Bread Makers - 2 Secret Ingredients For Best Results
23.05.2010 - 22:18
23.05.2010 - 22:18
expediency' s sake. When it comes to fresh bread, it doesn't have to
be that way. Bread maker machines are one of the greatest inventions
sitting on the modern kitchen counter.
I love my breadmaker (a.k.a the bread machine, a.k.a. The Great White
Wonder Cube!). It makes great bread, with less than half the work and
time of conventional methods. There are a few things they don't tell
you in the provided recipe book, though. The moisture content in flour
can vary, depending on age and environment, and no matter how
rigorously you follow the recipe, sometimes it's not going to work out
perfectly. There are a two ingredients we can add, though, that will
ensure they turn out wonderfully, every time.
Vital Wheat Gluten
Gluten is grain protein and not all flours have the same protein
content. Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose
flour and cake flour has less. Bread flour costs more than all-purpose
flour, but it will work just fine for making bread if you supplement
the gluten content. Instead of buying several different kinds of flour
for every little thing you do, buy all-purpose flour and add wheat
little, about two teaspoons per loaf, so a single can will last you a
When adding wheat gluten to a breadmaker recipe, you'll get the best
results adding it to the pan with the flour. The manufacturer of my
bread machine recommends adding the water before the flour, so I add
the wheat gluten right after I put in the flour to keep it away from
The second secret ingredient is dough conditioner. Different
commercial dough conditioners contain different ingredients --
commonly a combination of wheat gluten, yeast and other chemicals such
as ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C), ammonium chloride, DATEM (an
emulsifier), different calcium salts and sometimes soy.
It's a common problem with bread makers that have vertical pans to
have a lighter crumb at the top of the bread loaf and a denser crumb
at the bottom. Dough conditioners help solve this problem by
strengthening the texture and giving a more consistent rise, leading
to a more consistent crumb.
As with wheat gluten, you don't need much. Very little in fact. For a
1 1/2 pound loaf, I find that a mere 1/4 teaspoon of dough conditioner
is enough to give me excellent results.
Whether it's wheat gluten or dough conditioner, you'll want to check
the suggestions on the package for suggested amounts. With the dough
conditioner, different brands will give you different results.
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