread a 
couple of other modifications will be needed. Whole wheat flour doesn't 
have as much gluten per cup as white flour. (Gluten is the protein (i 
think) in the wheat. In any case, it makes the dough stickier and 
allows the bread to rise) To overcome this you can add egg whites or 
some gluten. I find gluten works a lot better. You can find gluten or 
gluten flour (the same thing) at most grocery stores. You don't use 
much (less than two tablespoons per loaf for most recipes) so price 
isn't that important, but it can pay to shop around. My local Safeway 
had it for $6.96 for a pound and a half bag, while my local health food 
store had it in bulk for $0.99 a pound. Besides gluten, the other thing 
that really helps keep those whole wheat loaves from being heavy is an 
extra kneading. Some bread machines have a special setting for whole 
grain breads that does this, mine doesn't, so I wait for it to be done 
with the first kneading (10 min.) and reset the machine. I'll post my 
favorite fat-free whole wheat bread recipe later when I can bring it in 
to work.

 ) 3) Can we use substitutes for egg? For fruit juice concentrate?
 )    Does anyone have a general table of substitutes for bread makers?

for egg - egg beaters, other egg substitute, egg whites (some egg 
substitutes are just egg whites and food color)
fruit juice concentrate is usually included as a substitute for sugar, 
so I guess you could increase the liquid slightly and use sugar. I use 
the frozen concentrate from the store for those recipes or diluted honey.
My favorite substitute is apple sauce for the oil or butter. I find 
that I can substitute one slightly rounded tablespoon of apple sauce 
for each tablespoon of oil the recipe calls for with little trouble. I 
seem to get a few more loaves where the moisture wasn't just right (see 
my answer to 4, below) but usually it is just as good.

 ) 4) If I add or subtract dry sugar, do I have to change anything else?

the amount of liquid may need to be changed slightly. The amount of 
liquid in your dough is the hardest thing to get right when modifying 
recipes. Too much and the bread will fall, too little and the top will 
be flat or uneven and the bread may not rise enough. Be careful if you 
want to remove all the sugar - I'm not sure exactly how much, but you 
need some additional sugar for the yeast to feed on, just as you need 
salt to regulate the growth. (of course, the sugar can come from 
concentrated fruit juice or honey, or ...)

 ) 5) The first loaves I made have a slight aftertaste that I can't
 )    quite identify, possibly yeast or flour. I noticed it less
 )    after  the bread was cooled. Any idea what this is and how to
 )    diminish it? The store-bought bread doesn't have it.

I can only think of a couple of things this could be. One very 
noticeable aftertaste is from the yeast and is one of the best things 
about fresh bread (IMHO) This tastes like bread smells and can't (?) be 
what you're talking about :-), although it does diminish after a while 
if the bread is allowed to cool uncovered. Also, old whole grain flours 
can have an unpleasant aftertaste as the natural oil can start to go 
bad. The solution is to throw away the flour and keep your whole grain 
flours in the fridge if you have this problem. I'm not sure if any of 
these are your problem, but I hope this helps.

 ) 6) What's the difference between bread and cake? I'd like to make
 )    a lowfat poppyseed bread that's more cake-y. Must I add egg?
 )    (I'm going to try putting poppyseeds into hazel@netcom's lemonade
 )     bread)

Cake rises only once while it is baking due to the action of baking 
soda / powder under the influence of heat. Bread rises due to the yeast 
growing (like you don't know that, sorry if I sound like I'm 
lecturing). I'm not sure how you'd make bread more cake-like. Most 
bread machines have a quick-bread setting that will allow you to make 
cake-like breads (cornbread, banana bread, etc.) and cakes.