Small Loaves

Home baked bread is at its best the first day after the fresh loaf has cooled. It loses its appeal after a couple days. Making small loaves is a way to make enough to last for a short time – without having to think about toasting the last several slices, or freezing part of a fresh loaf.

The smallest loaf setting in the Panasonic bread machines with extra large (“2.5 lb”) capacity pans, such as my SD-YD250, is medium – a 1.5 lb. loaf made with 3 cups of flour.  A small recipe, in bread machine terms, would be a loaf made with 2 to 2.25 cups of flour.There is no small loaf setting on this machine. The cycle will depend on the recipe. The two main choices are basic and whole wheat. The other choices are mainly just names on the control panel.

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 along its arm, rising to a fin 5 cm tall. The dough ball for a small recipe (2 to 2.25 cups of flour) will be taller than the paddle.  It 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.

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.  Even a medium recipe may not flow enough.  In the medium recipe it usually means one end of the loaf is taller. It depends on hydration, on how the gluten relaxes, and the mass of the ball. 

Overmixing is a risk, in principle. 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 that can handle several cups of flour, with multiple or variable 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 the majority of the time in a 25 minute +/- mixing phase on a medium loaf setting.  The risk of overmixing is pretty much theoretical.

There is a risk of burning, in principle.  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.  The manual states the total length of the bake phase. The small loaf develops hot spots around the base of the pan but is not burned.  This is pronounced with French bread cycle which has 55 rather than 50 minutes bake time.

There are 1 lb machines on the market including Zojirushi models and some Panasonic models (not available in USA or Canada but available in Japan and on Amazon).   Some large and extra large machines have settings for small loaves. Other methods for making small loaves:

  • scale to a smaller version of a recipe, mixed and baked in the machine on medium loaf settings
    • make a manual intervention to move the dough;
    • let the ball rise where it rests – this may lead to a short loaf that is well formed at one end;
  • mix in the machine on dough cycle; rest for rise and/or divide/shape the dough and bake in the kitchen oven;
  • mix and knead by other methods and bake in the kitchen oven.

3 or 4 cup recipes can be scaled down.

Continue reading “Small Loaves”

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 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. 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. When I depart from the recipe, I give the recipe amount in strikeout text and my changed value in italic text:

IngredientMedium Loaf
Volume
Medium Loaf
Weight g.
2/3 by Weight
50% by WeightPercentage
White flour3 cups417 278209
TFW417278209100
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

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. I

The formula, by volume or weight and with B% for reference. When I depart from the source recipe, the source recipe amount is in strikeout text and the changed or added ingredient in bold text and alternatives in italic text.  On whole wheat cycle.  I thought it was better with milk.

 Medium LoafMedium LoafMedium LoafScaled @ 75%

Volume
Weight
[Fluid Weight]
B%
Whole Wheat2 cups
1 cup
278 61209
White Flour1 cup
2 cups
13931104
Flax meal2 tbsp12039
Rolled Oats.25 cup250619
T. Flours/strong>454100
Flax Seed3 tbsp2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
Poppy Seed1 tbsp2.25 tsp
Skim Milk Powder if Water, per BLBMC.25 cups
Salt @50%.5 tsp
1 tsp
2.8.622.1
Gluten
per BLBMC
0
1 tbsp
Instant Yeast *.6 tsp
2 tsp
1.71.3
Olive Oil3 tbsp2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
Honey3 tbsp60
[12]
3
[x]
45 g. or
2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
Skim Milk1.3 cup
(1 + 1/3)
(325 ml)
319 g
[290]
239 g.
if 1% Milk337 g
[285]
if Waterper BLBMC
1.31.125 cups308 g.268 g.
Fluid Weight30267

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). The formula, by volume and weight, scaled and with B% for reference. When I depart from the source recipe, the source recipe amount is in strikeout text and the changes in italic text. 

 Medium Loaf
Volume
Weight@ 75%@ 2/3
B %
Whole Wheat.625 cups
.5 cups
87655821
White Flour2.25 cups31323521075
Bulgur.125 cups
.25 cups
2015135
TFW420100
Salt @50%.75 tsp
1.5 tsp
4.33.22.91
sunflower seeds
raw
.25 cups3 tbsp2.5 tbsp
pumpkin seeds
raw, chopped
.25 cups3 tbsp2.5 tbsp
sesame seeds1.5 tsp1.125 tsp1 tsp
poppy seeds2 tsp1.5 tsp1.25 tsp
Gluten
per BLBMC
0
2 tbsp
Inst. Yeast *7/16 tsp
2 tsp
1.2.9.8.3
Water1.25 cups300 g.22520071

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. The formula, by volume or weight, scaled and with B% for reference. When I depart from the source recipe, the source recipe amount is in strikeout text and the changed or added ingredient in italic text.  Whole wheat cycle.

 Medium Loaf
Volume

Weight
Fluid
@ 75%
@ 2/3
B %
Whole Wheat1.5 cups209 g.15614048
White Flour1.125 cups156 g.11710536
Soy flour.33 cups40 g.30 g.27 g.
Wheat germ 1.5 tbsp6.5 g.4.9 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 @50%.75 tsp
1.5 tsp
4.3 g.3.2 g.2.9 g.
Gluten
per BLBMC
0
1.5 tbsp
Inst. Yeast *1.25 tsp
2.5 tsp
3.5 g.2.6 g.2.3 g.
Canola Oil2 tbsp1.5 tbsp1.3 tbsp or
1 tbsp + 1 tsp
Egg
Large
157 g.36 g. 11
Honey2 tbsp40 g.8 g.1.5 tbsp
(6 g. water)
1.3 tbsp or
1 tbsp + 1 tsp
Water1.125 cups281205180
Fluids32572

Sunflower Oatmeal Bread is the BLBMC (p. 323), bread machine adaptation of Celeste’s Sunflower and Oatmeal Bread in Beth Hensperger’s 1988 Bread. Low sodium; yeast adjustments for salt and for Panasonic. The formula, by volume or weight, scaled, with B% for reference. When I depart from the source recipe, the source recipe amount is in strikeout text and the changed or added ingredient in italic text.  On whole wheat cycle.

 Medium Loaf
Volume
WeightWater@ 2/3
Weight
@ 2/3
Water
B %
Whole Wheat.5 cups79 g.53 g.
White Flour2.5 cups348 g.233 g.
Oatmeal.5 cups
50 g33 g.
(1/3 cup)
TFW477100
Salt @50%.75 tsp
1.5 tsp
4.3 g.2.9 g.1
sunflower seeds
raw
.5 cups1/3 cup
Butter1.5 tbsp1 tbsp.
Gluten
per BLBMC
2 tbsp
Inst. Yeast *.375
.5 tsp
2 tsp
1.1 g..7 g
Molasses1 tbsp.2 tsp.
Honey2 tbsp.21 g.5 g.14 g.
(1.34 tbsp)
1 tbsp + 1 tsp.
3.25
Egg, Large157 g.36 g.57 g.36
Buttermilk.625 cups150 g.148 g.100 g.
(.42 cups)
99 g.
Water.5 cups112 g.112 g.74 g.74 g
Fluid30165

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. The formula, by volume or weight, scaled and with B% for reference. When I depart from the source recipe, the source recipe amount is in strikeout text and the changed or added ingredient in italic text.  On whole wheat cycle.

 Medium Loaf Medium Loaf Medium Loaf Medium Loaf @ 75%
VolumeWeight FluidB%
Whole Wheat1.5 cups20950157
White Flour1.5 cups20950157
TFW418100314
Salt @50%.75 tsp
1.5 tsp
4.3 g3.2 g
Gluten
per BLBMC
0
1.33 tbsp
Instant Yeast *.5 tsp
2 tsp
1.4.331.1
Canola Oil2 tbsp1.5 tbsp
Maple Syrup2 tbsp40 g13 g.1.5 tbsp
Buttermilk1.125 cups275 g.250 g. 210 g.
(.85 cups)
Fluid26363

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. Low sodium; yeast adjustments for salt and for Panasonic. The formula, by volume or weight, scaled, with B% for reference. When I depart from the source recipe, the source recipe amount is in strikeout text and the changed or added ingredient in italic text.  On whole wheat cycle.

IngredientMedium Loaf
Volume
Medium
Weight
B %@ 75%
Whole Wheat3.25 cups452339
Wheat Germ
Wheat Bran
.25 cup
.33 cup
3 tbsp
TFW100
Gluten2.5 tbsp
Salt @ 50%.75 tsp
1.5 tsp
4.33.2 g.
Yeast R1 tsp
Poppy Seeds1 tbsp2.25 tsp
Inst. Yeast *.75 tsp
1 tbsp
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

These are the bread machine recipes I used working 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. The test table [T] at the end of this post notes my test of the recipes at the time.  In that 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.  

I present several recipes in tables with volume, weight, baker percentage, and ingredients, scaled for smaller loaves.  Others are summaries of the source for a medium loaf. 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 machine

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  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.

IngredientMedium Loaf
Volume
Medium Loaf
Weight
@ 2/3Percentage
White Flour3 cups417 278
TFW417278100
Milk Powder1.5 tbsp1 tbsp
Sugar1.5 tbsp1 tbsp
Butter1.5 tbsp1 tbsp
Salt @50%.75 tsp
1.5 tsp
4.32.81
Instant Yeast *.5 tsp
1 tsp
1.41.3
Water 1.25 cups29519871

100% Whole Wheat is in thePanasonic Manual or online at 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.  Any additions are italic:

IngredientMedium Loaf
Volume
Medium Weight@ 75%Percentage
Whole Wheat3 cups417 g313 g
TFW417313100
Milk Powder1.5 tbsp1.125 tbsp =
1 tbsp + 3/8 tsp
Butter1.5 tbsp1.125 tbsp
Salt @50%.75 tsp
1.5 tsp
4.33.21
Instant Yeast *.5 tsp
1 tsp
1.41.1.3
Molasses1.5 tbsp1 tbsp
Brown sugar01 tsp
Water 1.25 cups295 g230 g71

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. When I depart from the recipe, I give the recipe amount in strikeout text and my changed value in italic text

 Medium LoafMedium LoafMedium Loaf@ 2/3
IngredientVolumeWeightB%
White Flour2.25 cups313 g75210 g
Whole Wheat.75 cups104 g2570 g
TFW417 g100280
Salt @50%.75 tsp
1.5 tsp
4.3 g12.9 g
Instant Yeast *3/8 tsp
7/16 tsp
1 3/4 tsp
1.1 g.3.7
Water1 + 3/16 cups
(1 cup + 3 tbsp)
1.25 cup
28071196

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. 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

 Medium Loaf
Volume
Weight@ 75%@ 2/3
B %
Whole Wheat.625 cups
.5 cups
87655821
White Flour2.25 cups31323521075
Bulgur.125 cups
.25 cups
2015135
TFW420100
Salt @50%.75 tsp
1.5 tsp
4.33.22.91
sunflower seeds
raw
.25 cups3 tbsp2.5 tbsp
pumpkin seeds
raw, chopped
.25 cups3 tbsp2.5 tbsp
sesame seeds1.5 tsp1.125 tsp1 tsp
poppy seeds2 tsp1.5 tsp1.25 tsp
Gluten
per BLBMC
0
2 tbsp
Inst. Yeast *7/16 tsp
2 tsp
1.2.9.8.3
Water1.25 cups300 g.22520071

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 LoafMedium LoafMedium LoafScaled @ 75%

Volume
Weight
[Fluid Weight]
B%
Whole Wheat2 cups
1 cup
278 61209
White Flour1 cup
2 cups
13931104
Flax meal2 tbsp12039
Rolled Oats.25 cup250619
T. Flours/strong>454100
Flax Seed3 tbsp2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
Poppy Seed1 tbsp2.25 tsp
Skim Milk Powder if Water, per BLBMC.25 cups
Salt @50%.5 tsp
1 tsp
2.8.622.1
Gluten
per BLBMC
0
1 tbsp
Instant Yeast *.6 tsp
2 tsp
1.71.3
Olive Oil3 tbsp2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
Honey3 tbsp60
[12]
3
[x]
45 g. or
2.25 tbsp i.e.
2 tbsp + .75 tsp.
Skim Milk1.3 cup
(1 + 1/3)
(325 ml)
319 g
[290]
239 g.
if 1% Milk337 g
[285]
if Waterper BLBMC
1.31.125 cups308 g.268 g.
Fluid Weight30267

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
Volume
Weight @ 75%B %
Whole Wheat1.5 cups20915750
White Flour1.5 cups20915750
TFW418314100
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
Salt @50%.5 tsp
1 tsp
2.9 g2.2 g
Gluten
per BLBMC
0
1 tbsp
Instant Yeast *.5 tsp
2 tsp
1.41.1.33
Water1 + 3/16 cups
1.25 cups
280 g
295 g
210 g.70

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.

 VolumeWeight@ 75%%
White Flour1.875 cups261 g.66
Dark Rye Flour1.125 cups13534
TFW396100
Brown Sugar2 tbsp
Caraway Seed1.5 tbsp
Salt @ 50%.75 tsp
1.5 tsp
4.3 g.
Gluten
Instant Yeast
@ 50% salt *
.625 tsp
2.5 tsp
1.8 g.
Oil1.5 tbsp
Water1.125 cups266 g.67

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.

The formula, by volume or weight, scaled and with B% for reference. When I depart from the source recipe, the source amount is in strikeout text and the changed or added ingredient in italic text.  On whole wheat cycle.

 Medium Loaf Medium Loaf Medium Loaf Medium Loaf @ 75%
VolumeWeight FluidB%
Whole Wheat1.5 cups20950157
White Flour1.5 cups20950157
TFW418100314
Salt @50%.75 tsp
1.5 tsp
4.3 g3.2 g
Gluten
per BLBMC
0
1.33 tbsp
Instant Yeast *.5 tsp
2 tsp
1.4.331.1
Canola Oil2 tbsp1.5 tbsp
Maple Syrup2 tbsp40 g13 g.1.5 tbsp
Buttermilk1.125 cups275 g.250 g. 210 g.
(.85 cups)
Fluid26363

White Whole Wheat is mentioned in the test table at the end, trials 7, 8, 10, 11.  The source recipe from BLBMC (p. 127) “White Whole Wheat Flour Bread”. Also see variation with 3 cups of flour,  on basic bake “white bread” cycle. I never had White Whole Wheat flour. 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”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:

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

Source

A summary, with low sodium and a suggestion about yeast for the modern Panasonic machines. When I depart from the recipe, I give the recipe amount in strikeout text and my changed value in italic text.

IngredientMedium Loaf
Volume
Medium
Weight
Percentage
White Whole Wheat Flour3.25 cups
TFW100
Salt R1.5 tsp
Salt *.75 tsp4.31
Yeast R1 tsp
Inst. Yeast *.5 tsp1.4.3
Maple Syrup.25 cups
Olive Oil.125 cups;
(2 tbsp)
Water1.25 cups

Irish Potato Brown Bread is from the BLBMC (p. 117) 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.  It is written for 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

Bohemian Black Bread is a BLBMC (p. 138) recipe.  It is not what I would do in my Panasonic SD-YD250 and is not a low sodium recipe.  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

The general conditions for the loaves in my test program:

  • Flour is noted in cups with 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.
T.RecipeFlour
CycleWater*
cups
Gluten
tsp
Yeast
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
1.25.251.259.28 [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
1.251.5.6253.0 [50%]12
153 Seed1.5 whole wheat
1.5 AP
1.251.125.53.0 [50%]10
16Country French2.25 AP
.75 whole wheat
1.25.375.54.5 [50%]13
17FS Whole Wh2 AP
1 whole wheat
1.125.5.5 3.0 [50%]12.5
18FS Whole Wh9.75 oz. AP
4.875 oz. whole wheat
1.125.51.23 g.3.05 [51%]11.5 /
19Buttermilk WhWh7.375 oz. AP
7.375 oz whole wheat
B1.125
* Buttermilk
1.5.5 tsp 4 [44%]11 //
20Buttermilk WhWh7.3 oz. AP
7.3 oz. whole wheat
B1.25
* 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
WW1.25
*buttermilk
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

Introduction

I bake bread in a Panasonic SD-YD250 bread machine. 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.   This takes product warning too far. 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.  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.

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. 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 at least 9 recipes for light rye breads (at pp. 133-143, 313) with 25% – 35% rye flour by weight. This is manageable.  The BLBMC recipes scale to smaller loaves. BLBMC suggests baking light rye bread on the basic bake cycle for most recipes. The BLBMC assumes that a whole wheat bake cycle involves a longer kneading time and a longer rise. This is not the case for the SD-YD250. The whole wheat cycle has a shorter kneading time and longer rise. The dough seems to relax in last minutes of mix/knead on basic or whole wheat but it holds up and rises either way. It produces a better result on whole wheat

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. The way to match this would be a custom cycle in a bread machine with that feature. With my less fancy 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 int 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”.

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?

I put the recipes in tables. Where I made a change, I leave the source recipe amount or ingredient in strikeout. 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-YD250;  it may work in a machine with similiar features and cycle but may not work in many other machines.

Bread with Caraway and Onions – a recipe in the Panasonic manual with almost no rye flour. It evokes rye bread with caraway seeds. Caraway seeds were used to make flavoured breads with white flour in Central European recipes.

IngredientVolumeWeight g.@ 2/3Percentage
White Flour2.75 cup353 g.212 g93
Dark Rye Flour3 tbsp23 g15.1 g7
TFW376 g100
Sugar1.5 tbsp1 tbsp
Caraway Seed1 tbsp2 tsp
Butter1.5 tbsp1 tbsp
Salt @ 50%.75 tsp
1.5 tsp
4.32.6 g.
Instant Yeast*.5 tsp
1 tsp
1.2 g..8 g.
Chopped Onion3/8 cup1/4 cup
Water1 + 3/16 cups27718674

Scandinavian Light Rye – a BLBMC recipe (p. 134).

 VolumeWeight@ 75%%
White Flour1.875 cups261 g.66
Dark Rye Flour1.125 cups13534
TFW396100
Brown Sugar2 tbsp
Caraway Seed1.5 tbsp
Salt @ 50%.75 tsp
1.5 tsp
4.3 g.
Gluten
Instant Yeast
@ 50% salt *
.625 tsp
2.5 tsp
1.8 g.
Oil1.5 tbsp
Water1.125 cups266 g.67

Swedish Rye Bread – a BLBMC recipe (p. 136).

 VolumeWeight@ 75%B. %
White Flour2 cups278 g.209 g.65
Medium Dark Rye Flour1.25 cups150 g.113 g.35
TFW428 g.100
Fennel Seed2 tsp1.5 tsp
Dried Orange Peel1.5 tsp1 + 1/8 tsp
Salt @ 50%.625 tsp
1.25 tsp
3.6 g.2.7 g.
Gluten
Instant Yeast
@ 50% salt *
1 tsp
2 tsp
1.4 g.1.1 g.
Oil1.5 tbsp1 + 1/8 tbsp =
1 tbsp + 3/8 tsp
Honey3 tbsp2.25 tbsp =
2 tbsp + 3/4 tsp
Water1.25 cups295 g.221 g.69
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.

BLBMC

Beth Hensperger wrote about baking for 15 years before writing cookbooks for specialty appliances in the Harvard Common Press‘s “Not Your Mother’s … ” series. Her baking books published by Chronicle Books, such as Bread (1988) capture the transition from home baking with the packets of Instant Dry Yeast, through the recovery of whole grain baking by whole earth hippies who became the original foodie artisans (the commercialization of the Counterculture). Her Bread Bible earned the 2000 James Beard Foundation award for a cookbook in the Baking & Dessert category.

The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (2000) (BLBMC) adapted hundreds of recipes for the bread machine. This involved a different approach to home baking to embrace technology and a more precise way of measuring. She tried to make it seem new and traditional at the same time. While Ms. Hensperger is clear about the importance of measurement of ingredients, she uses home cooking conventions in her recipes including measuring out ingredients by volume.

The section on using the machine to mix and knead dough for baking in an oven, and using artisanal baking methods is informative but a bread machine a labour saving tool, not a tool for artisinal baking.

I had a problem with BLBMC recipes in a Panasonic SD-YD250, which I solved.

The BLBMC implies that its recipes should work in any bread machine. It treated all bread machines (it listed 18 manufacturers in the market at the time) as equivalent, with a  warning to “Take Stock of Your Machine”. This oversells the capabilities of bread machines and undersells the complexities of adapting the knowledge of bakers for a consumer appliance:

  • Baking involves doing something until a result it observed (the dough is mixed and supple; it has risen, or is ready to bench or bake);
  • Some steps cannot be described to a novice without pictures and videos. A baker with some experience might know how a “shaggy” dough (whole wheat dough that has been mixed to the point that the ingredient including water have been blended and the flour has absorbed the water and can be kneaded to develop gluten and left to rise may be described as shaggy) differs from a dry dough that needs more water;
  • Machines work 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 are not all the same; some machines work with some doughs, and not others;
  • The book did not anticipate technological and market changes including the developments in growing and preserving instant dry yeast and changes in machine mixing.

BLBMC recipes have ingredient lists for “medium” 1.5 lb. and “large” 2 lb. loaves. A medium loaf usually uses 3 cups of flour – white, whole wheat and multigrain. The BLBMC recipes are consistent with other bread machine recipes and with conventional oven recipes. There are outliers; e.g. the recipe for a “medium” loaf of 100% whole wheat bread on p. 124 is 4 cups of flour with 1.5 cups fluid.  That is a 2 lb. loaf. “Tecate Ranch Whole Wheat” at p. 126 is a more workable 100% whole wheat loaf.

Like other bread and bread machine recipe books for the American market, the BLBMC says bread flour should be the white flour in bread recipes.   Ms. 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). Canadian all purpose is fine for bread.

Ms. Hensperger favours the use of vital wheat gluten (gluten flour; added gluten) in formulas for many breads baked in the machine.  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. Added gluten changes the balance of the loaf and the performance of the dough (flow and rise); the effect may be different according to the machine. Adding gluten doesn’t improve white flour breads made with high gluten bread (Canadian AP flour. It doesn’t seem to help if the machine has well planned whole wheat cycle for whole grain breads.

Ms. 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.  There are few functional differences between 2, 3 and 4. Instant yeast, under any of its names, is the choice for bread machines.  Ms Hensperger prefers SAF instant yeast to the point that she says it is more potent. She suggests two alternatives for each recipe:

  1. SAF instant dried yeast (SAF Red),
  2. 25% – 33% more bread machine yeast than SAF instant dry yeast.  For instance, for Dakota Bread, BLBMC says 2 tsp SAF or 2.5 tsp bread machine*.

SAF makes a good product but its superiority may be debated. (*Ms. 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”).

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%;
  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%;
  3. Panasonic suggests .33 tsp of dry yeast per cup of flour.

Ms. Hensperger covers conversion from volume to weight for flour but not for yeast and salt.

Several online converters report: 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.  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 is 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.

It is a uniquely useful book. It has worthwhile sections on bread machine operation and (pp. 38-39) on common failures. It has sections, sidebars, and detail sections on bread making and bread machine topics. The table of contents and the index don’t locate all of them.

  • 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;
  • p. 13, p. 59 vital wheat gluten;
  • 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;
  • pp. 69-72 6 “sampler” recipes for one pound loaves;
  • 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 using 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.

Measure, Conversion, B%

Bread recipes for the home baker usually list ingredients measured by volume: cups, tablespoons etc.  A recipe for a 1 lb. loaf of bread typically requires 2 cups of white bread flour or whole wheat flour. 

A cup may mean the amount that fits in the cup used by the recipe writer and tester. Usually, recipes refer to a standard measuring cup, but standards are different.  A US cup is .87 of an Imperial (U.K., many other English speaking countries) cup.  An Imperial cup is 1.2 US cups.  A metric cup is a quarter liter (250 millilitres) which is .88 Imperial cups or 1.06 US cups.

The amount of flour in a cup also depends on how the cup is scooped or filled.

Measuring by weight is more exact – but converting volume to weight is fuzzy. The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook suggests 1 cup of bread flour or whole wheat flour converts at 5 oz.  Panasonic suggests, in its bread machine recipes, measuring bread flour and whole wheat flour by weight at the conversion rate of 1 cup = 4.9 oz.  There is a range of uncertainty in how the weigh of cup of flour:

  • 4.875 (4 and 7/8) oz. = 138 g.
  • 4.9 oz. = 139 g.
  • 5 oz. = 141 g.

Reinhart (The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and other books) say 4.5 oz.; he measures differently.  4 and 7/8 oz. (4.875) or 4.9 reconciles to recipes in BLBMC and other recipes that use flour as scooped into a measuring cup.  The volume to mass conversion for other flours varies. Millers have conversions for their products – e.g.  King Arthur. There are generic conversion calculators and tables but these have to used with care.

The point is to be consistent in measuring. I weigh white bread flour (Canadian All Purpose) and whole wheat flour at 139 g. per cup in a recipe. Scales in ounces go down to 1/8 oz, but not necessarily to decimal fractions.  Metric kitchen scales go to the nearest gram. That is close enough for measuring a cup of flour.

Books for home bakers may refer to baker percentage (B%), a method of managing the production of bread. For instance Peter Reinhardt devotes pages 40-45 of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice to this topic. It is a tool taught to professional bakers, and addressed in culinary texts such as Daniel T. DiMuzio’s Bread Baking; An Artisan’s Perspective. For the baker-manager, it is a calculation to scale inputs up or down to  create 2, 10, 100 or 1,000 consistent loaves of bread. The assumptions are consistency of ingredients, equipment, energy, working space, and time.  For managing production, every ingredient is put into the formula.  The formula can be used to build dashboard indicator of the use of a bakery.  It is as precise as it needs to be, for how it is used. B% is explained:

Flour has plant proteins and starch. Water and protein make dough sticky and stretchy. Starch feeds yeast – some is fermented. Starch is the carbohydrate in bread – the thing that makes it food. Flour is the ground product of grains, including flour and meal. All flour is counted to determine Total flour weight, even when flours differ in density and protein content. It is conventional to express the relative amounts of flour as a percentage of the total flour weight (e.g. 50% bread flour and 50% whole wheat; or 90% bread flour and 10% rye flour). It is conventional to count all dry ingredients – which works better for a bakery manager than for a home baker.

The weight of every other ingredient is expressed as a percentage of the Total flour weight. The fluid percentage is called the hydration rate, a scale of how wet, sticky and messy the dough is. Conventionally, only the main fluid counts for the hydration rate. Water or milk.

Milk is nearly all water. Butter has water. Maple syrup, honey and other syrups have some water. Eggs have water. ingredients that contain water are not necessarily counted directly – it involves conversions and extra math. Wet ingredients that containe water may be noted to see if a dough has a higher real hydration rate than a simple calculation implies.

A cup of water is 236.6 grams (in the metric system one milliliter of water is one gram). (An Imperial cup of water reliably converts to 284 grams. A Canadian cup is 224 grams. A metric cup of water is 250 grams.)  Engineers may deal with variation of the density of water with temperature, Bakers are not as precise.

A cup of fluid cow’s milk is 244-245 grams according to USDA averages. Whole milk should be 3.25% butter fat. Reduced fat milk products: 2%, 1% and non-fat (or skim) milk. In grams, the water/total weights, per cup:

  • Skim 223/245
  • 1% 219/244
  • 2% 218/244
  • Whole 215/244
  • Buttermilk (whole) 215/245

1 + 1/4 cups of skim milk has 1 + 3/16 cups (1 cup + 3 tbsp) of water.

The home baker’s trick is reduce water in a recipe by 1/4 cup for 1 cup of honey, when honey is used to replace sugar). The average for honey in the US and Canada is 17 g water per 100 g of honey. A typical pure maple syrup for sale in the US or Canada is 32 grams of water per 100 grams of syrup. A large egg, in the Canadian egg grading system is about 57 g.  A large egg contributes 40 g. to hydration – nearly 3/16 of a cup of water.

Water can be calculated by referring the USDA Food Composition Databases. For a Canadian product, the Canadian Nutrient File may have the value. Using the databases takes some practice. not all of the water reported in the data is released from the source ingredient and incorporated into dough. It may be necessary, if the dough is just too dry, to use a teaspoon or two more water to get the hydration right for 2 cups of flour in bread machine.

Yeast means, normally, one of the strains of yeast commercially grown and distributed as a leaving agent. Salt is a chemical control on yeast. B% descriptions of a recipe may have 2% salt and 1% yeast. For 2-3 cups of flour,  this means fractions of an ounce of salt and yeast. These ingredients seem to standard commodities – close enough that the brand does not matter for calculating for conversion from a recipe teaspoon to weight:

Table salt 1 tsp = 5.7; but some table salts are fine-grained and more dense

Instant dry yeast 1 tsp = 2.8 g. 

Bread

Bread is high in sodium, as an effect of the baking process.  The master formula for bread is to grind dried grain into a paste or flour, add water and yeast, let the stuff ferment and throw it on a hot surface until it dries out and stops fermenting.

Salt controls yeast which affects fermentation. Fermentation affects flavour but it also affects rise, which affects the size of the loaf and the production line; it also has a chemical effect on the taste buds (Lallamand Baking Update, Volume 2, No. 6). A few bread styles, such as Tuscan bread, are made without salt.  Salt is part of the process for most bread sold by grocery stores and bakeries large and small.

Archeologists have found evidence that the Nafufians, hunter gatherers in Jordan were making bread with wild cereal (grain) 12,500 BCE.   Baking uses the products of many technologies. Flour is the product of grinding and milling cereal.  Flour mixed with water makes dough which is baked.  Dough can be fermented or leavened. Yeast consumes starches in the flour – it ferments, creating gas, which is trapped in gluten in the dough, which makes the bread rise. Bakerpedia explains:

When yeasted dough ferments rises and increases in volume, and flavor is developed.  Yeast converts starch  in flour into sugar, carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol. CO2  gas  is trapped by gluten proteins in the flour which causes dough to rise. Fermentation results in a light and airy crumb.

The yeast propogates.  Propogation and fermentation accelerate until the living yeast cells run out of starch, or are killed off by high temperature. If gas production goes on too long, the air cells in the dough rupture. An overproofed loaf is a lump of wet flour.  In oven baking, the dough rises in 2 or 3 stages: bulk fermentation, and intermediate and final proof. Dough is knocked or “punched” down to release gas at the end of the bulk fermentation and again when the loaf is shaped. The dough rises again in the baking pan and springs when yeast warm up the pan goes in the hot oven – before the heat kills the yeast.

Gluten “is a composite of storage proteins … found in wheat, barley, rye, oats, related species and hybrids …  Gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep its shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture.”  When flour and water are mixed (kneading is a continuation of mixing) the water interacts with proteins in the flour to form strands of gluten that make the dough sticky and stretchy.  Gluten relaxes in time which lets the dough flow and rise. As we read at Bakerpedia:

Consisting of mainly gliadin and glutenin, wheat gluten is unique among cereal proteins based on its ability to form a cohesive and viscoelastic mass. This rheological property makes it a dynamic material that is able to grow and keep the gasses within the dough during extended fermentation periods. The viscoelastic nature also provides the oven spring (increase in height due to the expansion of gasses) that we see in the oven.

Wheat flour has the necessary proteins to form gluten.  Added gluten is wheat flour processed to contain this proteins, used as a dough enhancer. (Wheat gluten also is the main ingredient of the vegan food Seitan).    Commercial bakers know, referring again to Bakerpedia:

Excessive use of wheat gluten would result in drier doughs that have a hard time with pan flow, and a higher than normal oven spring.

Mark Kurlansky’s excellent book Salt: a World History (2002) tells of the use of salt to bake bread in Egypt (3,000 BCE),  The production of salt may have started about 8,000 years ago.

Salt is a standard and necessary ingredient in most formulas and recipes. The right ratio of flour to salt and yeast means a loaf that will rise on time, and not overproof or balloon.

Professional bakers and some home bakers express ingredient lists or recipes as formulas expressed in baker’s percentage (B%). Bakers use consistent processes to manufacture a consistent product. A formula with salt needs more yeast to ferment and rise properly.  Reducing salt changes the process. Professional bakers may use 2 pounds of salt and .77 pound of instant dry yeast per 100 pounds of flour.  The B% for salt is 2%; instant yeast is .77%. This works out to .3 ounces = 8.5 grams = 8,500 mg. salt per 3 cups (15 ounces) of flour.  A normal loaf of bread has 3,400 milligrams of sodium per loaf – several hundred milligams per slice or serving.

Salt can be reduced , with a reduction in the amount of yeast. A few books and some internet pages unwisely suggest eliminating salt and but list the same amount of yeast that would be used if there was salt in the recipe!  Every reduction in salt in a bread formula has to be balanced with a reduction of yeast.  The accepted method is reducing yeast by the same percentage as salt. Please Don’t Pass the Salt has recipes for yeasted breads and a note on the general adjustment for yeasted bread recipes.

Artisan bread baking writers suggest that adjusting the salt in formulas leads to unsatifactory results  – e.g. Peter Reinhart, Artisan Bread Every Day (Ten Speed Press, 2009) at p. 15 suggests not reducing by more than 10%.  This approach warns the aspiring baker that salt is important to baking what consumers and food critics regard as good bread. This approach does not help much for someone avoiding sodium.  It is easy to get to 50%. It is possible to go further if final proofing can be extended to let the dough ferment and rise longer. Conversely, working in the kitchen, a baker may detect and arrest an active fermentation by knocking down the dough or getting the loaf in the oven.

Home bakers work with small amounts of salt and yeast. Measurement by weight is desireable, in theory.  Few home bakers have scales precise enough. And what is the conversion?

For table salt: 1 tsp = 5.7 grams (round to 6 grams) or .20 oz.  There is some confusing information in some modern culinary publications.

  • America’s Test Kitchen/Cooks Illustrated The Science of Good Cooking (2012) lists several brands of kosher salt and sea salt and compares them to table salt, suggesting that Morton’s brand is the standard for table salt at 1 tsp = 7.15 g.
  • Peter Reinhart, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice (Ten Speed Press, 2001) says on p. 28 that 1 tsp of table salt = .25 oz which converts to 7 grams. 

Some fine crystal table salt on the market in the US weighs 7 grams per teaspoon.  A recipe or bread formula ought to read as referring to conventional table salt. The size of the salt crystals affects solubility, which can affect the distribution of salt in the dough, and effect of salt on yeast.   Density, as such, doesn’t matter when adding salt by weight.  Home bakers can normally read a recipe in terms of level teaspoons of table salt, and should adjust when using coarser (eg. kosher salt, some sea salt), or finely ground salt measured by volume. 

Most sources say for instant dry yeast: 1 tsp  = 2.8 grams = .10 oz. .   Peter Reinhart, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice (Ten Speed Press, 2001) says on p. 28 that 1 tsp instant dry yeast = .11 oz which converts to 3.1 grams.

Commercial bakers use chemical leaveners for some bread.  Home bakers use baking powder and baking soda for corn bread, soda bread, cakes and other baking.  Baking powder is baking soda mixed with cream of tartar. Kraft Foods Magic Baking Powder does not provide Food Facts on the labels of small jars in Canada.  The published information is that 1 tsp has 300 mg. of sodium.  Substitutions for baking powder involve 1/4 tsp of baking soda plus some acid (e.g. vinegar, cream of tartar) for each tsp baking powder.
Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate.  It has 1,259 mg. of sodium per teaspoon, which explains the food facts for baking powder.

The science of substitution for baking soda and baking powder is to use potassium bicarbonate, or to use natural bubbles, if possible e.g. whipped egg whites. Potassium bicarbonate is the key ingredient of Featheweight, but is not a grocery product.  It is available as a supplement but has a list of side effects and do not use if taking medication warnings.

There is a no sodium baking powder on the market, called Featherweight. Please Don’t Pass the Salt has recipes for quick breads, and suggestions on low sodium “baking mixes”