>Could someone please help me. I am new to Colorado and need help in
>baking bread in my bread machine to get good results.
I live in Denver, and was given a Trillium Breadman Plus for Christmas.
I have had great success with it.
These tips might help you:
1. Always scoop out the flour you're measuring. Otherwise you'll wind up with
way too much flour.
2. If you store your flour in the freezer as I do (keeps bugs out of it), bring
it to room temperature before putting it into the bread machine's pan.
A minute or so in the microwave does fine. Don't warm the yeast, though.
3. I ALWAYS use vital gluten:
A tablespoon and a half for all-bread-flour recipes; at least two and often
four with whole grains and other burly mixtures.
This is for a large (2-lb) loaf. Be sure you use the gluten
when dealing with wheat germ, which actually breaks down the gluten
that helps the bread rise. I also usually mix some bread flour
(25% to 50%) into whole-grain recipes to prevent bricks.
4. Put all the dry ingredients except the yeast into a bowl and stir
thoroughly before putting into the bread machine pan.
Do all the dry-ingredient hocus pocus. THEN...
5. Heat liquids (I throw them all in a measuring cup together except for eggs)
to about 90 degrees F. It's OK if they're quite a bit cooler than you
would want for hand-made bread, for some reason. If you heat them in the
microwave, stir first (I use a chopstick), THEN check with your finger.
The cooler stuff hides in the middle. The stirring allows you to
accurately check temperature.
6. Put all the liquids (now at the correct temperature) in the bottom
of the bread machine. Dump in all the dry ingredients. Put the
yeast in a little hole you dug with your finger in the top of the resulting
hill of flour. Hit the "Go" button.
7. When adding fruits and nuts, I usually toss them in in small batches,
and usually start that process well before the machine beeps at me to do so.
This helps even the distribution of these items.
8. Donna German recommends that you watch the first few minutes of the
knead cycle to make sure the bread is behaving itself.
That's a good idea: I've sometimes had to add a little
water (a tablespoon or two) to make things work.
9. Using the timer has also worked out well for me.
I'm not too bashful about putting milk in there at night to have
fresh bread in the morning, and sourdough starter produced
spectacular results. I also warm the liquid before setting the
timer, though I can't swear that it does any good.
(I think this machine has a preheat cycle, though it doesn't
say so anywhere.)
The biggest problem I have with this bread machine is that the bread it
makes is so good I inhale it: a two-pound loaf rarely lasts beyond three
days, and I live alone! Hope yours goes as well.
What I've given you here is all the "magic" I know.