Multigrain Recipes


These are reciples for a Panasonic SD-YD250, using whole wheat and white flour. I make comparisons to the source recipe, and annotations.  I use Bakers’ percentage (B%) and deal with flour, water, salt and yeast by weight.  My salt measurement and yeast measurement are for 50% sodium.  The yeast measurement is customized for the SD-YD 250;  it may work in a machine with similiar features and cycle but may not work in other machines.

Flax Seed Whole Wheat

My sister makes a bread machine 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.  I wanted a medium recipe with 3 cups of flour. The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (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 shifted to more whole wheat flour; and added the ingredients of my sister’s recipe.

When milk, real or reconstituted (powder plus water) is used, lactose, the natural sugar in milk is added.  Sugars on the outside of the dough carmelize when the dough is baked – i.e. the crust is firm and brown. Unpasteurized milk can lead to surprizes. Some bakers think milk,  real or reconstituted, should be scalded to denature proteins that may inhibit the action of the yeast, and for other reasons. I skipped this step.

Skim milk is 96% water. Honey varies but may be 20% water

The whole wheat flour, rolled oats and flax meal absorb fluid.  The medium loaf result is was little lopsided. It had tasty firm crust; a dense crumb holds up, sliced. It needs the honey for flavour and hydration. 

The formula, by volume or weight and with B% for reference. When I depart from the source recipe, I give the recipe amount in strikeout text and my changed value in italic text in the next line.  Additions to the source recipe are italic. On whole wheat cycle.  Skim milk or skim milk powder + water; alternatives.  Not both!

IngredientMedium Loaf
Medium Weight g.75% WeightSmall (2 cup)
by Weight
Whole Wheat
1 cup
Whole Wheat2 cups278 20918661
White Flour
2 cups
White Flour1 cup1391049331
Flax meal2 tbsp129803
Rolled Oats.25 cup25191606
Flax Seed3 tbsp2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
2 tbsp
Poppy Seed1 tbsp2.25 tsp2 tsp
Olive canola Oil2 tbsp1.5 tbsp1.34 tbsp =
1 tbsp + 1 tsp
Salt per BLBMC1 tsp
Salt @50%.5 tsp2.
Gluten per BLBMC1 tbsp
Yeast per BLBMC2 tsp
Instant Yeast *.5 tsp1.
Honey3 tbsp6448 g. or
2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
41 g. or
2 tbsp
Skim Milk1.375 cups71
alt Skim Milk Powder5 tbsp3.75 tbsp i.e
3 tbsp +2.25 tsp
3.35 tbsp =
3 tbsp + 1 tsp
alt Water1.375 cups325244218


Based in BLBMC Dakota Bread (p. 119). Named for Pembina, North Dakota, important to Winnipegers. The gateway to Fargo and Grand Forks, and the site of KCND, the first American TV transmitter that reached roof-top antennas in Winnipeg (later purchased by Canadian owners and given a Canadian call sign, CKND and moved north of the border).

IngredientMedium Loaf
Medium Loaf
@ 75%Small @ 2/3
Whole Wheat.5 cups
Whole Wheat.625 cups87655821
White Flour2.25 cups31323521075
Bulgur (dry).25 cups
Bulgur (dry).125 cups2015135
Salt R1.5 tsp
Salt @50%.75 tsp4.33.22.91
raw sunflower seeds.25 cups3 tbsp2.5 tbsp
raw pumpkin seeds chopped.25 cups3 tbsp2.5 tbsp
sesame seeds1.5 tsp1.125 tsp1 tsp
poppy seeds2 tsp1.5 tsp1.25 tsp
Gluten per BLBMC2 tbsp
Yeast per BLBMC2 tsp
Inst. Yeast *7/16 tsp1.
Water R1.25 cups29571

Cornell Bread

This is a BLBMC recipe (p. 161), based on Cornell bread developed  by Clive McCay at Cornell University. 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.  A nearly vegetarian scientific health food, 30 years before the vegetarian prescriptions of Diet for a Small Planet.  Not zero gluten.  Bread.

Dr. McCay was a scientist in animal nutrition, with broader interests.   He experimented on mice to prove that bread made with bleached white flour was not as healthy as bread made with unbleached and whole grain flour.  He developed recipes, first published in 1955 in a short book called The Cornell Bread Book. The 1980 edition is still available.  The recipe  was developed during the Great Depression.  Food security was still recognized as an issue in America at that time. Eleanor Roosevelt’s Kitchen, a 2010 article in the New Yorker, looked back at the campaigns by home economists at Cornell to develop and promote economical recipes for American kitchens. The recipe and the concept are represented in counterculture recipes,  and in articles on prepper sites. 

Whole wheat bake cycle. When I depart from the BLBMC recipe, I give the recipe amount in strikeout text and my changed value in italic text in the next line:

IngredientMedium Loaf
Medium Loaf
@ 75%
Small @ 2/3
Whole Wheat1.5 cups20915614048
White Flour1.125 cups15611710536
Soy flour.33 cups40 g.30 g.27 g.
Wheat germ 1.5 tbsp6.5 g.
Milk Powder.25 cups25 g.19 g.17 g.
Flour Total437100
Brown Sugar2 tbsp1.5 tbsp1.3 tbsp or
1 tbsp + 1 tsp
Salt R1.5 tsp
Salt @50%.75 tsp4.3 g.3.2 g.2.9 g.
Gluten1.5 tbsp
Yeast per BLBMC2.5 tsp
Inst. Yeast *1.25 tsp3.5 g.2.6 g.2.3 g.
Canola Oil2 tbsp
Egg (L)157 g.40 g. 11
Honey2 tbsp40 g.8 g.1.5 tbsp1.3 tbsp or
1 tbsp + 1 tsp
Water1.125 cups266190168
Fluid total31423621072

Recipe Summaries


These are the bread machine recipes I used working out my approach to bread machine baking in a Panasonic SD-YD250 for medium (1.5 lb.) loaves. I baked each once or more when I was working out yeast and low sodium in June, July and August, 2018; these are in the table [T] at the end of this post.

I added a few recipes. I present several recipes in tables with volume, weight, baker and small loaf ingredients by weight, scaled for smaller loaves.  Some are lists or summaries. I identify the source formula. Some tables and lists are based on BLBMC  formulas. I mark the parts of the source formula that I change, and I insert changes . White flour means bread flour; where a recipe said bread flour; I used Canadian All-Purpose.

My tables and summaries all reduce salt to  50% salt, and adjust yeast (1) for salt and (2) for this machine and other Panasonic machines

[T] Basic White Loaf

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  and as scaled to small. When I depart from the recipe, I give the recipe amount in strikeout text and my changed value in italic text in the next line. 

IngredientMedium Loaf
Medium Loaf
2/3 WeightPercentage
White Flour3 cups417 278
Milk Powder1.5 tbsp
Sugar1.5 tbsp
Butter1.5 tbsp
Salt in Recipe1.5 tsp
Salt @50%.75 tsp4.32.81
Yeast R1 tsp
Inst. Yeast *.5 tsp1.41.3
Water R1.25 cups29519871

[T] 100% Whole Wheat

Panasonic Manual or 100 % Whole Wheat. Bake Whole wheat cycle:
This recipe works at published. Low salt, bakers percentage, and scaled to small loaf. When I depart from the recipe, I give the recipe amount in strikeout text and my changed value in italic text in the next line.  Any additions are italic:

IngredientMedium Loaf
Medium Weight75% WeightSmall (2 cup)
by weight
Whole Wheat3 cups417 313279
Milk Powder1.5 tbsp1.125 tbsp =
3 + 3/8 tsp
1 tbsp
Butter1.5 tbsp1.125 tbsp1 tbsp
Salt R1.5 tsp
Salt @50%.75 tsp4.33.22.91
Yeast R1 tsp
Inst. Yeast *.5 tsp1.
Molasses1.5 tbsp1 tbsp1 tbsp
Brown sugar1 tsp
Water 1.25 cups295230*19971*+

[T] Chuck Williams’s Country French

BLBMC (p. 200).  70% white flour in the style of country breads. Pain de campagne, with whole wheat (not rye) flour.  Adapted from Williams Sonoma recipe for La Cloche device. Basic or French bread cycle. I have done it on basic bake, and as small loaf. Low salt, B% and scaled.
When I depart from the recipe, I give the recipe amount in strikeout text and my changed value in italic text in the next line:

IngredientMedium Loaf
Medium Loaf
Small @ 75%
Weight g,
Small @ 2/3
Weight g
Whole Wheat.75 cups104787025
White Flour2.25 cups31323521075
Salt (recipe)1.5 tsp
Salt @50%.75 tsp4.33.22.91
Yeast per BLBMC1 3/4 tsp
Instant Yeast *7/16 tsp1.
Water1.25 cups29522520071

[T] Pembina Bread

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. When I depart from the recipe, I give the recipe amount in strikeout text and my changed value in italic text in the next line.  Any additions are italic:

IngredientMedium Loaf
Medium Loaf
@ 75%Small @ 2/3
Whole Wheat.5 cups
Whole Wheat.625 cups87655821
White Flour2.25 cups31323521075
Bulgur (dry).25 cups
Bulgur (dry).125 cups2015135
Salt R1.5 tsp
Salt @50%.75 tsp4.33.22.91
raw sunflower seeds.25 cups3 tbsp2.5 tbsp
raw pumpkin seeds chopped.25 cups3 tbsp2.5 tbsp
sesame seeds1.5 tsp1.125 tsp1 tsp
poppy seeds2 tsp1.5 tsp1.25 tsp
Gluten per BLBMC2 tbsp
Yeast per BLBMC2 tsp
Inst. Yeast *7/16 tsp1.
Water R1.25 cups29571

French Bread

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 for a loaf that isn’t extra-large. When I depart from the recipe, I give the recipe amount in strikeout text and my changed value in italic text in the next line:i

IngredientMedium Loaf
Medium Loaf
Weight g.
2/3 by Weight
50% by WeightPercentage
White flour3 cups417 278209
Butter1 tbsp.67 tbsp = 2 tsp.5 tbsp
Salt (recipe)1.5 tsp
Salt @50%.75 tsp4.32.82.21
Yeast R1 tsp
Instant Yeast *.5 tsp1.41.7.3
Water1.3125 (1 + 5/16) cups31020715574

[T] BLBMC Flax Seed Whole Wheat Bread

This is a a summary of a published recipe.  It is not what I would do in my Panasonic SD-YD250, and is not a low sodium recipe.  BLBMC (p. 118). Basic or whole wheat cycle:

  • 1 cup whole wheat
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 4 tbsp flax
  • 2 tbsp. gluten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • .25 cups non-fat (skim) dry milk
  • .25 cups (4 tbsp) honey
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1.125 cups water

[T] Whole Wheat Maple Syrup

In the test table at the end, trials 7, 8, 10, 11 refer to “White Whole”.  The source recipe, at BLBMC (p. 127) “White Whole Wheat Flour Bread”; basic bake or bake whole wheat cycle. Alternative variation with 3 cups of flour.  on basic bake “white bread” cycle.

I never had any White Whole Wheat flour, a specialty flour.   I substituted.
I never got a good result, which I attribute to the use of 3.25 cups of flour, wrong salt/yeast ratio, and the use of “Whole Wheat Bread Flour”, which was higher in protein (gluten) than white whole wheat flour in the recipe.

 Under Development. I tried to turn into a a new recipe with a blend of  50% Whole Wheat and 50% white flour, but it rises too much.  I think 67% whole wheat should work, with this hydration.  My version, converted to metric weight and scaled – not yet tested. When I depart from the recipe, I give the recipe amount in strikeout text and my changed value in italic text in the next line.  Any additions are italic:

IngredientMedium Loaf
@ 75%
@ 2/3
Whole Wheat1.7 cups23667
White Flour1.3 cups18133
Salt R1.5 tsp
Salt *.75 tsp4.32.81
Yeast R1 tsp
Inst. Yeast *.5 tsp1.41.3
Water1.25 cups29519871
Maple Syrup.25 cups
Olive Oil.125 cups; or 2 tbsp

[T] Three Seed Whole Wheat Bread

This is a a summary of a published recipe.  It is not what I would do in my Panasonic SD-YD250 and is not a low sodium recipe. 

The source BLBMC (p. 116). Basic or whole wheat cycle:

  • 1.5 cup whole wheat
  • 1.5 cups bread flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. gluten
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3 tbsp non-fat (skim) dry milk
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1.25 cups water

This is 50-50 on flour.  That doesn’t work in my machine with that hydration. Go low or high on whole wheat.

[T] Buttermilk Whole Wheat Bread

This is a a summary of a published recipe.  It is not what I would do in my Panasonic SD-YD250 and is not a low sodium recipe. 

BLBMC (p. 108). Basic or whole wheat cycle:

  • 1.5 cup whole wheat
  • 1.5 cups bread flour
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp gluten
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp maple syrop
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1.125 cups buttermilk

[T] Irish Potato Brown Bread

This is a a summary of a published recipe.  It is not what I would do in my Panasonic SD-YD250 and is not a low sodium recipe. 

BLBMC (p. 117). Whole wheat cycle:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • .25 cup instant potato flakes
  • 1 tbsp + 2 tsp gluten
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3 tbsp butter, cut in chunks
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1.25 cups water

[T] Scandinavian Light Rye

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 in the next line.  Any additions are italic.It works at medium loaf, on basic bake cycle, medium loaf setting.

IngredientVolumeWeight g.Liquid MassPercentage
White Flour2 cup + 2 tbsp295
Dark Rye Flour1 cup120
Brown Sugar2 tbsp
Caraway Seed1 tbsp
Fennel Seed1 tbsp
Dried Orange Peel1.5 tsp
Oil1.5 tbsp
Salt *.75 tsp4.3
Inst. Yeast *M.625 tsp1.8
Water1 3/16 cups28028067

[T] Bohemian Black Bread

This is a summary of a published recipe.  It is not what I would do in my Panasonic SD-YD250 and is not a low sodium recipe. 

BLBMC (p. 138). Basic or whole wheat cycle:

  • 1.75 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup medium or dark rye flour
  • .25 cups wheat bran
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened Dutch Process cocoa
  • 1.5 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1.5 tsp caraway seeds
  • .5 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp gluten
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1.5 tbsp molasses
  • 1.125 cups water

Table of Tests

In this  final table I state the flour, fluid, salt and yeast used in one particular trial – which often failed. Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (“BLBMC”) recipes did not work as published in my Panasonic. These are the general conditions for these loaves:

  • Flour is noted in cups with alternative measurement by weight most of the time;
  • 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. In one trial, Nunnweiler Organic Dark (I had a bag in the fridge). Rogers Dark Rye Flour
  • Yeast in tsp; in some trials in grams; 1 tsp = 2.8 g. Trials 1-6 Fleishmann’s Quick-Rise; others SAF Red Instant dry;
  • Salt in grams (For table salt 1 tsp = 5.7 grams); the % of the salt in the published recipe.

The Cm column is a rough measurement or estimate of the height of the loaf with some notations:

  • ^ gassed and rose to top of the pan or ballooned
  • / lopsided or asymmetric;
  • * a manual step to deflate the dough on that trial.
tsp or g.
Salt g.Cm
1Country French2.25 Bread
.5 whole wheat
1.2521.254.5 [51%]^
2Country French2.25 AP
.5 whole wheat
1.2521.254.5 [51%}11
3Dakota2.25 Bread
.5 whole wheat
1.2521.1257.5 [83%] ^
4Dakota2.25 AP
.5 whole wheat
1.2511 [50%]9 [100%]10*
5Basic White3 AP1.2501 [100%]10.5 [116%]10
6Country French2.25 AP
.75 whole wheat [105%]10*
7White Whole3.25 wWhB1.2511.1259.10 [101%]14*
8White Whole3.25 wWhB1.250.8759.15 [102%] 14
9Whole Wheat3 whole wheatWW1.250.5 [50%]6.9 [76%]10
10White Whole3.25 wWhB1.250.55.25 [58%]14
11White Whole3.25 wWhB1.250.3754.5 [50%]14
123 Seed3 wWhB1.250.53.1 [50%]11
133 Seed1.5 whole wheat
1.5 AP
1.250.5 3.0 [50%]8
143 Seed1.5 whole wheat
1.5 AP [50%]12
153 Seed1.5 whole wheat
1.5 AP [50%]10
16Country French2.25 AP
.75 whole wheat
1.25.375.54.5 [50%]13
17FS Whole Wh2 AP
1 whole wheat 3.0 [50%]12.5
18FS Whole Wh9.75 oz. AP
4.875 oz. whole wheat g.3.05 [51%]11.5 /
19Buttermilk WhWh7.375 oz. AP
7.375 oz whole wheat
* Buttermilk
1.5.5 tsp 4 [44%]11 //
20Buttermilk WhWh7.3 oz. AP
7.3 oz. whole wheat
* Buttermilk
1.0 tsp1.52 g. 4.1 [45%]11
21Irish Brown9.7 oz. whole wheat
4.875 oz. AP
1.251.5 tsp1.49 g. 4.45 [45%]13 /
22Whole Wheat14.6 oz. whole wheatWW1.25.75 tsp1.42 g. 4.52 [50%]11
23Sc Light Rye9.0 oz AP
1.125 cups rye
1.1251.5 tsp1.42 g4.51 [50%]11 /
24Bohemian Black8.5 oz. AP
1 cup dark rye
.25 cups wheat germ
B1.125 +
3 tbsp melted butter,
I tbsp espresso drip
1.5 tsp1.51 g.4.52 [50%]9 /
25Buttermilk WhWh207 g. AP
207 g. whole wheat
1.5 tsp1.40 g.4.50 [50%]

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


I bake medium loaves (1.5 lbs); low sodium; in a Panasonic SD-YD250.  I make comparisons to the source recipe, and annotations:

  • {what I did} vs [the source recipe says]
  • * low sodium; *M low sodium and machine

The salt measurement is a normal low sodium adjustment  – reduce salt and yeast by equal proportions.  The yeast measurement is customized for the Panasonic SD-250;  it may work in a machine with similiar features and cycle but may not work in many other machines.

The Challenge

Processing 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.  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.   Panasonic has one recipe in the manual for a light rye bread.

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 just holds it shape and is slow to relax.  The temptation is to add more water, but that may not be the answer. Bakers with control of speed and time would use a short the period of slow mixing for dough with significant amounts of rye flour, and little avoid faster intensive mixing according to Daniel DiMuzio’s Bread Baking, An Arisan’s Perspective (p. 51). DiMuzio notes that the pain de campagne blend of 90% white flour and 10% rye flour would be hydrated at 68% and mixed slowly for an artisan loaf. 

Light rye breads are soft  breads made with wheat flour, with rye flour or rye meal for flavour and texture, or light rye flour. There are dark or sour 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

Also, there are (retail/craft/home) rustic rye and rye sourdough styles.

Light rye bread may be made in pans, but the traditional presentation is a rustic torpedo shape. 

Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook has several recipes for Light Rye Breads. Some emulate the styles made in pans, and some aim to get the flavour of the traditional styles in a pan loaf.  Getting that is a challenge.

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
  • The Bakery Network conversion chart – 1 cup “rye flour” = 4 oz. = 113.4
  • 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?

A formula with 2 cups of bread flour and 1 cup of rye flour will be about 70% wheat flour by weight and will form gluten.  This amount of rye flour is manageable; the paddle keeps turning and the dough ball creeps around the pan.  My machine vibrates  but does not appear to strain. At one cup of rye flour, the dough is dense and elastic – it holds the ball shape until late in the rise phase but flows and rises. At lower amounts of rye, the dough acts like white flour dough – it flows and rises normally.

The BLBMC light rye bread recipes work in my machine, but are very tightly balanced and need to be measured precisely.

The BLBMC recipes use caraway, fennel and anise seeds, dried orange peel and orange for flavour in varying amounts and combinations. Olive oil can be used to replace other oils. 

Panasonic Rye Bread with Caraway and Onions

The Panasonic formula, with almost no rye flour, is simple but a very light rye. Basic Panasonic recipe, with low salt and local changes:

  • 3 cups {Canadian All Purpose} flour [P bread flour]
  • 1/8 cup {dark} rye flour
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp dry milk
  • 1.5 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1/8 cup chopped onion
  • {4.3 g (.75 tsp) *} salt [P 1.5 tsp]
  • {1.4 g (.5 tsp) *M} instant yeast [P 2.5 tsp  instant]
  • 1.1875 (1 3/16 = 1 cup + 3 tbsp) cup water

On those measurements TFW would be 430 g. (97% white flour) and hydration rate 65%.  In my first trial I cut 1/4 cup of white flour and added 1/8 rye cup flour. It was a wet dough, which flowed and rose well. But it was wet, for a white flour dough. On the portions listed here, hydration was 74%.  In B%:

IngredientVolumeWeight g.Liquid MassPercentage
White Flour2.75 cup35393
Dark Rye Flour3 tbsp237
Sugar1.5 tbsp
Caraway Seed1 tbsp
Butter1.5 tbsp
Salt *.75 tsp4.3
Inst. Yeast *M.625 tsp1.8
Chopped Onion
Water1 3/16 cups28028074

Next trial tba

BLBMC Scandinavian Light Rye (p. 134)

On basic bake cycle:

  • {278g. ( 2 cups) Canadian All Purpose} flour [BLBMC 1.875 bread flour]
  • {120 g. (1 cup) dark} rye flour [BLBMC cups medium rye]
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1.0 tbsp caraway seeds [BLBMC 1.5 tbsp]
  • {1 tsp fennel seeds}
  • {1.5 tsp dried orange peel}
  • {4.3 g (.75 tsp)*} salt [BLBMC 1.5 tsp]
  • {0} gluten [BLBMC 1 tbsp + 1 tsp = 4 tsp]
  • {1.8 g (.625 tsp) *M} instant yeast [BLBMC 2.5 tsp SAF instant]
  • 1.5 tbsp {olive} oil
  • 1 cup + 3 tbsp water [BLBMC 1 cup + 2 tbsp]

The B%:

IngredientVolumeWeight g.Liquid MassPercentage
White Flour2 cup + 2 tbsp295
Dark Rye Flour1 cup120
Brown Sugar2 tbsp
Caraway Seed1 tbsp
Fennel Seed1 tbsp
Dried Orange Peel1.5 tsp
Oil1.5 tbsp
Salt *.75 tsp4.3
Inst. Yeast *M.625 tsp1.8
Water1 3/16 cups28028067

Steamed Rice

Steamed rice is plain cooked rice cooked in water as opposed to being fried first (pilaf, biryani, some Mexican styles) or cooked as a risotto, paella, rice pudding, congee or other flavoured rice dish.  Rice absorbs water as it cooks.   Steaming is an absorption preparation.  Salt is optional. It does not play a part in the cooking process and is added for taste.

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 long grain white rice.

 Steamed rice can be cooked in a pot or cooking vessel, including a pressure cooker, over a heat source.  A rice cooker automates this method. It can be done in a microwave.

Rinsing rice before cooking is uncommon with most of the long grain rices grown in the Southern USA, and with some specialty European short grain rices (risotto rices or Spanish Bomba for paella. For some kind of white rice, and some preparations, rinsing removes rice flour and talc and helps to keep it from getting sticky.

Sri Owen, in The Rice Book (1993), said that this method has two main steps.  Rice is simmered in water in a pot at the boiling point until the rice has absorbed the water.  Owen says that pot can be left uncovered. At that point the rice is only parcooked. The traditional method of finishing rice is to cover the vessel and leave it on very low heat to steam the rice internally, taking it off the heat and leaving it covered. 

These steps can be compressed into a bringing the water to a boil,  covering the pot, reducing the heat. simmering, and finally resting off heat.  This method works with a (heavy) pot that disperses the heat evenly; a heavy tight lid to hold in the steam.  The heat must be reduced (turned down) and that the rice should just simmer.  Leave it covered and set a timer. Remove from heat and set the timer for the final rest.

This requires a plan – how much water for how much rice, and how long to simmer.  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 ratio of long grain white rice to water is 1 cup of dry rice to 1.5 to 1.75  cups of water.  Some recipes go for more water. The cooking time can be from 12 to 20 minutes. The method works within a range of ratios and times.  The results may be more or less fluffy, absorbent or sticky. 

This technique works in a pressure cooker. The ratio is 1 cup of long grain white rice to 2 cups of water. When the water boils, the lid is locked and the pot is brought to high pressure, and the cooking time on high pressure is 4 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.

Owen describes 3 other ways of finishing rice, including 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.

Others cook the rice in boiling water, drain it, and rest the rice.

White Basmati Rice, a long grain aromatic rice originating from Northern India, Pakistan and Nepal can be cooked in a pot the same way as other white long grain rice, using about 1 cup of rice to 1.5 cups of water. Rinsing is recommended. The method is a traditional slow simmer. Refer to:

White Basmati Rice can be cooked in a pot on a stove by bringing the water and rice to boil, reducing the heat, covering the rice and simmering on low heat, and resting off the heat for 10 minutes. This is dependent on pot and heat control.  It works with:

  • 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 19 minutes 30 seconds. 

Rinsed and soaked, White Basmati  rice can be cooked in a pressure cooker at the ratio of 1 cup rice to 1.25 cups water; the time can be 2-3 minutes on high pressure with a rest off heat as the pressure drops (i.e. not with a fast release).

Steaming brown rice takes more water, and longer cooking times. Recipes don’t  recommend rinsing or soaking. Long or medium grain brown rice:

  • conventional pot, 1 cup rice to 2.25 cups water, cooking time about 40 minutes;
  • pressure cooker, 1 cup of rice to 1.75 cups of water, cooking time 15-18 minutes (variation in the recipes). Rest off heat 10 minutes or more without releasing the pressure  – let the pressure drop as the pot cools.

Brown rice has more micronutrients and fiber than white rice.  All rice delivers carbohydrates, a source of glucose, an essential nutrient. 

Bread MachineProblems

I have learned a couple of things in the last several months, as I made a point of getting good bread from my Panasonic SD-YD250, involving yeast, salt, flour, and water.

Bread baked in the SD-YD250 does not need as much yeast as recipes outside the Panasonic manual say. Hints and observations:

  • 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 
    • 1 tsp (instead of 2 tsp or more in typical recipes) for a medium loaf;
    • 1.5 tsp. for 4.375 cups of flour for extra large loaves;
    • 2.5 tsp for  brioche on dough cycle with 3.25 cups flour
  • 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

I monitored medium loaf 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 to deflate a loaf – I ran a silicon spatula between the dough and the pan 5-10 minutes just before the start of baking. (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 works:

  • 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”);
  • 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) i.e. reduce 2 tsp. for a medium loaf to 1 tsp.

This applies for recipes for dough and for bread baked in the machine.  It seems to relate to the mix ((‘Knead”) and rise phases.

I prefer low sodium bread machine bread. 50% salt reduction doesn’t affect the process or hurt flavour.  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.  For a Panasonic recipe I cut yeast and salt equally.  For a BLBMC or other recipe I make my “Panasonic” adjustment for yeast amount above first, then I cut yeast and salt equally.  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 are in a separate post.

Continue reading ‘Bread MachineProblems’ »

Panasonic SD-YD250

panasonic bread maker sizes

Reviews at Everyday Sandwich and Make Bread at Home describe and illustrate the Panasonic SD-YD250.  It has loaf size settings for medium (1.5 lb), large (2 lb) and extra large (2.5 lb) loaves baked in an extra large vertical rectangle pan.  The control is a button.  The default is XL.  Choices are locked out on some cycles.

It is not offered in Panasonic Canada’s online store as of late 2018, but is still offered in Panasonic USA’s web store and on Amazon. The Canadian store sells other Panasonic 2.5 lb loaf machines – the SD-RD250 and the SD-YR2500. These models have setting for medium and extra large loaves.
The SD-YD250 remains a good value machine.  It seems to have the motor, drive train, non-stick pan and heating element of the newer models. 

The SD-YD250 can bake daily or sandwich bread, whether with white flour or whole wheat, as well as I can bake those loaves in conventional baking pans in an oven. It can bake light rye bread with a mixture of white flour and rye flour, and other multigrain loaves.

The pan coating releases the loaf easily at the end of the bake cycle but the paddle stays on the shaft in the pan.  I don’t know if Panasonic has a uniquely effective coating, or has designed the connection fitting on the shaft and paddle in a better way, or if these innovation or features are present in modern machines by other manufacturers. (Removing the paddle from the pan can be done after the pan cools after taking the loaf from pan.  It works better before the bits of crumb around the end of the shaft dry out and bond the paddle to the shaft.)

The inside measurements  of the pan are 19 cm (7.5 inches) long by 14 cm (5.5 inches) wide in the pan’s normal operating configuration when it is vertical. Any loaf will be or should be 19 cm x 14 cm.   The pan is 14.5 cm (5.7 inches) bottom to top. In a Panasonic extra large pan, a 2.5 lb. recipe of 4.4 cups of flour and about 2 cups of liquid would bake a loaf over 14.5 cm “long”, 19 cm “high”, and 14 cm “wide”.

A medium loaf baked on a basic cycle has about 3 cups of flour and 1.25 cups of water or fluid. This dough is hydrated at 71%.  It could be baked in a 1.5 pound bread pan (about 2,600 cubic centimeters) – perhaps filling it.
A 1.5 pound conventional oven pan is 25 cm (10 inches) long, 13 cm (5 inches) wide and (about) 8 cm deep.

With white flour on the basic bake cycle, the height of  medium loaf from the bottom of the pan to top of the loaf at the wall of the pan would be around 75% of the height of the Panasonic extra large pan: about 9 cm at the side of the pan. To the top of the domed top of the loaf, 11-12 cm is reasonable; more is tall.  Height changes with:

  • type of flour (e.g. rye flour does not rise as well as wheat flour); or a small change in the amount of flour (1/4 cup), water, salt or yeast; or
  • cycle, e.g. French Bake – the bread rises and is less dense – more space for the same mass.

Height affects how I store and slice the loaf, and can be a sign that a loaf lacks structure.

There are two kinds of cycle, “bake” and “dough”.  Each cycle has three phases; a bake cycle has the fourth one:

  •  (Initial) Rest – the ingredients come to a common temperature. The heating element, as far as I can tell is used for short intervals but not enough to heat the outside of the machine;
  • Knead – mix the ingredients together, hydrates the flour, dissolves soluble starches and works the proteins into gluten.  In the basic bake cycle, the machine
    • mixes at slow speeds for 4 minutes,
    • mixes at a faster speed for 10 minutes, with several short pauses, rests for 3 minutes, mixes at the higher speed for 3 more minutes;
  • Rise – fermentation. 2 hours in basic bake cycle. There are clicks indicating that the heating element is deployed to keep yeast at a good temperature (the dough may heat up on its own) on a cooler day. The mixer drive is deployed for knockdowns in this rise phase in all cycles including the dough cycles. In basic bake cycle there are 2 sets of about 15 slow turns  at -2:00 and -1:40 on the countdown timer;
  • Bake – the heating element bakes the bread.

There are no speed controls on the control panel.  The motor seems to have two speeds: off and on.  Slow mixing involves turning the power on and off in short intervals.  Fast mixing means the motor is running.   

The knead phase performs a short slow mix which escalates into a several intervals at full speed.  

The machine forms a ball of dough centered on the paddle.  This machine has a long warm rise. After the second knock down (50 minutes before baking)  the dough should relax and flow to fill the bottom of the pan and rise again. In the first part of the bake phase, the dough should spring. A tenacious, elastic dough holds its ball shape for a long time. It may gather at one end of the pan.  The result is that the top of the baked loaf slopes. It isn’t a bad loaf – it just happens with some dough in this kind of pan.  There is a hydration zone.  A dough under 70% or a tenacious dough may not flow.  A wet dough may balloon or collapse.

Bread Machine Recipes

Beth Hensperger’s The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (Harvard Common Press, 2000) (BLBMC) is a comprehensive resource.  It suggested that a bread machine could mix dough for almost any kind of bread.  This understates difficulties in designing bread machines and writing formulas for bread machines:

  • the processes of mixing ingredients, working dough and baking dough in a bakery or at home steps involve doing something until a result it observed (the dough is mixed and supple; it has risen, or is ready to bench or bake);
  • a machine works in simple steps, without feedback.  The designer can program combinations of steps that should produce results with some combinations of ingredients if the machine is loaded properly;
  • machines work with some doughs, and not others;
  • machines are different;
  • a recipe writer cannot test every recipe in every machine.

BLBMC treated all bread machines (it listed 18 customer service numbers for manufacturers of machines on the market at the time) as equivalent, with a  warning to “Take Stock of Your Machine”.

Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook has text sections, sidebars, and short detail sections on many advanced bread making topics and bread machine topics. The table of contents and the index don’t locate all of them. For instance:

  • p. 12 flour, and
    • pp. 46-47 white flour from wheat,
    • pp. 62-63 whole wheat and non-wheat grain flour,
    • p. 125 proteins in flour,
    • pp. 106-107 whole wheat flour,
    • pp. 133-135 rye flour.
    • p. 140 diy milling of whole grain flour,
    • pp. 150-152 non-wheat specialty flour,
    • p. 193 organic flour,
  • pp. 13-14 yeast. Hensperger suggests two alternatives for each recipe:
    • SAF instant dried yeast (SAF Red),
    • 25% – 33% more bread machine yeast than instant dry yeast.  For instance, for Dakota Bread, BLBMC says 2 tsp SAF or 2.5 tsp bread machine. (Hensperger has moved away from this  approach. In a version of the recipe for Dakota Bread in 2015 on her blog she said 2 tsp “bread machine yeast”).
  • p. 13, p. 59 vital wheat gluten. She suggested added gluten in almost every formula for bread baked in the machine up to 1 tsp of added gluten per cup, less gluten for bread flour;
  • p. 15, p. 290 Salt
    • is not used as a seasoning or flavour agent;
    • should not be exposed to the water and the yeast before the machine mixes the ingredients;
    • can be reduced if yeast is reduced by the same proportion.
  • p. 15 ingredient measurement;
  • p. 18 converting volume to weight for flour and sugar;
  • p. 76 eggs;
  • p. 168 dough enhancers;
  • pp. 170, 172 gluten free ingredients;
  • pp. 182-183 baking with whole grains, and preparing whole grain;
  • pp. 197-198 using the machine to mix and knead dough for baking in an oven, and the meeting of bread machines and home artisanal baking methods:
    • starters and pre-ferments,
    • shaping loaves
    • baking stones, tiles and ceramic containers (and cloches);
  • p. 233 olive oil;
  • p. 354 the shapes of bread machine pans.

BLBMC recipes have ingredient lists for 1.5 lb. and 2 lb. loaves. A medium loaf usually uses 3 cups of flour.  The white bread recipes go from 1 cup to 1 and 1/4 cups water for 3 cups of flour – hydration rates from 65 to 71%. Whole wheat and multigrain recipes have a little more fluid and higher hydration rates. There is a section with 5 recipes for one pound loaves.

The author is clear about the importance of measurement of ingredients.  She has a good section on common failure.

She uses home cooking conventions in her recipes including measuring out ingredients by volume. Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook recipe are consistent with other recipes on amounts of flour and water and other ingredients (milk powder, butter, oil, sugar or honey etc., seeds etc).  Her recipes are consistent with recipes for loaves baked in ovens, and for bread machine loaves.  When rye flour is used the recipes are 1 and 1/8 cups of water for 2 cups of wheat flour and 1 cup of rye flour.  Adjustments of hydration are necessary in a small and precise machine.

Her recipes for a medium loaf of 100% whole wheat bread on p. 124 is  4 cups of flour with 1.5 cups fluid.  Panasonic’s recipe chart in my Panasonic SD-YD250 manual calls that 2 pound loaf – large.

Bread and bread machine recipe books for the American market, including The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook, say the home baker should use bread flour to bake white bread, and as the white flour in any recipe that calls for some white flour.   Hensperger describes bread flour as having 12.7 %  protein. White bread flour in the USA has 11.5-13.5 % gluten-producing protein. All purpose white flour in the USA has 9.5-11.5 %.  Canadian all purpose flour is milled from hard red wheat, and has the same protein content as USA bread flour.  Canadian Millers’ technical standards are not necessarily reflected in retail packaging. 

Other flour has less gluten-producing protein. Rye flour for instance. King Arthur says its Light Rye flour has 7% and its Dark Rye has 10%.

Hensperger described the varieties of dry yeast as: 1. active dry yeast; 2. fast acting or instant dried yeast; 3. quick-rise (rapid-rise) yeast; 4. bread machine yeast.  Instant yeast, under any of its names, is the choice for bread machines.  The proliferation of types and names arose because manufacturers use different techniques and marketing terms. The manufacturers do not explain how rapid/quick-rise products are made, or how bread machine yeast is different from the rapid/quick-rise products.   Bakipan, for instance, says that its “Fast Rising Instant Yeast [is] … cake yeast in a semi-dormant state. The drying process in its manufacture reduces moisture content, giving it a longer shelf life than cake yeast while retaining optimum activity. When activated, it provides ultimate baking activity in all yeast dough, low sugar to highly sweetened breads. Bakipan® Fast Rising Instant Yeast is a fast-acting yeast that can shorten the rise times for traditional baking …” Specifications and methods are omitted from marketing claims.  The manufacturers don’t, according to what home bakers say on Web, respond to inquiries from home bakers (perhaps from anyone who isn’t a high value customer).

Hensperger prefers SAF instant yeast. The Panasonic manual (2013) implies all dry yeasts are equivalent, to be added dry with the dry ingredients or through the yeast dispenser. The range of views about  the amount of yeast:

  1. For a 1.5 lb. loaf, Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook calls for 2 tsp instant dry yeast  or more and 1-1.5 tsp. salt for 3 cups of flour. This  is in the range of  recipes in other books at the time, and of many recipes published on the web. It is .67 tsp instant dry yeast, or more, per cup of flour. This is 1.9 g. yeast per about 140 g. of wheat flour; the B% is 1.4% – a high B%;
  2. Manufacturers of instant, rapid/quick rise and bread machine yeasts recommend .5 tsp yeast for each cup of flour for bread machines: Red Star Quick-Rise; Bakipan Fast Action and Bread Machine; SAF Gourmet Perfect Rise and  Bread Machine. Fleishmann’s  recipes on its web pages imply the same amounts of its instant Quick-Rise (Rapid-Rise) or its Bread Machine product, or more. This is 1.4 g. yeast per about 140 g. of wheat flour; the B% is 1% – a high B%;
  3. Panasonic suggests .33 tsp per cup of flour.  Panasonic’s recipes for medium loaves call for 1 tsp of yeast for a medium loaf. (For reasons known best to Panasonic, the hydration rates are the same):
    1. Basic White Bread – basic bake cycle, 3 cups bread flour, 1.25 cups of water, 1.5 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of yeast. This rises like French Bread;
    2. 100% Whole Wheat – bake whole wheat cycle, 3 cups whole wheat flour, 1.25 cups of water, 1.5 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of yeast This produces a compact brown loaf.

In several online converters: 1 cup, (48 tsp (US)) instant dry yeast = 136 grams; 1 tsp = 2.8 g. My average for 15 samples of 1 tsp of SAF Red was 2.8 g. It was worth testing because most recipes are by volume.  It possible to test because instant yeast has a sandy texture and doesn’t pack down like flour

Salt can be measured by volume with measuring spoons, but should be used carefully with level measurements. It is better to go by weight. The conversion rate of 1 teaspoon of table salt to 5.7 grams – the teaspoon that the recipe writer will have assumed.  Table salt is not all the same – some is pretty finely ground and more dense.

Hensperger favours the use of vital wheat gluten (gluten flour or added gluten) in formulas for many breads baked in the machine.  Manufacturers don’t mention it in their manuals and recipe books. This additive changes the balance of the loaf and the performance of the dough (flow and rise); the effect may be different according to the machine.

Bread Machines

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.

 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.

A professional baker works with labour saving 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.  A bread machine ends with a loaf of bread and one pan to clean.

A bread machine has a heating element, a motor, and a double purpose pan – baking pan and mixing bowl – 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. The loaf has to be baked in the machine pan. 

Bakers and recipe writers discuss recipes by weight of the baked loaf as small (1 lb.), medium (1.5 lb.), large (2 lb.) and extra large (2.5 lb.), Manufacturers and retail sellers refer to the volume of the pan.  There have been 3 lb machines.  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 . 

Manufacturers, reviewers and retail do not have a standard vocabulary for pans. The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook 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 is probably 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 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.  This may be true for customers looking for fast results. But a long cycle may bake a better loaf more consistently.

Most cycles mix and rise assuming 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 whole wheat flour are identical in density and weight, and nearly identical in starch and protein.  They form gluten, ferment, rise and bake differently. Machine recipes tend to be a bit wetter than comparable home oven recipes.  Many bread machines have separate cycles for basic baking (white flour) and whole wheat.  Most machines have a basic bake cycle, a dough cycle and a fast 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.

 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 manufacturer may call mechanical mixing “kneading”. A home baker working by hand will conceptualize mixing flour and water as a separate step from kneading dough.  A professional baker can use a mechanical mixer; many home bakers may have one. A mechanical mixer or stand mixer might use a spiral dough hook in a circular or elleptical motion to move the dough. A mixer is controlled manually, and has a range of speeds.   Manufacturers of mixers and bread machines may identify the power of the motor in watts, but seldom or never states the estimated rotation speed of the dough hook or paddle, in an unloaded state or in various possible loaded states.

The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (pages 20-21) says that a bread machine uses a few minutes at low speed to mix the ingredients and moves higher speed to work the dough and calls these steps Knead 1 and Knead 2. The length of the mixing phase is determined by the programming.  A few machines have a feature to allow users to create custom settings (the Breville BBM800XL and a few Zojirushi models).   

 A bread machine does not have speed controls on the control panel or a component to regulate the speed of the electric motor.  It has two speeds – off and on.   A mixing or kneading phase will have periods of short on/off pulses,  and longer on/off pulses, adding up to few minutes.  This followed by periods of pulses of several seconds on, with pauses, ending in a continuous run (“on”) period of a few minutes.    The machine will count down minutes and seconds to the conclusion of the cycle in the timer display.  It will not display the steps in the mix or knead phase, which may be about 15 minutes or more. Mixing is not continuous, and not as fast or intense as industrial mixing can be.  The dough gathers into a ball around the kneading paddle.  The machine pushes the ball around the inside of the pan, squeezing and stretching it.   

The dough develops gluten in the mixing phase.  A baker divides dough and puts in oven pans. It has to be wet – say a hydration rate of 70% to 74%.  A dry dough may not flow.  A wet dough may collapse.

A shallow dive into bread baking books confirms that professional bakers may use 10-15 minutes of “intensive mixing”, the method of mechanical mixing of yeasted white flour dough for French loaves dominant in professional bakeries until Raymond Calvel devised the hybid style in the 1960s. Intensive mixing develops gluten in wheat flour and multigrain doughs. Home bakers with stand mixers use slower speeds due to limitations of machinery (stand mixer review by America’s Test Kitchen in print and YouTube) or to use a hybrid, modified or improved mixing method.

The dough rests and ferments in the rise phase.  Two hours in a bread machine is short compared to the rests in some artisinal baking techniques, but compares to the combined times for bulk fermentation and proofing in making bread in many bakeries.  Some bread machines provide as shorter rise; most bread machines have a fast rising cycle with a short rise.

Preparation of ingredients and loading the machine calls for attention.  Panasonic suggests meauring flour by weight and fluid down to the fluid ounce.  Beth Hensperger in the Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook, consistently with other baking books, list ingredients by volume but suggests weighing ingredients.

During the rise phase the gluten relaxes, allowing  the ball has to  flow to fill the pan and take the shape of the pan, and rise.

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.

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


The idea of a low sodium diet is to consume less salt. There are many sources of information. Sources may  promote a fad or a personal theory. Buyer beware. These resources are scientific and fact based:

Salt can be avoided or reduced. A product label will identify sodium in almost anything that has been packaged.

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