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More helpful hints

schapin@mitre.org (Susan Chapin)
Tue, 20 Dec 94 08:14:56 EST
2. The Mid-Hudson River Valley where i live can get very humid in
the summer and very dry in the winter.  Because of this, the main
fluid measurement might vary by as much as + or - 2 tablespoons
(!) from the average amount in a recipe, depending on how much
moisture the flour has absorbed from the air.

I add gluten (1/2 cup since I am allergic to wheat flour and use other
flours instead), which needs to be evenly mixed into the flours.  And I use
a lot of different whole grain flours, which I buy in two-pound bags and
keep in the refrigerator.  I measure my dry ingredients, still cold, into a
plastic mixing bowl and stir well, then heat in the microwave for 30
seconds at half power, until slightly above room temperature.  (I don't use
the timed cycle for these breads -- they often need help for the first few
minutes of kneading.)

Keeping the flour in the refrigerator not only keeps it fresh (whole grain
flours will go rancid) but also compensates for the humid summer/dry winter
differences.  (I live in Washington, D.C. and the Mid-Hudson River Valley
has nothing on us when it comes to summer humidity!)

(Does anyone have a email address for the authors of  _The Bread Machine
Book of Helpful Hints_?  They mention an interest in a future book on
wheat-free breads, and I would like to share my best wheat-free recipes and
tips with them.)

- susan (schapin@mitre.org) (I represent only myself;   none of the
opinions expressed above are endorsed by my employer.)