Bread Machines

Bread baked at home, whether in a machine or a conventional oven can be better than many retail offerings available in grocery markets.  A home baker can bake for dietary goals e.g. low sodium.  Lacking preservatives, home baked loaves have a shorter shelf life.

Bread machines came on the market about 1986, and became popular outside Japan by the late 1990s.  My first bread machine was a Black & Decker B1561. I replaced it with a Panasonic  SD-YD250 in 2016.

There are well informed and thoughtful reviews on the Web – buried under superficial reviews with thoughtful SEO. Comprehensive comparative reviews are rare; comparative reviews are usually gateways to marketing sites. Consumer Reports may never have done breadmakers or bread machines. Culinary magazines tend to snip and snipe. The reviews at Breadmakerguides.com are throrough and informative, but the site is not comprehensive. The New York Times affiliate Wirecutter site tackled the subject periodically (eg. 2019), but only covers a few machines.

The best approach is to look for reviews of machine by name and model. A good machine can be had for under $100.00. A more expensive machine may have more features, but many features are low value buttons and pre-programmed settings. The main ingredients are flour, water, leaven (yeast or other). A bread machine has a heating element, a motor, and a pan that is both mixing bowl and baking pan mounted to the frame. The bowl has a paddle shaped mixing device (it may be called a dough hook or kneader) connected to the power train by a shaft in sealed bearings at the bottom of the pan. Even the best built machines do not necessarily withstand the strains of being used 2 or three times a week for more than a few years.

A professional baker works with technology with hundred of kilograms of flour and water, with some control over parts of the process – how long to mix, rest, bake and control over temperature. A home baker works at a smaller scale, with control of time and oven controls, and may have machines to mix dough or store it while it rises.  A home baker may put the loaves in bread pans or shape the dough by hand before baking it in the oven. A home baker needs space, several vessels or machines to mix and rest dough, baking pans and an oven. Bread machine makes one loaf at a time. One pan to wash. Modern machines have durable no-stick coatings.

Bread machines are described by reference to the baked loaf as small (1 lb.), medium (1.5 lb.), large (2 lb.) and extra large (2.5 or 3 lb.) (a 1 pound loaf would be regular in a bakery; 1.5 pounds would be large) . These terms to describe the volume capacity of the pan.  Typically, a small loaf made of wheat flour would have 2 cups of flour; a medium loaf 3 cups, and a large loaf 4 cups. The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (Harvard Common Press, 2000) calls bread machine pans tall, vertical rectangle, and horizontal.  The tall pan has one paddle in the middle at the bottom, and may be square or oval.  A machine that makes small and medium loaves will have a “tall” pan.  A machine that makes large loaves will be vertical rectangle or horizontal.  A machine that make extra large loaves – e.g. Panasonic 250 or 2500 models; Breville Custom Loaf XL – is probably vertical rectangle.

A bread machine does not bake quite as hot as kitchen oven; any machine puts out enough heat to bake the dough completely without burning the crust. The pan shape dictates the shape of the loaf. Most machines that bake 1.5 or 2 pound loaves have a “tall” vertical pan. This loaf is manageable it can be bagged and handled. Machines with horizontal pans roduce loaves shaped like bread produced in a bakery. These pans have to have two paddles and complex drive trains. There are machines that bake 2.5 and 3 pound loaves. These loaves may be the right amount to feed a family – but they will make the consumer to handle this bread differently than bread purchased from a bakery or a store.

In bread machines, as in industrial bakeries, the product depends on the recipe, the process and accurate measurement. Beth Hensperger in the Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook, consistently with other baking books, list ingredients by volume but suggests weighing ingredients.

A user selects a baking program or “cycle”. A basic cycle could be from 3 to 4 hours, depending on the machine. Some reviewers say a long cycle is a drawback – for customers looking for fast results. But a long cycle may bake a better loaf more consistently.

Most cycles assume and require the use of high protein wheat flour and yeast to biologically ferment dough. High protein white flour (bread flour or Canadian All Purpose flour) and regular grind whole wheat flour (coarse ground is available) are similar in density, weight, starch and protein but form gluten, ferment, rise and bake differently. Whole wheat flour has bran and wheat germ. In traditional baking, it has to be mixed longer to distribute fluid and ensure hydration. There are different approaches to kneading, with some favouring less and others more. The BLBMC and some sources assume that a whole wheat bake cycle involves a longer kneading time and a longer rise. Total “kneading” time is a confusing indicator. Kneading is a succession of stop and go operations of the motor and drive train. Some machines work the dough hard, in short bursts.

Most bread machines have cycles for basic baking (white flour) and whole wheat baking, and dough cycles that omit the final baking phase. Many machines have a cycle manufacturers call Bake (Rapid), Turbo, Quick Bake, Rapid, etc. for fast fermentation. Most machines have a cycle that bakes or mixes and bakes batter.  This may be called “bake cake” but is appropriate for bread leavened with baking powder or baking soda.

Gluten free settings get some space on the packages. Gluten free bread is mixed but not kneaded (kneading develops gluten from protein in flour made from wheat and a few other grains); it is leavened with chemical leaven e.g. baking powder. Some machines have settings that mix ingredients and bakes. This can be called Quick Bread and would be use for corn bread and other loaves that are not knead. Some machines have a Cake setting that bakes a wet mix. That’s what gluten free bread machine baking means. The best bread machine(s) for gluten free bread: a mixing bowl, a wooden spoon, a baking pan and an oven.

The machine will count down minutes and seconds to the conclusion of the cycle in the timer display, but the display will probably not provide other indications of the machine’s progress. Many bread machines appear to sit and do nothing for a half hour or an hour after being started in a rest phase. Some machines may use the heating element for a few seconds at a time, to create a warm temperature, to warm the ingredients to a common temperature.

The first active phase is mixing and/or “kneading”, about 20-30 minutes or more. The ingredients have to be mixed into dough and then worked to develop gluten. A home baker mixes before kneading – manually mixing flour, water and other ingredients in a bowl before moving it or using a mechanical method (dough hook in stand mixer) to stretch and folding it on itself, pushing it and repeating the motion for several minutes. A professional baker will probably use a mechanical mixer; many home bakers may have one. A mechanical mixer or stand mixer uses mixing arms, a paddle or a spiral dough hook in a circular or elleptical motion. A mixer is controlled manually, and has a range of speeds.  With a stand mixer, the baker uses a slow speed to mix the ingredients and then mixes at a higher speed to knead. The bread machine has changes from rapid short pulses to longer runs, broken by short pauses. The BLBMC calls initial slow mixing Knead 1 and mix/knead Knead 2. The initial mix is only a couple minutes long. There may be a pause between these parts of the phase. The machine will not identify these steps on the machine display.

If the user has not loaded the machine properly, the dough will be wrong after the initial mix. It has to be wet – enough, but not too wet.  A dry dough will not, knead, flow and rise.  A wet dough may collapse. A dough may be saved by the addition of water or flour during the initial mix and before the knead/mix starts – or ruined by an excessive or untimely intervention. Ideally, the machine should be paused and then allowed to return to mixing. Stopping and restarting the machine will go back to the start of the initial rest. It will eventually get back to mixing, but time will be lost, gluten will have started to form, and some fermentation will have occurred.

Some machines have a pause function on the panel; some can be paused by pulling the plug and using the power interrupt. The machine will resume where it stopped – if it has that feature!

The designers will have set the program for what they regard as optimum handling of white flour in the “basic” cycles and whole wheat flour in the whole wheat cycles. Some machine allow users to create custom settings (e.g. the Breville BBM800XL and a few Zojirushi models).  

Professional bakers with industrial mixers may use 10-15 minutes of “intensive mixing” – the mechanical mixing of yeasted white flour dough dominant in professional bakeries for French loaves until Raymond Calvel devised the hybid style in the 1960s. Intensive mixing develops gluten in white flour rapidly. Home bakers with stand mixers use slower speeds due to limitations of machinery (see the stand mixer review by America’s Test Kitchen in print and YouTube) or to use a hybrid, modified or improved mixing method.

The dough ferments in the rise phase.  The gluten relaxes and flows to fill the pan and take the shape of the pan. The yeast ferments the starch which produces gas that is trapped in little gluten balloons, which makes the dough rise. A baker divides dough and puts in oven pans. Two hours in a bread machine is short compared to the rise/rests in some artisinal baking techniques, but compares to the combined times for bulk fermentation and proofing in making bread in many bakeries.

The heating element is switched on for a bake phase in a bake cycle; there are dough cycles that stop after mixing or rising.  The dough springs into space above the dough when the baking element is turned on. The machine powers the element. The designer expects the machine to reach the right temperature with that element heating the air inside that space – there is no direct temperature control setting in most machines.

Bread machines produce good results with white flour and whole wheat flour – baked loaves, and pizza and flatbread doughs.

Dry Hard

Pulses; Dal

Naturally dry pulses, the seeds of several legumes are inexpensive but take time to cook, which uses time and personal energy, and fuel or power. Dry pulses last years. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization recognizes 11 types of pulses harvested as dry grains: dry beans, dry broad beans, dry peas, chickpeas, cow peas, pigeon peas, lentils, bambara beans, vetches, lupins and pulses nes (not elsewhere specified). Split pulses are commonly called grams. Some whole pulses are called grams. It depends on the source of information.

Lentils are variants of one or two species in the genus Lens. They have a flat, disk-like shape. In the North American grocery market, the common products are large brown and green lentils grown in the USA and Canada, noted in the Lentil#Types section on the Wikipedia page.

Peas are round; variants of Pisum sativa. Chickpeas are in the genus Cicer. White chickpeas (garbanzo bean; Egyptian pea; kabuli chana) have been grown, cooked and consumed around the Mediteannean and in Asia as far east and south as India for a few millenia of recorded history. In India, dark chickpeas (aka bengal gram) have been cultivated since before recorded history.

Most kidney-shaped or oval beans are variants of Phaseolus vulgraris, a pulse that evolved in South and Central America. The American variants include pinto, navy, Great Northern, lima, red kidney, cranberry and black turtle beans. Phaseolus has travelled and been modified and used in European and Indian agriculture and cooking. Cannellini beans (white kidney), and Great Northern beans were adopted in Italian, Mediterannean, and European cooking and agriculture. Red Kidney beans have become a north Indian food.

Some sources recite old botanical taxonomy and refer to some European and Asian dry beans as Phaseolus. Broad beans, and faba (or fava) beans are vetches (Vicia faba); Lupini beans are lupins. Broad beans and lupins are the original Meditaranean and European dried beans.

Green beans, string beans and soybeans are not dry beans.

Canned beans are cooked to a point, canned, and cooked in the can at high temperature. Canned beans are high in sodium, except for some brands.

In Indian cooking, dal may refer to small pulses: lentils, urad beans, mung beans, and pigeon peas. It may include and to split chickpeas. A recipe may include other pulses; the term covers many pulses. This Indian cooking site explains and has images. I like Anupy Singla’s books (I am not sure what whethet her Internet ingredient store is the most economical way of getting ingredients). She explains the terms for whole, split and skin or skinless legumes.

English namesDescriptionIndian namesBotanyCooking
Brown lentilwholemasoor dalgenus LensIndian lentils are small;
American lentils are larger
Red lentil;
pink lentil
split brownmasoor dal duhligenus Lens
Mung bean;
Green gram
wholesabut moong dalVigna mungo;
South Asian peas;
Mung beansplit, skinnedmoong dal;
duhli moong dal
Vigna mungo
Urad bean;
black gram
wholesabut uradVigna mungo;
South Asian peas
hard; long cooking time
Urad beanspliturad dal chilkaVigna mungo
Urad beansplit, skinnedurad dal duhliVigna mungo
Pigeon peawholesabut toor dalgenus Cajanus;
India; South-East Asia
Pigeon peasplitduhli toor dalCajanus
Chickpea (white)
Garbanzo bean
wholekabuli chanagenus Cicer
Chickpea (black)
Bengal gram
wholedesi chanaCicer
Chickpea (black)splitchana dalCicer
Cowpea
Blackeyed peagenus Vigna;
Africa; spread to
America and India
Red Kidney beanrajmaphaseolus vulgaris;
central American,
spread to India

Cooking

Dried pulses have to be cooked in water. Old pulses are drier and harder to cook. Age is not easily judged from appearance.

The cooking time depends on the seed, age and cooking method. Many recipe books understate cooking time for some pulses, The age of the pulse cannot be identified easily. Soaking before cooking reduces the cooking time, saving energy and giving the cook some confidence about getting the beans cooked on schedule for a predictable meal time. There are varations – soaking in brine; adding baking soda to the cooking water.

Mexican and Central American cooks simmered pinto beans and black (turtle) beans in an olla in enough water to keep the beans covered in water through the entire process – clay pot cooking. The beans would be cooked for several hours. Little water was lost to evaporation. The beans absorbed much of the water, and the cooking fluid became a broth. With this method, the beans were not soaked or pre-cooked. According to Rick Bayless writing in Mexico, One Plate at a Time (Scribner, 2000), cooking in an olla heated the beans and water to 205-210 degrees (F), just below boiling.

A beanpot or casserole (e.g. a Dutch Oven) filled with beans and water can be put in an oven. This is the preferred method for baked beans. An oven might be set as low as 250 F to simmer the beans slowly; many recipes suggest a hotter oven. The constraints on slow simmering and baking are to start early enough to get the beans soft and well cooked by meal time, to use enough water, and to keep the heat low and steady.

Dried pulses can be cooked in cooking vessels on home stoves. Stove and ovens became the preferred approach where hot stoves were workable, including Europe and North America. Stovetop elements and burners heat the contents of metal pots above the boiling point of water, even at the lowest settings. With stoves, metal pots and cheap energy or fuel, the prevalent approach became to soak and boil.

The slow cookers manufactured in the USA in the 1940s were beanpots: a crock, heated with an electric element, designed to braise food in liquid at low heat and slowly bring the ingredients to a sufficient temperature to make the food tender and digestible and kill bacteria. A slow cooker is effective to cook pulses on their own, as a bean dish. Rick Bayless recommends using a slow cooker for black bean and pinto beans, without soaking, flavouring the cooking water with dried herbs and peppers, and using the cooking water as a gravy. A simple crock pot type slow cooker will cook dried beans in water, in time. Pinto beans do well with about 8 hours on low. Black turtle beans can be done in 6 hours. Lentils only take a few hours in a slow cooker.

Dal can take a long time in slow cookers – urad are hard, rajma are large red kidney beans and chana dal are chickpeas. I have recipes that for curried chickpeas that cook, starting from dry (i.e. not soaked) beans, 12 to 14 hours on high.

Dried split peas did not cook well in a slow cooker, in my experience.

With a slow cooker, and time, soaking beans is not required. If the beans are presoaked, the amount of water in the cooking pot can be lower – the beans will not absorb water and expand as much as they cook.

A slow cooker recipe with pulse in a stew (or a chili) should be done either with canned beans or in stages, with the pulses done first.

I used a 6 quart Crock Pot with a removable ceramic insert and a manual off-low-high switch for years. It heated the ingredients enough: it created humidity under the lid and some bubbling in the pot; some ingredients would bake to the sides. I made stews and chilies that filled the pot to 2/3 to 3/4, cooked on low for 5-7 hours. I refrigerated or froze leftovers. These recipes require precooked dried beans or canned beans

I tried a recipe with dry white chickpeas once. The other ingredients were well cooked at 6 hours on low before but the beans were not done – rather crunchy. Chickpeas are said to need 3 hours or 4 hours on high in a crock pot or slow cooker. I haven’t tried that; I won’t. I am suspicious about recipes that say that chickpeas can be done in less than 10-12 hours. I have done curried chickpeas (using a chana masala spice blend); cooking time of 14 hours on high. I prefer pressure cooking to cook or parcook chickpeas before slow cooking.

A pressure cooker is a good way to cook dried pulses. There is a risk of overcooking split pulses which is a benefit if the cook wants soft texture. There is a risk of splitting the skins of larger pulses – my reaction is: so what. I like my beans cooked, not chewy. Modern pressure cooking cookbooks and resources have methods for dried pulses.

If chickpeas have been soaked, they take about 15 to 18 minutes on high pressure in a pressure cooker. Some books say 8-10 minutes but that only parcooks them.

The multicooker (e.g. Instant Pot) is an electric pressure cooker with a metal pot or insert, and controls to pressure cook or slow cook . The element in these devices is at the bottom of the pot; the power to the element is programmed to maintain a steady temperature. They can reach a safe slow cooking temperature and maintain it.

Pressure cooker books that cover electric pressure cookers are useful for cooking with multicookers. Slow cooker recipes work in multicookers.

Using a glass lid in a multi-cooker on a slow cooker setting, the food is in a safe range but not as warm as the manual says for that setting. With the pressure lid on (and the valve open) the food cooks hotter; often more than the manual says. The device does not give the cook as much control of temperature and time as may be assumed.

Small Bread Machine Loaves

Home baked bread loses its appeal after a couple of days. Making small loaves is a way to make enough – without toasting the last several slices, or freezing part of a fresh loaf.

A small recipe, in bread machine terms, is a 1 pound loaf made with 2 cups of flour. There are 1 lb machines on the market including Zojirushi models (expensive), and some Panasonic models (expensive; not available in USA or Canada; available on Amazon).  Some large and extra large machines have settings for small loaves. The smallest loaf setting in the Panasonic bread machines with “extra large” (2.5 lb) pans, such as my SD-YD250, is medium – a 1.5 lb. loaf made with 3 cups of flour. 

It is possible to use the a bread machine to mix dough for a small loaf on a dough cycle, with a recipe/formula. It is also possible to load the machine with ingredients for a smaller loaf and bake the loave in the machine. Either way, the recipe formula is scaled down.

Overmixing is a risk in principle with a scaled down loaf. The mixing process can stretch the dough too much or too often, and break the gluten strands. An overmixed dough cannot hold the gases, and will not rise.  Intensive mixing may affect a loaf with effects short of the complete failure caused by overmixing. Food processors can mix dough, although a food processor might only handle 3 cups of flour, and may only have one speed – very fast.  The mixing time may be less than a minute.  Some food processors have a dough speed and/or special blade to mix dough. The risk of overmixing dough in a food processor is well recognized.  A variety of mixers are available to the home baker. A home stand mixer can handle several cups of flour, at low-medium speed settings.  The power output of a Kitchen Aid stand mixer with a 5 quart bowl may be 325 watts.  A Bosch Compact Kitchen Machine may output 400 watts into its dough hook in its stand mixer configuration. Larger models may output 800 watts.  They have to be used at the right settings and for a short time. The Panasonic SD-YD250 has a 550 watt motor, and runs for 50- 60% of the time in a 25 minute +/- mixing phase on a medium loaf setting.  The heating element, rated at 550 watts, is outside the pan, around the bottom about 1 cm above the bottom. Heat is applied for intervals.  A small loaf develops hot spots around the base of the pan but is not burned.

The area of the rectangular pan is 266 square centimeters: 19 cm (7.5 inches) by 14 cm (5.5 inches). A small recipe would fill the pan to a depth of less than 3 cm. The Panasonic kneader paddle is 6 cm long, radially.  It is 2.6 cm high, rising to a fin 5 cm tall. The dough ball may not touch the sides of the pan, but centrifugal force stretches the dough away from the paddle. The edge of the ball sticks to the pan, and snaps away.  The machine can knead a small recipe.

Baking the scaled down loaf in the bigger machine is possible, but gets interesting. A small loaf should rise and spring to a height of 7.5 cm or more, above the top of the kneader, and flow enough. If dough does not flow, the loaf will be irregular.  Flow depends on hydration, on how the gluten relaxes, and the mass of the ball. Even a medium recipe may not flow enough – which usually means one end of the loaf is taller.

Small loaves get lost in the big pan; they may bake in odd shapes. When the dough ball for a small loaf rests at one “end” of the pan, and ball may settle at one end, flow to fill the pan in the 14 cm dimension, but not 19 cm dimension.  It may bake at that one end of the pan.  It is properly baked – just short. 

An off-center ball can be centered to avoid a sloping loaf.  The best time is right after the last knockdown (in a Panasonic SD-YD250 about 50 minutes before baking starts. A pause to extend the rise helps to get a little more pan flow. If the machine has a power interrupt but not a pause function (like mine) the machine cycle can be paused  by unplugging the machine.  It has to be plugged in within a time limit (for my machine, 10 minutes) to resume where it stopped.  This may have be repeated.  Other ways to extend the rise longer are to stop or shut down the cycle and:

  • leave the dough in the machine pan to rise, and start the machine later on the Cake or Bake only cycle;
  • put the dough in a conventional pan, let it rise, and put it in the kitchen oven.

The first step is get a scale by reference to total flour; by recipe size (volume); e.g. 3 cups (medium) to 2 (small): 2/3. I can’t scale to less than 75 percent or 80 percent of medium in a machine with a rectangular pan. Leaving aside recipes for the French bread cycle and dough cycles, 2 cups of flour does not make a large enough dough ball. Perhaps 2/3 would work in machines with medium or large “tall” pans.

Scaling from volume is possible, with careful calculation and measurement. Such as – 2/3 of 1.25 (1 and 1/4) cups of water is .8375 cups; a cup is 16 tbsp or 48 tsp.  Three quarters of cup plus 1 tablespoon is 13/16 – .8125.  Three quarters of cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp is 40/48 – .8333.

The most precise way to scale is by weight. As almost all home recipes list ingredients by volume, working by weight means finding conversion factors. Conversion factors are not always easy to find, and sources may disgree or only apply to some varieties of an ingredient, or to a brand of a commodity.

Flour, water, salt and yeast must be weighed carefully. I weigh flour and water in a bowl or measuring cup; I reset the scale to zero after putting the empty measuring vessel on the scale. A scale that goes to 1 gram is precise enough for flour. The volume measurements of salt and yeast for small loaves are fractions of a teaspoon.  I use a scale that goes to 0.1 grams.

Seeds and herbs should be scaled, but don’t have to be measured down to the gram. Oils, sugar and and sweet fluids should be scaled but don’t have to be measured to the gram. It is worth being aware of water in honey, maple syrop, molasses, eggs and different kinds of milk.

I don’t trust recipes that call for 2 tsp of yeast for a medium loaf to work in this machine.  I bake for low sodium. My tables scale at 50% salt, with yeast adjusted for salt. I also adjust yeast for this machine in two ways.

French Bread Cycle

Panasonic’s French Bread.  A 3 cup recipe makes an extra large loaf by volume. The French Bread cycle has a long initial rest, a short mixing phase, a long rise and 10% longer baking time. Bakers shape lean, wet white dough into batards and baguettes which hold up and slice better. I have scaled to 2/3 and 1/2 of 3 cups (2 cups and 1.5 cups of flour). The 1.5 cup version produces a loaf that is as “tall” and “wide” as bakery French Bread but 19 cm “long” – a short blunt batard:

 "Medium" Loaf 
50% Sodium
 @ 67%@ 50%
Panasonic Manual50% Sodium50% Sodium50% Sodium
IngredientWeight g.B%
Instant Yeast
? standard | Panasonic
2 tsp. | 1 tsp.n. | .5 tspn | 1.4 g..3n | 1 g.n | .7 g.
White flour3 cups3 cups417 100278209
TFW417100278209
Butter1 tbsp.67 tbsp = 2 tsp.5 tbsp
Salt1.5 tsp.75 tsp4.312.82.2
Water1.3125 (1 + 5/16) cups31074207155

Basic Cycle

Beth Hensperger’s Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (p. 200) “Chuck Williams Country French”. This is a rustic French bread – on basic bake cycle. The doughmay have to be watched and centered to get a symetrical loaf.

 MediumMediumMedium @ 75% of medium
BLBMC50% Sodium50% Sodium50% Sodium50% Sodium
IngredientVolumeWeightB%
Instant Yeast
standard | Panasonic
1.75 (1 3/4) tsp7/8 tsp | .4375 (7/16) tsp
n | 1.1 g.
.3.8 g.
White Flour2.25 cups313 g75235 g.
Whole Wheat.75 cups104 g2578 g.
TFW417 g100
Salt1.5 tsp.75 tsp
4.3 g13.2 g.
Water1.25 cups1 + 3/16 cups
(1 cup + 3 tbsp)
28071210 g.

Pembina Bread is based on BLBMC Country French and BLBMC Dakota Bread:

 Medium Loaf   @ 75% of Medium
BLBMC50% Sodium50% Sodium
Weight g.
B %50% Sodium
Whole Wheat.5 cups.625 cups
872165 g.
White Flour2.25 cups31375235 g.
Bulgur.125 cups
.25 cups
20515
TFW420100
Salt 1.5 tsp..75 tsp
4.313.2
Sunflower seeds
raw
.25 cups3 tbsp
Pumpkin seeds
raw, chopped
.25 cups3 tbsp
Sesame seeds1.5 tsp1.125 tsp
Poppy seeds2 tsp1.5 tsp
Gluten
2 tbsp0
Instant Yeast
standard | Panasonic
2 tsp1 tsp. | 7/16 tspn | 1.2 g..3.9
Canola Oil2 tbsp
1.5 tbsp.
Honey2 tbsp21 g.
[5 g. water]
15 g.
(1.5 tbsp)
Water1.25 cups300 g.225
Total fluids305 g.73

Whole Wheat Cycle

Panasonic’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread.  Small loaf at 75% of medium, with slightly higher hydration works in the machine on whole wheat bake cycle; medium loaf setting.

 Flax Seed Whole Wheat Bread, a variant of BLBMC Flax Seed (p. 118).  Getting this recipe to work involved figuring out the difference between using milk vs water and dry milk (powder) and using honey. It also helped to tune this formula, which makes changes to the BLBMC source:

 Medium   @ 75% of medium
BLBMC50% sodium50% sodium
B%50% sodium
Weight
[Fluid]
Instant Yeast
Standard | Panasonic
2 tspn | .625 tsp

n | 1.8 g.1.3 g.
Whole Wheat1 cup2 cups
278 g.61209 g.
White Flour2 cups1 cup139 g.31104 g.
Flax mealx2 tbsp12 g.039 g.
Rolled Oatsx.25 cup25 g,0619 g,
T. Flours/strong>454 g.100
Flax Seed3 tbsp2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
Poppy Seedx1 tbsp2.25 tsp
Salt 1 tsp.5 tsp
2.8 g..622.1 g.
Gluten 1 tbsp0
Olive Oil3 tbsp2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
Honey3 tbsp60 g.
[12 g.]
345 g. or
2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
Skim Milk1.33 cup
(325 ml)
320 g
[290 g.]
240 g.
if Water1.125 cups
Skim Milk Powder
if Water
.25 cups
Fluid Weight302 g.67

Cornell Bread, a BLBMC recipe (p. 161).  The  BLBMC calls for one large egg for the medium loaf (and for the large loaf, for that matter). I can adjust water down – which is what I try to do:

 Medium Loaf

   @ 75% of Medium
BLBMC50% Sodium50% Sodium50% Sodium
VolumeWeight
[Fluid]
B%
Whole Wheat1.5 cups209 g.48156
White Flour1.125 cups156 g.36117
Soy flour.33 cups40 g.30 g.
Wheat germ 1.5 tbsp6.5 g.4.9 g.
Milk Powder.25 cups25 g.19 g.
Flour Total437100
Brown Sugar2 tbsp1.5 tbsp
Salt1.5 tsp.75 tsp4.3 g.3.2 g.
Gluten1.5 tbsp
Inst. Yeast *2.5 tsp1.25 tsp3.5 g.2.6 g.
Canola Oil2 tbsp1.5 tbsp
Egg
Large
157 g.
[36 g.]
1
Honey2 tbsp40 g.
[8 g.]
1.5 tbsp
(6 g. water)
Water1.125 cups281205
Fluids32572

Buttermilk Whole Wheat Bread, a BLBMC recipe (p. 108), is a 50% whole wheat loaf with buttermilk.

 Medium
Volume
Medium
Volume
Medium
Weight
 @ 75%
BLBMC50% Sodium50% SodiumB%
Whole Wheat1.5 cups209 g.50157 g.
White Flour1.5 cups209 g.50157 g.
TFW418 g.100
Salt 1.5 tsp.75 tsp
50%
4.3 g3.2 g
Gluten
1.33 tbsp
Instant Yeast
standard | Panasonic
2 tsp1 tsp | .5 tsp.


n | 1.4 g..33n | 1.1 g.
Canola Oil2 tbsp1.5 tbsp
Maple Syrup2 tbsp40 g.
[13 g. fluid]
1.5 tbsp
Buttermilk1.125 cups275 g.
[250 g. fluid]
210 g.
(.85 cups)
Fluid263 g.63

2018 Rides

This was 2018:

DateMe + WhoBikeKm.Trip
2283.62018 Year to Date
18-12-30MikeFX38.1Bridge, E&N EVR + Goose to Atkins. Atkins, Station, Jacklin, Westhills Trail, Goose return by Goose to Old Island and E&N EVR. Sunny at first, increasing cloud. 8 C
18-12-25MikeFX35.9Lochside School (Royal Oak), Lochside, Tulista Park (Sidney); return. Cloudy 7C
18-12-22MikeFX28.9Bridge, E&N EVR + Goose to Wale Road, return by E&N. Cloud. 8 C
18-12-15MikeFX40.2Beacon Hill, Oak Bay, Uplands, Gordon Head, San Juan, Lochside, Goose to Old Island; E&N EVR to Bridge. Cloudy, Windy. Mike had flat
18-12-08FX15.4Atkins Rest Stop, Goose, Atkins, Station, Jacklin, Westhills Trail, Goose back to start. Cloudy, 7 C
18-12-06MikeFX28.3Beacon Hill, Oak Bay, Uplands, Gordon Head, San Juan, Lochside, Sunny, 5 C
18-12-02MikeFX29.4Bridge, E&N EVR + Goose to Wale Road, return by Goose. Cloud, some sun. 8 C and sea breeze.
18-11-25MikeFX40.7Beacon Hill, Oak Bay, Uplands, Gordon Head, San Juan, Lochside, Goose to Old Island; E&N EVR to Bridge
18-11-12FX52.9Bridge, Goose, Interurban, Wallace, Stelly's X, E. Saanich, Central Saanich, Mt Newton X, Lochside
18-11-10FX29.5Bridge, Goose to Wale Road, return by E&N EVR. Cool clear day. 9 C and sea breeze. I needed a layer of light fleece and leg covering. The trip from the Bridge to Old Island Highway is about 1.1 Km less along E&N EVR than along the Goose.
18-11-08MikeFX28.2Beacon Hill, Oak Bay, Uplands, Gordon Head, San Juan, Lochside, Bridge. Sunny, 10 degrees. Still warm enough for shorts and light shell.
18-11-04MikeFX47.4Sunny autumn day. Bridge, E&N EVR, Goose, Interurban to Quayle, crossed West Saanich on Beaver Lake Rd., lakeside trail to Brookleigh, crossed Pat Bay Highway on Sayward, connected to Cordova Bay Rd and Lochside trail at Mattick's.
16-10-22FX28.9Foggy day in James Bay, parts of Oak Bay. Sunny in Saanich. Beacon Hill, Fairfield, Oak Bay, Uplands, UVic, San Juan, Lochside
18-10-21MikeFX48.3Lochside School (Royal Oak), Lochside, Sidney, Airport Trail, return. Sunny 15 degrees, still weather for shorts.
18-10-18MikeFX35.5Bridge, E&N EVR, Goose to Veterans'; Return
18-10-15FX28.9Beacon Hill, Fairfield, Oak Bay, Uplands, UVic, San Juan, Lochside, Bridge
18-10-06FX40.5Bridge, Goose to Sooke Road, back by E&N EVR from Old Island Highway. Sunny, cool.
18-09-29MikeFX39.5Fairfield, Oak Bay, Uplands, U Vic., San Juan, Goose, E&N EVR from Old Island Highway to Bridge
18-09-26Mike, SteveFX25.0Bridge, E&N EVR, Goose
18-09-23MikeFX40.3Bridge, E&N EVR, Goose, InterUrban, Quail, Beaver Lake Road, Elk Lake Road, Royal Oak, Lochside.
18-09-16FX36.3Bridge, Goose, InterUrban to Camosun; Camosum and VI Tech, Markham, W. Saanich, Royal Oak to Lochside; N to Cordova Bay (Mattick's), back to Bridge; Rainy day, sunny breaks in PM and wind.
18-08-25MikeFX36.8From Lochside School; Lochside to Sidney. Cool, steady light showers
18-08-19FX40.6Beacon Hill, Fairfield, Oak Bay, Uplands, UVic, San Juan, Lochside, Goose to Old Island, E & N VRB
18-08-18MikeFX46.8From Royal Oak (Lochside School) Lochside to Sidney, Flight Path (Airport) Loop, return. Sunny, moderate temperature, good breeze
18-08-12MikeFX56.2Bridge, Goose, Interurban to Saanichton, Wallace and Amity to Lochside; Lochside and Goose back . Cloudy, 18 C. South wind.
18-08-11MikeFX24.2Bridge, E&N EVR to Old Island, Goose back downtown; caught in a shower for 19 km.
18-08-06MikeFX40.3Beacon Hill, Fairfield, Oak Bay, Uplands, U Vic, San Juan Parkway, Lochside to Swing Bridge, Goose to Old Island; E & N Esquimault to the Bridge; sunny.
18-08-04MikeFX49.0Lochside from McKenzie (Don Mann) to Tsehum Harbour, Sidney with Hunt Valley. Sunny, moderate temperature and wind
18-07-29FX61.7Bridge, Lochside to Sidney, part of Flight Path, back by Lochside. Sunny, hot.
18-07-28MikeFX35.8Bridge, E&N EVR, Goose to Veterans, back the same way
18-07-14MikeFX37.6From Don Mann; Lochside to SwingBridge, Goose, Interurban, Quayle, Beaver Lake, Park trail, Oldfield, E. Saanich, Mount Newton X, Lochside
18-07-07MikeFX42.2From Don Mann; Lochside to Tulista, Sidney and back
18-07-02FX52.6Beacon Hill, Fairfield, Oak Bay, Uplands, U Vic Ring, Gordon Head, San Juan, Lochside to Sayward/Welch/Hunt/Martindale to Ocean View (Michells) , back by Lochside and downtown, ended by going down Simcoe to Cloudy at first; then sunny but still cool.
18-07-01MikeFX32.3Bridge, E&N EVR, Goose, E&N Langford, Goldstream, Wale, Goose. Cool, windy
18-06-24FX52.6Bridge, Goose, Interurban to Saanichton, Mt. Newton X Road to Lochside; Lochside and Goose back . Cloudy, 20 C. Brisk south wind.
18-06-23MikeFX22.4Bridge, E&N EVR , Goose back in.
18-06-16Mike (part)FX54.2Beacon Hill, Fairfield, Oak Bay, Musgrave, Uplands, UVic, San Juan, Lochside to Island View (Michell's Farm); return by Lochside, Goose, Bridge. Clear, sunny, 20 degrees. Almost hot.
18-05-26FX64.2Bridge. Goose, Interurban, Wallace, Saanichton, Mt Newton X, Lochside, San Juan, UVic, Uplands, Oak Bay, Beacon Hill
18-05-21MikeFX24.7Bridge, E&N EVR, Goose back in; Victoria Day - cloudy, with parade on Douglas and F-18 flyover.
18-05-19Mike (part)FX78.9Bridge, E&N EVR, Goose to SwingBridge, Lochside to Royal Oak, Elk Lake Road, Lakes trail, Oldfield, East Saanich, part of airport loop, Sidney, Lochside; Cloudy day, a bit cool; moderate to brisk E, ESE and SE winds
18-05-16FX41.5Beacon Hill, Fairfield, Oak Bay, Musgrave, Uplands, UVic, San Juan, Lochside to Cordova Bay (Mattick's Farm); return by Lochside, Goose, Bridge. Clear, temperate evening
18-05-13FX64.2Bridge, E&N EVR, Goose to Interurban, Interurban to Saanichton, Wallace to Lochside, Lochside and Goose back. Sunny. 24 C. UV 7. Shorts, short sleeves. Sunscreen weather. Asphalt replaced on Lochside south of Claremont. E&N now paved past Esquimault lands to shopping center
18-05-06FX57.4Bridge, Goose, Interurban to Saanichton, Wallace to Lochside, Lochside to Cy Hampson; Lochside and Goose back. Sunny most of the day. 20 C.
18-04-29FX41.5Beacon Hill, Fairfield, Oak Bay, Uplands, U Vic Ring, Gordon Head, San Juan, Lochside to Cordova Bay (Matticks), Return by Lochside, Goose. cloudy, cool
18-04-22FX58.6Beacon Hill, Fairfield, Oak Bay, Uplands, U Vic Ring, Gordon Head, San Juan, Lochside to Ocean View (Michells), back by Lochside and downtown, ended by going down Simcoe to Montreal and back up Niagara. Sunny but still cool.
18-04-15FX61.3Bridge, Lochside, Royal Oak, Elk Lake Road, Lake trail, Oldfield, Mt Stelly X, E. Saanich, Wallace, Lochside. Government, Dallas. Should be end of the Niagara Street pipe pull. Cloudy, cool.
18-04-07FX52.4Bridge, Goose, Interurban to Saanichton, Mt. Newton X Road to Lochside; Lochside and Goose back . Cloudy, 13 C. . Brisk south wind. Shorts but a bit chilly at times.
18-04-02FX45.8New (Blue) Bridge, E&N EVR, Goose, E&N Langford to Jacklin, Jenkins, Glen Lake Road and Sooke Road to Luxton, turn and return on Goose. Sunny, windy. First two crossings, in the saddle, of new Johnson Street Bridge. First crossing of new bridge over McKenzie on the Goose.
18-03-31FX30.4Beacon Hill, Fairfield, Oak Bay, Uplands, U Vic Ring, Gordon Head, San Juan, Lochside to Cordova Bay (Matticks), Return by Lochside, Goose, Stroll on new bridge (Blue Bridge replaced) on pedestrian access day/official opening; trip to GVPL Central, home by Beacon Hill and Niagara around the pipe project.
18-03-25FX51.1Blue Bridge, E&N EVR, Goose to Wale Road, Goose to Swing Bridge; Lochside to Royal Oak; return Lochside and San Juan to U Vic, Uplands, Musgrave, Monterey, Richmond, May, Beacon Hill Park. Some sunny; some overcast; 10 C, windy.
18-03-11FX52.6Blue Bridge, Goose, Interurban to Saanichton, Mt. Newton X Road to Lochside; Lochside and Goose back . Sunny, 10 C. when I started, warmed to 13. Brisk north wind. Almost warm enough for shorts.
18-03-04FX41.6Beacon Hill, Fairfield, Oak Bay, Uplands, U Vic Ring, Gordon Head, San Juan, Lochside to Cordova Bay (Matticks), Return by Lochside, Goose, Blue Bridge. Sunny, cloud moved in, moment of drizzle. Windy. 8 degrees C.
18-02-25FX29.4Beacon Hill, Fairfield, Oak Bay, Upland, U Vic, Gordon Head, San Juan. Return by Lochside, Goose, Blue Bridge.
18-02-12FX32.5Beacon Hill, May, Moss. Thurlow, Richmond, Richardson, St. Ann/Musgrave, Upper Terrace, Cedar Hill X Road, San Juan, Lochside. Sunny, clear, 5 degrees C. Wind.
18-02-10FX32.1Blue Bridge, Goose-Lochside to Cordova Bay Road (Mattick's). Sunny. 6 C. Light wind. Almost nice, but the wind had a bite. A few dozen bikes out. Some recreational riders bundle up. Some roadies in hi-tec kit. The traffic meter at Hope Point was at 620 at 2:30. New things - a fence on the parking lot at the Red Lion. Construction on Lochside near Claremont. Stop sign for bikes at Saanich Road.
18-01-010Happy New Year

More Bread Machine Loaves

These loaves are mainly whole grain and multigrain. Multigrain means a blend of white flour, whole wheat flour and other grain flour, flakes or groats of buckwheat, oat and other grains (usually not rye flour). These loaves work differently depending on blend, hydration, yeast and machine cycle. I think multigrain loaves do better on whole wheat cycle.

I use a Panasonic SD-YD250 bread machine, and I adapt recipes from recipe books, mainly from the Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (“BLBMC”).   My salt measurement and yeast measurement are for 50% sodium.  The salt and yeast measurement in the source are stated in a source column. I change salt and yeast for 50% sodium. I also adjust yeast for the SD-YD 250;  the italicized yeast measurement it may work in a machine with similiar features and cycle but may not work in other machines. I use Bakers’ percentage (B%) and deal with flour, water, salt and yeast by weight.

First, a white bread – French Bread, as written the Panasonic Manual. French bread bake cycle – one size recipe; 3 cups of flour (medium loaf) that comes out in a block that fills the extra-large pan.  It can be scaled down.

 "Medium" Loaf 
50% Sodium
 @ 67%@ 50%
Panasonic Manual50% Sodium50% Sodium50% Sodium
IngredientWeight g.B%
Instant Yeast
? standard | Panasonic
2 tsp. | 1 tsp.n. | .5 tspn | 1.4 g..3n | 1 g.n | .7 g.
White flour3 cups3 cups417 100278209
TFW417100278209
Butter1 tbsp.67 tbsp = 2 tsp.5 tbsp
Salt1.5 tsp.75 tsp4.312.82.2
Water1.3125 (1 + 5/16) cups31074207155

My sister makes a Flax Seed Whole Wheat bread with 2.5 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 cup of white flour, oatmeal, sunflower, flax and poppy seeds, flax meal, and 1.75 cups milk.  This works in her machine, producing a loaf with a fairly open crumb. I wanted a medium recipe with 3 cups of flour that could scale for smaller loaves. The BLBMC (p. 118) formula uses 1 cup whole wheat flour, 2 cups of bread flour.  So does a formula on the web Flax Seed Whole Wheat Bread. I used the latter version, with a shift to more whole wheat flour; and added the ingredients of my sister’s recipe.

The BLBMC used 1 cup whole wheat and 1.125 (1 + 1/8) cups water. The shift to more whole wheat and the addition of rolled oat and flax meal requires a small amount of water for hydration, between one and two tablespoons more of water. One tablespoon is 1/16 of a cup. The water can be added as water, when using milk powder.

This dough finds a couple of teaspoons of water in 3 tablespoons of honey. Switching to fluid milk adds quality – but requires some attention.

Unpasteurized milk can lead to surprizes. Some bakers think milk,  real or reconstituted, should be scalded to denature proteins. I don’t spend time and energy on this.

The medium loaf was a little lopsided. My attempts to bake smaller loaves based on this recipe have been educational. When this works, it has a firm crust and a dense crumb that holds up for firm sandwich slices.

 Medium   @ 75% of medium
BLBMC50% sodium50% sodium
B%50% sodium
Weight
[Fluid]
Instant Yeast
Standard | Panasonic
2 tspn | .625 tsp

n | 1.8 g.1.3 g.
Whole Wheat1 cup2 cups
278 g.61209 g.
White Flour2 cups1 cup139 g.31104 g.
Flax mealx2 tbsp12 g.039 g.
Rolled Oatsx.25 cup25 g,0619 g,
T. Flours/strong>454 g.100
Flax Seed3 tbsp2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
Poppy Seedx1 tbsp2.25 tsp
Salt 1 tsp.5 tsp
2.8 g..622.1 g.
Gluten 1 tbsp0
Olive Oil3 tbsp2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
Honey3 tbsp60 g.
[12 g.]
345 g. or
2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
Skim Milk1.33 cup
(325 ml)
320 g
[290 g.]
240 g.
if Water1.125 cups
Skim Milk Powder
if Water
.25 cups
Fluid Weight302 g.67

I make a loaf I call Pembina Bread: a white flour loaf with seeds, based in BLBMC Dakota Bread (p. 119). Named for Pembina, North Dakota, important to Winnipegers. The gateway to Fargo and Grand Forks; the site of KCND, the first American TV network affiliate transmitter that reached antennas in Winnipeg (later purchased by Canadian owners and moved north of the border as CKND).

 Medium Loaf   @ 75% of Medium
BLBMC50% Sodium50% Sodium
Weight g.
B %50% Sodium
Whole Wheat.5 cups.625 cups
872165 g.
White Flour2.25 cups31375235 g.
Bulgur.125 cups
.25 cups
20515
TFW420100
Salt 1.5 tsp..75 tsp
4.313.2
Sunflower seeds
raw
.25 cups3 tbsp
Pumpkin seeds
raw, chopped
.25 cups3 tbsp
Sesame seeds1.5 tsp1.125 tsp
Poppy seeds2 tsp1.5 tsp
Gluten
2 tbsp0
Instant Yeast
standard | Panasonic
2 tsp1 tsp. | 7/16 tspn | 1.2 g..3.9
Canola Oil2 tbsp
1.5 tbsp.
Honey2 tbsp21 g.
[5 g. water]
15 g.
(1.5 tbsp)
Water1.25 cups300 g.225
Total fluids305 g.73

Cornell Bread is a BLBMC recipe (p. 161), based on Cornell bread developed by Clive McCay of Cornell University first published in 1955 in a short book called The Cornell Bread Book. The BLBMC bread machine version has been emulated and published on the Web e.g. here. It uses an egg, milk powder, and soy flour for protein, and wheat germ for fiber. 

Dr. McCay is reported to have believe that this bread, with butter, was a sufficient healthy and nutrious diet. A nearly vegetarian scientific health food, 30 years before the vegetarian prescriptions of Diet for a Small Planet. Dr. McCay, a scientist in animal nutrition, experimented on mice to prove that bread made with bleached white flour was not as healthy as bread made with unbleached flour.  The 1980 edition of the Cornell Bread Book is still available.  The recipe is presented in recipes  and articles on prepper and counterculture sites.  The recipe  was developed during the Great Depression.  Food security was recognized as an issue in America more clearly then than now. Eleanor Roosevelt’s Kitchen, a 2010 article in the New Yorker, looked back at the campaigns by home economists at Cornell to  promote economical recipes for American kitchens in hard times.  Americans were persuaded that hard times ended by 1945, and food writers began to treat the austerity diet  in recipes for Bulldog Gravy  or like Depression Cake in M.F.K. Fisher‘s How to Cook a Wolf as as a memory

A brown bread. Slightly sweet, and rich. The white flour gives it some lift. This loaf taught me a lesson about hydraton. My first attempt was the medium loaf. I missed a digit in entering the water in the calculator. I used 1.25 cups x 236 (=295 g). The correct amount was 1.125 cups x 236 (=266 g). One eight of a cup. The dough was sloppy. I shook some white flour in (not measured, 3 or 3 tbsp) with about 10 minute of mixing time left to get a dough that held up. The loaf had an open crumb and cratered. My attempt to scale formulas down to make smaller loaves is a story in itself.

 Medium Loaf

   @ 75% of Medium
BLBMC50% Sodium50% Sodium50% Sodium
VolumeWeight
[Fluid]
B%
Whole Wheat1.5 cups209 g.48156
White Flour1.125 cups156 g.36117
Soy flour.33 cups40 g.30 g.
Wheat germ 1.5 tbsp6.5 g.4.9 g.
Milk Powder.25 cups25 g.19 g.
Flour Total437100
Brown Sugar2 tbsp1.5 tbsp
Salt1.5 tsp.75 tsp4.3 g.3.2 g.
Gluten1.5 tbsp
Inst. Yeast *2.5 tsp1.25 tsp3.5 g.2.6 g.
Canola Oil2 tbsp1.5 tbsp
Egg
Large
157 g.
[36 g.]
1
Honey2 tbsp40 g.
[8 g.]
1.5 tbsp
(6 g. water)
Water1.125 cups281205
Fluids32572

Sunflower Oatmeal Bread is the BLBMC (p. 323), bread machine adaptation of Celeste’s Sunflower and Oatmeal Bread published in Beth Hensperger’s baking books including Bread (1988).

 MediumMediumMedium
Weight
 @ 80 %
BLBMC50% Sodium50% Sodium;*
*Tuned
B%
Whole Wheat.5 cups70 g.56 g.
White Flour2.5 cups348 g.278 g.
Oatmeal.5 cups50 g40 g.
TFW468
Salt1.5 tsp..75 tsp4.3 g.3.4 g
Sunflower seeds
raw
.5 cups.4 cup
Butter1.5 tbsp1.2 tbsp
Gluten2 tbsp
Instant Yeast*
standard | Panasonic
2 tsp1 tsp | .5 tsp
x | 1.3 g.x | 1.0 g.
Molasses1 tbsp.2.5 tsp.
Honey2 tbsp.21 g.
{5 g. water}
1.5 tbsp
Egg, Large157 g.
{36 g. water}
57 g. {36 g. water}
Buttermilk.625 cups153 g.
{135g.}
120 g.
Water.5 cups110 g.59 g.
Total Fluid 28661265

Buttermilk Whole Wheat BLBMC p. 108. 50% Whole Wheat with buttermilk and maple syrup; salt reduction, and yeast adjustments for salt and for Panasonic. Estimating the hydration of buttermilk and maple syrup helped to tune the overall hydration.

 Medium
Volume
Medium
Volume
Medium
Weight
 @ 75%
BLBMC50% Sodium50% SodiumB%
Whole Wheat1.5 cups209 g.50157 g.
White Flour1.5 cups209 g.50157 g.
TFW418 g.100
Salt 1.5 tsp.75 tsp
50%
4.3 g3.2 g
Gluten
1.33 tbsp
Instant Yeast
standard | Panasonic
2 tsp1 tsp | .5 tsp.


n | 1.4 g..33n | 1.1 g.
Canola Oil2 tbsp1.5 tbsp
Maple Syrup2 tbsp40 g.
[13 g. fluid]
1.5 tbsp
Buttermilk1.125 cups275 g.
[250 g. fluid]
210 g.
(.85 cups)
Fluid263 g.63

Zarathustra’s Bread is BLBMC (p. 126) “Tecate Ranch Whole Wheat”. BLBMC named it for a spa in Baja California that serve this bread, developed by a chef at spa in San Diego which used New Age Zoroastrianism as one its themes. Exotic naming is a staple of Counter-culture marketing to consumers with a taste for the bohemian in their lives. For a more SF reading of the name, consider watching 2001: a Space Odessey, listening to the fanfare of Thus Spake Zarathustra. Imagine the loaf as the monolith. Freshly baked whole wheat is tasty. But 100% loaves can dry out or go stale fast.

100 % whole wheat, honey, molasses and poppy seeds.

IngredientMedium LoafMedium Loaf
Medium
 @ 75%
BLBMCVolumeWeightB %
Whole Wheat3.25 cups452339
Wheat Germ
Wheat Bran
.33 cup.25 cup3 tbsp
TFW100
Gluten2.5 tbsp0
Salt1.5 tsp..75 tsp4.33.2 g.
Poppy Seeds1 tbsp2.25 tsp
Instant Yeast1 tbsp.75 tsp
2.11.6 g.
Honey.125 cups
(2 tbsp)
1.5 tbsp
Molasses.125 cups;
(2 tbsp)
1.5 tbsp
Water1.33300 g.
314 g.
225 g.
236 g.
(1 cup)

Recipe Summaries

I worked out my approach to yeast and low sodium in  baking in a Panasonic SD-YD250 for medium (1.5 lb.) loaves June, July and August, 2018. Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (“BLBMC”) recipes did not work as published.  

I found an approach that works and confirmed recipes that work, with my adjustments. Here are recipes that worked, Most are in tables with volume, weight, baker percentage, and ingredients, ans scaled for smaller loaves.  I mark the parts of the source formula that I changed. I reduce salt to  50% salt, and adjust yeast (1) for salt. I also adjust yeast for my Panasonic SD-YD250 this machine and other Panasonic machine, except for the Panasonic recipes.

Basic White Loaf is in the Panasonic Manual or online. Basic bake cycle. Panasonic presents this recipe in M, L, XL in the manual, as a milk bread (milk instead of water), and as a basic sandwich loaf. This recipe works at published for medium loaves. It works at 50% sodium by cutting the recipe amounts of salt and yeast by 50%.

100% Whole Wheat is in the Panasonic Manual or online at 100 % Whole Wheat. Bake Whole wheat cycle. This recipe works at published. It works at 50% sodium by cutting the recipe amounts of salt and yeast by 50%

Chuck Williams’s Country French is from BLBMC (p. 200).  Beth Hensperger adapted a recipe from her 2002 bread book in Williams-Sonoma collection. It was a recipe for La Cloche device; in the style of Pain de campagne, with whole wheat (not rye) flour.  A lean French bread: 25% whole wheat, 75% white flour, water, salt, yeast; without milk, butter or sugar.  BLBMC says Basic or French bread cycle.  Those cycles use a more intensive mix, and I back off on yeast and water.  The loaf has a firm crust and a reaonably open crumb. Low salt, B% and scaled.

 MediumMediumMedium @ 75% of medium
BLBMC50% Sodium50% Sodium50% Sodium50% Sodium
IngredientVolumeWeightB%
Instant Yeast
standard | Panasonic
1.75 (1 3/4) tsp7/8 tsp | .4375 (7/16) tsp
n | 1.1 g.
.3.8 g.
White Flour2.25 cups313 g75235 g.
Whole Wheat.75 cups104 g2578 g.
TFW417 g100
Salt1.5 tsp.75 tsp
4.3 g13.2 g.
Water1.25 cups1 + 3/16 cups
(1 cup + 3 tbsp)
28071210 g.

Pembina Bread is adapted from BLBMC (p. 119) or Beth Hensperger blog: Dakota Bread. The source recipe says basic bake cycle, and uses .5 cup of whole wheat for a medium loaf.  Chuck Williams Country French, above, use .75 cups of whole wheat.  The bulger takes up a little water, which changes the hydration.  I use less bulgur than the BLBMC source, and  whole wheat bake cycle. Low salt, B% and scaled.

 Medium Loaf   @ 75% of Medium
BLBMC50% Sodium50% Sodium
Weight g.
B %50% Sodium
Whole Wheat.5 cups.625 cups
872165 g.
White Flour2.25 cups31375235 g.
Bulgur.125 cups
.25 cups
20515
TFW420100
Salt 1.5 tsp..75 tsp
4.313.2
Sunflower seeds
raw
.25 cups3 tbsp
Pumpkin seeds
raw, chopped
.25 cups3 tbsp
Sesame seeds1.5 tsp1.125 tsp
Poppy seeds2 tsp1.5 tsp
Gluten
2 tbsp0
Instant Yeast
standard | Panasonic
2 tsp1 tsp. | 7/16 tspn | 1.2 g..3.9
Canola Oil2 tbsp
1.5 tbsp.
Honey2 tbsp21 g.
[5 g. water]
15 g.
(1.5 tbsp)
Water1.25 cups300 g.225
Total fluids305 g.73

Flax Seed Whole Wheat Bread is an adaptation of a BLBMC recipe (p. 118), with changes discussed in my post on Other Recipes, and changes for low sodium. I give the BLBMC recipe amount in strikeout text and my changed value in italic text. I prefer whole wheat cycle:

 Medium   @ 75% of medium
BLBMC50% sodium50% sodium
B%50% sodium
Weight
[Fluid]
Instant Yeast
Standard | Panasonic
2 tspn | .625 tsp

n | 1.8 g.1.3 g.
Whole Wheat1 cup2 cups
278 g.61209 g.
White Flour2 cups1 cup139 g.31104 g.
Flax mealx2 tbsp12 g.039 g.
Rolled Oatsx.25 cup25 g,0619 g,
T. Flours/strong>454 g.100
Flax Seed3 tbsp2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
Poppy Seedx1 tbsp2.25 tsp
Salt 1 tsp.5 tsp
2.8 g..622.1 g.
Gluten 1 tbsp0
Olive Oil3 tbsp2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
Honey3 tbsp60 g.
[12 g.]
345 g. or
2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
Skim Milk1.33 cup
(325 ml)
320 g
[290 g.]
240 g.
if Water1.125 cups
Skim Milk Powder
if Water
.25 cups
Fluid Weight302 g.67

Three Seed Whole Wheat Bread is my adapatation of the BLBMC recipe (p. 116). It is a low sodium recipe.  When I depart from the recipe, I give the BLBMC recipe amount in strikeout text and my changed value in italic text.  Any additions are italic. I prefer whole wheat cycle:

 Medium Loaf
  @ 75% Medium
BLBMC50% Sodium50% SodiumB%50% Sodium
Weight
Whole Wheat1.5 cups209 g.50157 g.
White Flour1.5 cups209 g. 50157 g.
TFW418 g.100314 g.
Dry Skim Milk3 tbsp2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
Brown Sugar2 tbsp1.5 tbsp
Sunflower Seed1/3 cup2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
Sesame Seed
2 tbsp1.5 tbsp
Poppy Seed2 tsp1.5 tsp
Sunflower Oil2 tbsp1.5 tbsp
Salt1 tsp..5 tsp2.9 g2.2 g
Gluten 1 tbsp
Instant Yeast
standard | Panasonic
2 tsp.1 tsp. | .5 tsp
2.8 g. | 1.4 g..331.1 g.
Water1.25 cups1 + 3/16 cups
280 g
70210 g.

Scandinavian Light Rye is based on BLBMC (p. 134).  In a table – low salt, B%. When I depart from the recipe, I give the recipe amount in strikeout text and my changed value in italic text.  Any additions are italic. It works on basic bake cycle, medium loaf setting.

 Medium   @ 75% of medium
BLBMC50% sodium
50% sodiumB%50% sodium
Weight
White Flour1.875 cups261 g.66196 g.
Dark Rye Flour1.125 cups135 g.34101 g.
TFW396 g.100
Brown Sugar2 tbsp1.5 tbsp
Caraway Seed1.5 tbsp1 + 1/8 tbsp =
1 tbsp + 3/8 tsp
Salt
1.5 tsp.75 tsp
4.3 g.3.2 g.
Gluten0
Instant Yeast
standard | Panasonic
2.5 tsp1.25 tsp. | .625 tspn | 1.8 g.n | 1.3 g.
Oil1.5 tbsp1 + 1/8 tbsp =
1 tbsp + 3/8 tsp
Water1.125 cups266 g.67200 g

Buttermilk Whole Wheat Bread is from BLBMC (p. 108). I didn’t quite get this during the trials in the summer of 2018. Medium-light whole wheat. 50% Whole Wheat with buttermilk and maple syrup as the sweetener. I did not feel sure about this, but it works with my salt reduction and my yeast adjustment for salt and for Panasonic. I worked out the hydration of buttermilk and maple syrup and overall hydration. That may be a useful number to check other 50-50 loaves for hydration and yeast. I think multigrain 50-50 loaves do better on whole wheat cycle.

 Medium
Volume
Medium
Volume
Medium
Weight
 @ 75%
BLBMC50% Sodium50% SodiumB%
Whole Wheat1.5 cups209 g.50157 g.
White Flour1.5 cups209 g.50157 g.
TFW418 g.100
Salt 1.5 tsp.75 tsp
50%
4.3 g3.2 g
Gluten
1.33 tbsp
Instant Yeast
standard | Panasonic
2 tsp1 tsp | .5 tsp.


n | 1.4 g..33n | 1.1 g.
Canola Oil2 tbsp1.5 tbsp
Maple Syrup2 tbsp40 g.
[13 g. fluid]
1.5 tbsp
Buttermilk1.125 cups275 g.
[250 g. fluid]
210 g.
(.85 cups)
Fluid263 g.63

White Whole Wheat flour is mentioned in a recipe from BLBMC (p. 127) “White Whole Wheat Flour Bread”. (see variation with 3 cups of flour). It is supposed to work like bread flour and loaf is supposed to work on basic bake, which is a “white bread” cycle. I never had White Whole Wheat flour. It is a specialty flour available from King Arthur mills in the USA:

White whole-wheat flour is … made with hard white spring or winter wheat — the bran, germ, and endosperm are all ground to result in another 100 percent whole-wheat flour. … because it’s made with hard white wheat instead of hard red wheat, like whole-wheat flour, it has a paler color and its taste is milder. It’s still nuttier than all-purpose flour because it includes the fibrous bran and germ of the wheat, but it’s a more approachable whole-wheat flour, particularly for those who don’t enjoy the hearty taste of whole-wheat flour.
It can be used interchangeably with whole-wheat flour in any recipe

Home bakers report, in King Arthur comments, that the uses of this flour include using it in place of white flour for pancakes. I substituted Rogers “Whole Wheat Bread Flour”, which was higher in protein (gluten) than the flour in the recipe. It was a lesson. I stopped looking for a flour that can’t be obtained in this part of Canada.

The general conditions for the loaves above in my test program:

  • Wheat flour, by Rogers, a Canadian mill:
    • All-Purpose flour (i.e. bread flour); 1 cup = 4.9 oz = 139 grams;
    • Bread Flour for White Bread;
    • Whole Wheat flour; 1 cup = 4.9 oz = 139 grams;
    • Whole Wheat Bread Flour (a blend of Whole Wheat and white flour, and added gluten);
  • Rye Flour. Rogers Dark Rye Flour;
  • Yeast; 1 tsp = 2.8 g.;
  • Salt in a recipe is table salt; 1 tsp = 5.7 grams.

Bread Machine Artisan Bread?

The Challenge

A bread machine cannot produce the shapes associated with rustic, country hearth, or “artisan” bread.  These loaves are shaped as round boules or oval batards (or torpedos), and baked on a deck, without a pan. A bread machine bakes a loaf in a pan. Artisan loaves tend to have firm or even crisp/crunchy crusts. There is no direct temperature control or temperature reading on a bread machine.  A bread machine create enough heat to bake a dark crust but cannot reach the temperature that bakes crunchy crusts.

A bread machine can become a mixer (and a proofing box) on a dough cycle. This saves labour. But a bread machine doesn’t have the alternative functionality that mixers offer.

The bread machine makes dough on a cycle.  A dough cycle will have an initial rest or preheat phase many machines (e.g. my Panasonic SD-YD250 has it on all dough cycles except pizza dough). Every machine will reliably mix the ingredients at a slow speed and move up to higher speed to work the dough.  There is some control of time.  For instance to avoid the more intensive mixing – just stop it when it is mixed.  And a pause after slow mixing can be made (to autolyse before more intensive mixing, or to add something), until the end of the phase. A few machines have a pause function, controlled by a button.  Most machines have a power interrupt that restarts the machine at the point in the cycle it stopped after short power outage.  This allows a pause of several minutes by unplugging the machine. The machine must be plugged back in, within the time limit or it goes back to the start of the cycle.

There are no options to slow down the mixing or change the time – just stop when you want to stop mixing, and rest or work the the dough.

Some breads use a fermented “starter” to introduce yeast and bacteria (sourdough, mother, chef, levain) or to enhance flavour (sponge, biga, poolish, pre-ferment, pate fermentee). Adding a starter during mixing means lifting the lid and/or taking out the pan, and putting it in manually.

Dough cycles have a rest phase and a rise phase allowing the dough to ferment in machine, and stop.  The user has options after on when to remove the dough after mixing, and other options:

  • the end of mixing
  • the end of the rise
  • after the end of the cycle for added bulk fermentation time
  • put the dough in the fridge to slow down fermentation
  • knock it down, knead by hand;
  • additional fermentation – a second rise before shaping the loaf

The user ultimately shapes it, let it rise and puts it into the oven in pans, on a baking sheet or in or on a ceramic sheet or apparatus (e.g. pizza stone) at whatever temperature the user wants.

The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook offers advice and several recipes/formulas at pages 196-297.  This is good advice but has to be adjusted for the machine.  For instance many machines can’t be paused

French Whole Wheat

Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook p. 206 advise a dough cycle. I used {Whole Wheat} Dough cyle. BLBMC advises a knock down, additional fermentation/rise after the dough cycle.  These steps are superflous with a machine with a long rise phase and a knockdown in the rise phase.

The steps after the dough is out of the machine are shaping a torpedo loaf, final proof, scoring the loaf and baking at 400 F for 32-48 minutes:

  • 347 g. (2.5 cups) whole wheat flour
  • .5 cup spelt flour
  • {4.3 g. (.75 tsp)} salt [BLBMC 1.5 tsp]
  • {2.8 g. (1 tsp)} instant yeast [BLBMC 4 tsp]
  • 1 5/16 cups (1.25 + 1 tbsp) buttermilk
  • .5 cup water

The loaf looks like a loaf of rye bread – it has a dark crust.  The crust is soft, as might be expected with whole wheat.  It has a sticky crumb that leaves a residue on the bread knife, like an artisan OEM product sold in the local Thifty’s over the last two years before fall 2018.  The crumb is not as darkly coloured as 100%  whole wheat recipes which use dark brown sugar or molasses and oil – and not as dense.

Light Rye – Bread Machine

A bread machine can make a light rye. Light rye breads are soft  breads made with wheat flour, with rye flour or rye meal for flavour and texture, or light rye flour. Also, there are (retail/craft/home) rustic rye and rye sourdough styles. Light rye bread may be made in pans, but also baked in a torpedo shape.

Authentic pumpernickel is outside the capabilities of bread machines. There are retail/craft/home formulas for a rustic style with rye flour, e.g.  King Arthur Classic Pumpernickel baked in an oven. 

Rye bread has been baked with caraway seeds so often that consumers associate the flavour of caraway with the flavour of rye. Caraway is related to cumin, fennel, anise, carrots, celery and parsley. Some varieties are known as Persian cumin. It has been used as a cooking herb or spice since the time of the Roman Empire. It is a major spice in Central European cooking and in the nations beside the Baltic and was adopted in Germany, the Nordic countries and England. Caraway seeds were/are used to make flavoured breads with white flour in Central European recipes. Cumin and caraway are the spice in Kamijnekaas – the spiced Dutch cheeses Leiden Kaas and spiced Gouda. Caraway is a strong flavouring, and may overwhelm other flavours in rye bread. Other flavouring agents: fennel and anise seeds, dried orange peel, orange zest and orange oil for flavour in varying amounts and combinations. There are dark or sour light rye styles (retail/craft/home/bread machine) with wheat flour, rye flour and cocoa or ground coffee for dark colour,vinegar or sour cream for acidity corn meal, oatmeal or sunflower seeds for texture.

Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook has recipes for light rye breads (at pp. 133-143, 313) with 25% – 35% rye flour by weight. This is manageable in a bread machine for most recipes and machines.

Panasonic’s manual asserts rye flour leads to dense bread when used to replace other flour, and warns that mixing rye flour might overload the motor.  I bake light rye bread in a Panasonic SD-YD250 bread machine. The machine’s cycles are programmed to knead for a longer time than a rye bread needs. The dough starts to release water and gets sloppy.

Rye flour has less of the proteins that build gluten than wheat flour.  It has pentosans which absorb water early in mixing but release it after periods of intensive mixing. The dough seems dry and elastic – it holds it shape and is slow to relax. According to Daniel DiMuzio’s Bread Baking, An Arisan’s Perspective (p. 51), bakers with control of speed and time would use a short period of slow mixing for dough with significant amounts of rye flour, and little faster intensive mixing DiMuzio notes (p. 216) that dough for deli-style light rye (80% white/20% rye) would be hydrated at 68% and mixed slowly: in a stand mixer, 3 minutes slow to blend ingredients and 3 minutes on second speed. This would be a custom cycle in a bread machine with the option of programming a custom cycle. With my machine, I could turn off the machine after slow mix and a few minutes of knead/mix and let it rise and finish it on the counter and in the oven; or in the machine:

  • let it sit, knock it down once with a spatula, let it “bench” rise and
  • plug it in and set to bake “cake”.

I get a good loaf on a basic bake cycle without resorting to those hacks.

Rogers Foods mills Dark Rye Flour is available locally, and priced as a staple instead of a luxury good.  Rogers does not directly publish a volume to mass conversion. The food facts label indicates 1 cup = 120 grams = 4.2 oz.  Food Facts for Dark Rye flours from other mills are consistent.  120 grams is in the range of published values, which is confusing and wide.  Online Conversion’s converter and Aqua-Calc converter dark rye flour said 1 cup of dark rye flour = 4.5 oz. = 128 g.   The rest of the range:

  • BLBMC; Reinhardt’s Bread Bakers Apprentice – no factor stated
  • Bakery Network conversion chart – 1 cup “rye flour” = 4 oz. = 113 g.
  • Aqua-Calc converter light rye flour (or medium rye flour) – 1 cup = 102 g = 3.6 oz.
  • The Traditional Oven’s  converter – 1 cup = 102 g. = 3.6 oz.  light rye?
  • King Arthur Flour’s Ingredient Conversion chart – 1 cup = 3.625 oz.  light rye?

Bread with Caraway and Onions. There is a white bread recipe in the Panasonic manual that evokes rye bread with a touch of rye flour, and caraway seeds. Panasonic has not published it online. It is nearly identical to Panasonic’s Basic White Bread. For a medium loaf, add 1/8 cup rye flour, 2 tsp caraway seeds, and 1/8 cups chopped onions. The linked recipe is for Panasonic machines and normal (i.e. not reduced) sodium.

Scandinavian Light Rye – a BLBMC recipe.

 Medium   @ 75% of medium
BLBMC50% sodium
50% sodiumB%50% sodium
Weight
White Flour1.875 cups261 g.66196 g.
Dark Rye Flour1.125 cups135 g.34101 g.
TFW396 g.100
Brown Sugar2 tbsp1.5 tbsp
Caraway Seed1.5 tbsp1 + 1/8 tbsp =
1 tbsp + 3/8 tsp
Salt
1.5 tsp.75 tsp
4.3 g.3.2 g.
Gluten0
Instant Yeast
standard | Panasonic
2.5 tsp1.25 tsp. | .625 tspn | 1.8 g.n | 1.3 g.
Oil1.5 tbsp1 + 1/8 tbsp =
1 tbsp + 3/8 tsp
Water1.125 cups266 g.67200 g

Swedish Rye Bread – a BLBMC recipe.

 Medium Loaf
  @ 75% of medium
BLBMC50% Sodium50% Sodium
VolumeWeightB %
Instant Yeast
standard | Panasonic
2 tsp1 tsp. | .5 tsp
n | 1.4 g.n | 1.1 g.
White Flour2 cups278 g.65209 g.
Dark Rye FlourMedium Rye1.25 cups150 g.35113 g.
TFW428 g.100
Fennel Seed2 tsp1.5 tsp
Dried Orange Peel1.5 tsp1 + 1/8 tsp
Salt1.25 tsp.625 tsp3.6 g.2.7 g.
Gluten4 tsp.
Oil1.5 tbsp1 + 1/8 tbsp =
1 tbsp + 3/8 tsp
Honey3 tbsp2.25 tbsp =
2 tbsp + 3/4 tsp
Water1.25 cups295 g.69221 g.

Steamed Rice

Steamed rice is rice cooked in water. It is not fried first (as with some pilaf, biryani, Mexican styles) or cooked as a risotto, paella, rice pudding, congee or other flavoured rice dish.  Cooked rice can used in a dish, as an accompaniment to other dishes, fried or processed further, or added to other dishes e.g. Nasi Goreng is preparation of fried cooked white rice.

Steaming is an absorption preparation.  Salt is optional; it is added for taste. Steamed rice can be cooked in a pot or cooking vessel over a heat source, or in a rice cooker appliance. Pressure cookers and pressure multi-cooker appliances (most multi-cookers are basically electric pressure cookers – e.g. Instant Pot) can do steamed rice. The slow cooker can cook rice in a soup or stew. It does not do well with plain rice where the goal is fluffy grains.

Rinsing brown rice is pointless – the grain is still coated with bran. The editors and authors of Cook’s Illustrated/America’s Test Kitchen have a theory about rinsing white rice: concept 30 in The Science of Good Cooking (2012). Their aphorism is “Rinsing (Not Soaking) Makes Rice Fluffy). CI/ATK publishes summaries of its test kitchen tests. Rinsing removes rice flour and talc and helps to keep it from getting sticky. Rinsing is normal for White Basmati but uncommon with long grain white rice grown in the Southern USA, and with short grain rices. Rinsing is not useful for short grain rice that is supposed to be creamy (for risotto) or sticky (for sushi and other Asian dishes). Or with with Spanish Bomba or other paella varieties. Soaking rice before cooking is not useful. It is recommended by some sources, but it is not useful.

It is possible to put rice in ample boiling water and strain it like pasta. Some cookbooks promote this; many suggest this as an option among other methods.

Sri Owen, in The Rice Book (1993), said that steaming rice in a vessel on a heat source can be a 2 step process.  First, rice is simmered in a measured amount of water in an uncovered pot at the boiling point until the rice has absorbed the water. The second step is “finishing”; Owen describes 4 ways:

  • Cover the vessel and leaving it on very low heat to steam the rice internally, taking it off the heat and leaving it covered;
  • Moving the rice into a collander and steaming the rice suspended in another vessel over boiling water.   This is basically parcooking the rice and put it in a steamer or collander, recommended by Jamie Oliver;
  • Moving the rice into a casserole, covering it and baking in an oven;
  • Moving the rice into a microwaving vessel, covering with the usual wrap or cover, and a few minutes in a microwave oven.

Owen pointed out that a rice cooker was a good tool; she did not write about presssure cookers or multi-cookers.

The conventional method of steaming rice is a slow simmer at the point that water steams. It is simpler than the two step processes above, and allows the cook to deal with other tasks once the temperature has been brought down to a simmer. It requires a pot that disperses the heat evenly, a tight lid to hold in the steam, and control of heat and time.

Put rice in a meaured amount of water, bring the water to a boil,  cover the pot, reduce the heat, simmer. Leave it covered and set a timer. Remove from heat and rest off heat, covered for 10-15 minutes. Set the timer for the final rest.

The cooking time can be from 12 to 20 minutes. The method works within a range of rice/water ratios and times. The results may be more or less fluffy, absorbent or sticky.  The rice recipe at What’s Cooking America has a table of rice to water ratio and cooking times for several kinds of rice. The instructions at that site for cooking white rice are a bit contradictory.  There is a concise article by Fine Cooking magazine and some videos and notes at the Kitchn site. The normally stated ratio of long grain white rice to water is 1 cup of dry rice to 1.5 to 1.75  cups of water.  CI/ATK recommend the low end of this range. 1.5 cups of water to 1 cup of rice is too much water for Basmati rice. It may be suitable for pilafs of other long grained white rice.

Package directions for the standard varieties such as long grain white rice tend to go high on water; many recipes do. This will lead to soggy overcooked rice.

Steaming can be performed in a pressure cooker. Laura Pazzaglia calls for 3 cups of water for 1.5 cups of long grain white rice in the print version of Hip Pressure Cooking! This is soggy; there is a mistake in that recipe! Her table on her web page states a reasonable 1.5 cups of water per cup of long grain white rice. When the water boils, the lid is locked and the pot is brought to high pressure, and the cooking time on high pressure is 3 minutes. Then rest off heat 10 minutes or more without releasing the pressure (i.e. do not use the release mechanism); let the pressure drop as the pot cools.

I normally use a normal pot on a stove for white rice. The pressure cooker is not actually that much faster or more convenient.

White Basmati Rice, a long grain aromatic rice originating from Northern India, Pakistan and Nepal can be cooked by the slow simmer method. Refer to: article from the Guardian; Madhur Jaffry recipe from the Telegraph. I like the rice fluffy and go light on the water:

  • 2.33 cups of water to 2 cups of rice, simmering 23 minutes, or
  • 2 cups of water to 1.5 cups of rice, simmering 20 minutes . 

White Basmati  rice can be cooked in a pressure cooker at the ratio of 1 cup rice to 1.25 cups water. As with other long grain white rice, I normally use a normal pot on the stove.

All rice delivers carbohydrates, a source of glucose, an essential nutrient. Rice is normally milled to remove the husk or bran and germ, leaving the white kernel of endosperm with the carbs. White rice can be cooked quickly, saving time and fuel/energy.

Brown or whole rice has been dried, but the bran has been left. It is heat treated to keep the oils in the bran turning the rice rancid. Roger Own, in his essay “A Rice Landscape”, published in Sri Owen’s The Rice Book (1993) wrote: “… brown rice always costs more because there is less demand for it, and because the bran … milled off … would have been sold separately.”

The demand for brown rice has been increasing because it has become perceived as a healthy whole food, and because restaurant chefs and food writers have developed palatable preparations and liberated healthy foods from the ideas that eating should be directed to the hope of healthful longevity, a that tasty food must be unhealthy. Brown rice has more micronutrients and fiber than white rice. 

Steaming brown rice takes a longer cooking time – 40 minutes or so. Many recipes suggest 2 cups of water to one cup of brown rice. CI/ATK suggests 1.5 cups of rice in 2.33 cups of water. Sri Owen suggests that white and brown rice should have the same amount of water for some techniques.

In a pressure cooker, Laura Pazzaglia calls for 2.5 cups of water for 1.5 cups of long grain brown rice in the print version of Hip Pressure Cooking which is a bit soggy. She calls for 2.5 cups of water for 2 cups of long grain brown rice in her recipe in the recipe book that ships with an Instant Pot (in the table on her web page she recommends 1 cup of rice to 1.25 cups of water); cooking time 18 minutes with a stovetop pressure cooker or 22 minutes with an electric. Rest off heat 10 minutes or more without releasing the pressure; let the pressure drop naturally as the pot cools, and release the pressure valve then.

Yeast – Panasonic Bread Machine

Bread baked in the Panasonic SD-YD250 bread machine does not need as much yeast as recipes other than the Panasonic manual say:

  • The machine will bake an extra large (2.5 lb) loaf that may take more than 4 cups of flour. The yeast dispenser does not hold much more that a tablespoon;
  • Panasonic’s  recipes (in the manual; see its online recipe resource pages) call for half the amount of yeast in typical recipes:
    • 1 tsp (instead of 2 tsp or more ) for 3 cups of flour for a medium loaf;
    • 1.5 tsp. for 4.375 cups of flour for extra large loaves;
  • Medium loaves  based on The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (“BLBMC”) and other recipe resources filled the  pan, and had airy, weak crumb; some ballooned or cratered/collapsed/imploded.

Panasonic’s recipes for medium loaves, both with bread flour and whole wheat flour, on the bake sandwich cycle, call for 1 tsp of yeast. These recipes have identical hydration rates – the flour and water weights are identical.  In each formula the yeast is 2.8 g to 417 g; in baker percentage (B%) 0.7%. Panasonic’s  “bake sandwich” cycle selects for medium loaves – it locks out the use of the loaf size command setting.  The recipes in the manual for white sandwich and whole wheat sandwich bread on bake sandwich cycle are identical to the formulas for medium loaves in the basic white and 100% whole wheat recipes. For the 2 hour “bake rapid” cycle and the 3 hour “whole wheat bake rapid” cycles, Panasonic suggests 2 tsp of yeast.

Panasonic’s engineers worked the mix, knead and rise phases to work that way. Set for medium loaves, basic bake and whole wheat cycles, the machine mixes for 3 minutes, kneads for 20-30 minutes and rests to rise for nearly two hours.

I prefer low sodium bread. The principle is to reduce yeast by the same percentage as salt as suggested in BLBMC at p. 290 and by the Please Don’t Pass the Salt bread page

I monitored recipes in June-August, 2018. I peeked under the lid to see what happened – including the last part of the rise phase after the machine knocked down the dough.  I made manual interventions a few times – I ran a silicon spatula between the dough and the pan 5-10 minutes just before the start of baking to gently deflate the loaf. (Using a spatula risks marring the no-stick surface of the pan. Silicon spatulas are safer.)

I adjusted yeast in BLBMC formulas for white, whole wheat, and combined flour (multigrain), and formulas requiring 2 tsp  yeast for a medium loaf (a formula with 3 cups or 15 oz. flour +/- by weight). This approach resolved the inflation problem and produced loaves that were not inflated:

  • Ignore the amount of “bread machine yeast” in a formula in the BLBMC – (BLBMC has different amounts of SAF instant dry yeast and any other “bread machine yeast”);
  • Weigh yeast and know the correct conversion factor. I use a factor: 1 tsp of instant yeast weighs 2.8 grams;
  • Weigh salt and know the correct conversion factor, I assume a recipe refers to conventionally ground table salt; 1 tsp weighs 5.7 grams;
  • Use half the amount in the recipe for SAF instant dry yeast in a BLBMC formula (instant or “bread machine” dry yeast in other formulas not specifically written for a Panasonic machine).

For low sodium I cut yeast and salt equally.  For 50% sodium I just halve them. Then I make a “Panasonic” adjustment for yeast by halving it. When  I use 50% of a BLBMC recipe amount of salt, I use 25% of the BLBMC recipe amount of yeast.

The recipes and my notes for that round of tests are in a separate post.