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Old 01-24-2011, 01:51 AM
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Default Bread machine bread doesn't rise enough - any advice?

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I just got a bread machine last week (Hitachi HB B201), and I've been trying it out. We've baked 5 loaves so far. The first one rose up nearly out of the top of the pan, and it was deliciously light and airy. Since then, the dough doesn't seem to want to rise quite so high (only around 75-80% as high), although I think I'm adding the ingredients the same way and it's the same recipe. The first loaf was set to medium brownness, while the latter ones were all set to "light". I didn't think that would affect the rising, though...?

The only other thing I think would contribute to that is that I am measuring ingredients in volumes, rather than weighing them out. I try to be consistent between batches though (e.g., by fluffing up the flour before measuring). The last loaf, I removed 1/4 cup of flour from the recipe in the hopes of making it lighter, but still no luck.

The bread is still good, but that first loaf let me know that it's possible to make it rise more and be lighter.

Here's my recipe. I like the taste, I'm more interested in fixing my methods, rather than using a new recipe. Can anyone with more experience baking bread give me some suggestions? Thanks!

2 tbsp. Granulated Sugar
1 pkg. Rapid Rise Baker’s Yeast
1 cup Water (Warm, 110-115 º)
3 cups King Arthur’s All-purpose Four
1½ tsp. Salt
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1) Combine sugar and yeast in bread machine pan. Mix together. Add warm water and let sit for 10 minutes while it bubbles.

2) Add salt to flour and homogenize. Pour olive oil into yeast mixture, then gently add flour on top of liquid. Do not stir.

3) Close machine. Set desired darkness level and run machine on regular bread cycle (two risings).
Old 01-24-2011, 03:20 AM
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I will give you a few tips, some or none of which may help you.

1. heat of water. If this yeast is a dried type, the water should be a little over blood heat, but not much. Maybe as much as 110 tops, but if it is a fresh yeast flake (I have never used it) absolutely tepid is the best... Heat above 99 F kills yeast, the higher the heat, the more deaths. Rehydrating yeast kills yeast. There is a tradeoff to be made by raising the temperature to rehydrate dehydrated yeasts more quickly, in that the deaths during rehydration are reduced and this offsets the death by overheating problem. Fresh yeast should be tepid as there is nothing to be gained by raising the temperature.

2. yeast does not like salt. don't mix it into the dough, pour it on top. The kneader will get to it a little later and more rising can be done in the mean-time. When I used to use a breadmaker I put milk/water, yeast, sugar then I think oil and then flour and finally salt on top, into the pan before setting it going.

3. Does the yeast have ascorbic acid in it? Have a look. if not, try putting a crushed vitamin c tablet into your next batch along with the flour. See if this makes a difference. Ascorbic acid stops the oxidation of dead yeast, it can improve flavour and I always felt it made the bread lighter.

4. yeast storage. How have you been storing your yeast? How old is the yeast?

Finally: your flour. What kind of flour are you using? did you use up an old container of plain flour, and now you are using high-grade?

You need a low grade flour. High grade is for cakes, being high in starch. You need something high in gluten. Bread flour also might be called "strong" flour. you may want perhaps to buy some gluten flour and add a tablespoonful to each loaf. It's the kneading and the protein chains created during the process which create the lightness of the bread. Reducing the quantity of flour won't help.

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Old 01-24-2011, 03:25 AM
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If you are just dumping it all in, you might want to try the bread machine yeast.

What has been stated by the previous poster is also correct. Water temp is a big deal. Use an oven thermometer and check the recipe.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:36 AM
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What altitude are you at? I have to use high-altitude recipes or my bread doesn't rise well.
Old 01-24-2011, 10:49 AM
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I read that iodized salt is bad for yeast, so I don't use it, I also usually add a little more sugar (50%) to make sure the yeast have plenty to munch on.
Old 01-24-2011, 01:57 PM
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I never bake mine in there.I let it mix the dough then take it out a let it rise more in my baking pans,then bake in the oven.
I every loaf i made in them where heavy and bleh.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:25 PM
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Put the salt in first then the other ingredients, make the yeast the last ingredient that you add. Salt kills yeast.
Old 01-24-2011, 02:27 PM
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I'll try and answer everyone's questions:

Every time, I've used King Arthur Unbleached All-purpose flour. I see now that they have a bread flour as well. I'll give that a go when I need to buy more. Adding a little gluten flour to the mix also sounds promising.

I've been mixing the salt in with the flour. Next time I'll try putting it on top; however it does seem to mix pretty well right off the bat, so I don't know if keeping them separated will do all that much. I'm out of sea salt, but that is probably what I'll be using once I pick up another container.

I'm using Fleischmann's RapidRise Yeast, expiration date in 2012, stored in my spice cabinet. I've used yeast purchased from several sources.

I'm just dumping it all in (well, gently shaking it in), in the order described in my first post. I'll try using cooler water.

I'm under 500 ft. elevation.

Finally, I know for a fact my machine will make the lightest, fluffiest bread I could ask did it the first time! I'm after replicating my beginner's luck I have used the dough cycle to make pizza dough, which I then removed to the oven for baking, and it was great!
Old 01-24-2011, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by pendragon View Post
I'm using Fleischmann's RapidRise Yeast, expiration date in 2012, stored in my spice cabinet. I've used yeast purchased from several sources.
Are you using packets or a 4oz jar? Because if you are using the jar you have to refrigerate it after opening.
Old 01-24-2011, 06:21 PM
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I'm using packets.
Old 01-25-2011, 12:05 AM
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I have found that it works best in my bread machine ( daughter now using it) fluids, salt and sugar in bottom, flour on top of fluids and yeast on top of flour. close the lid and turn it on. Works just fine every time. I dont bother to warm the fluids up. doesnt make a difference.

I taught my daughter to do it that way and she loves the bread machine. i prefer to make bread by hand, it's just better but the college kids won't bother.

Oh, also, quit wasting money on those silly single packs of yeast, buy it in bulk, the 1lb foil bags if you can get them or the jars. Much cheaper than the packs and lasts (shelf life) much longer too.
Old 01-25-2011, 04:55 AM
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I always put liquids, sugar, salt in the bottom of the pan, then the flour and sprinkle yeast on top. You can use cold or lukewarm water because the bread machine warms everything to the correct temperature. My machine has a warm-up cycle to start, before it mixes - I guess most machines are similar. If your machine does not have a warm-up cycle to start, then you might need to use lukewarm water, but definitely do not have it too hot, because, as someone else has already said, the yeast will be killed if the water is too hot.
I also weigh my flour and measure everything precisely when using the machine. If I'm making the bread by hand, it doesn't matter so much because you can always add a bit more flour if needed.
I buy yeast in bulk and after opening it, I close the lid tightly and put it inside a plastic bag to give extra protection against moisture, then store it in the fridge.
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Old 01-25-2011, 10:09 AM
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ive gone through 2 bread machines that didnt rise properly, but i did also use 100% whole wheat with no extra gluten.
Old 01-25-2011, 11:54 AM
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I love my bread machine, as I can not eat wheat bread, I make my own the way I need it. Some tips I found that help are:
All liquids in the bottom mix together, then I put all the dry stuff in a bowl and mix them together, and then dump them on top of the liquids.
I find that if it is not raising enough I put a little less salt in until it gets nice and high.
I also found that I did not have much luck with the packaged yeast, so I use the little brown jars and keep it in the fridge. About 2 years ago I had the same problem and it seemed that the jar of yeast that I had had gone off, got a new jar and have not looked back since as my bread is nice and high again.
One thing that I also found in the beginning of my bread making was that if I let the machine set at room temperature for a few hours before starting the mixing process the bread seemed to be better. Hope that helps, Tom.
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:48 PM
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I think your water is too warm. It should be about 98-100 degrees. Also, when you put your dry ingredients in the machine, seperate the yeast and salt. For example, put the salt on the bottom, then the flour, sugar and yeast. That was in the instructions to my machine.

But I suspect your water temp was right at the danger zone for the yeast, and perhaps the batches that didn't rise as much had water that was a degree or two too hot for the yeast.
Old 01-25-2011, 05:05 PM
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Tepid water. It should feel slightly warm to fingertip touch. I use active dry yeast from packets, but as soon a those are used up, I'll be using bulk yeast from jars. Liquids, sugar and salt on bottom, followed by flour, yeast, and bread improver. The bread improver does something good to the bread. Dunno if you can find it in your area. Make sure you got the right bake setting too. They each have slightly different mixing cycles and rising cycles.
Old 03-05-2013, 07:03 PM
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Although I've been starting to knead by hand and bake in oven, I really like the bread machine I have. I've owned 3 and so far this one has worked the best.


ETA: the other big one I learned (the hard way) is to stick with the recipes that come with your bread machine, at least until you are familiar enough with it's operation to experiment with others. When I called their technical support, they told me the recipes included are tested on that specific model and will have the best results.
Old 03-05-2013, 07:19 PM
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The water temperature and separating the salt are key. Here are a few more tips that will improve the quality of your bread.

1 tbsp of vital wheat flour will give your loaves more lift. This is what's added to rye and other breads which don't like to rise. It's 75% gluten.

Add 2 tbsp of potato flakes to your recipe. Potatoes contain a natural mold inhibitor which will help your loaves last longer. It also helps to prevent loaves from going stale.

Replace 1 tsp of the oil with pastry lard. It will soften your loaf and reduce the mealy texture that develops when loaves dry. Vegetable shortening and vegetable oils will not have the same effect.
Old 03-05-2013, 08:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bobanderson View Post
you might want to try the bread machine yeast.
Water temp is a big deal. Use an oven thermometer and check the recipe.
these 2 things will fix your bread.


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