I began to chart recipes in tables when I realized that recipes from sources like the Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (2000) did not work in a Panasonic SD-YD250 machine. Each manufacturer has its own set of programs for its machines. Standard recipes fail, predictably, in some devices.
Hidden rows and columns hold data such as total flour and fluid weights, B%, hydration. I hide them to publish a clear table.
The 1st row identifes the columns: original or source recipe(s) and 50% sodium loaves. The 1st column, except for the first 4 rows, is the list of ingredients, from the source recipe, with alternatives and substitutions. The 2nd column has the source recipe amount, usually by volume. An ingredient with no data in this column is not in the source recipe!
- 2nd row identifies the source(s), and loaf size. Large is a 2 lb. loaf. Medium is a 1.5 lb. loaf. There is a column for a smaller loaf.
- 3rd row notes the recommended program. Manufacturers’ program names vary. Every manufacturer has basic bake, whole wheat bake, and dough programs.
- 4th row notes what kind of measurements are used in that column – volume, weight or both.
- The other rows are ingredients and amounts. For other ingredients, measurement by volume is close enough. Some cells are weight and [volume]. Some are volume even where other measurements in the column are weights.
Instant dry yeast rows:
- A row for instant dry yeast for a medium (1.5 lb.) loaf (converted to Instant Dry where the source said active dry yeast); this row is the standard. It is for information but not a reliable standard. Using this value for a medium loaf in a 2 lb. pan in a Zojirushi BB-PAC20 is not optimal for that machine, and many other machines. This value is not suitable for the Panasonic SD-YD250.
- There is a row for Zojirushi BB-PAC20.
- The row Instant Yeast Low is 50% of the source – for the Panasonic SD-YD250.
Weight is important for some ingredients:
- Flour determines how large a loaf can be. A medium loaf can be baked in a machine with a medium pan, a large pan or even an extra large pan. A medium loaf will have 3 cups of wheat flour.
- Yeast is the principal variable that determine how high the loaf rises.
- If Salt is reduced, yeast must be reduced or the loaf will rise too much.
- Water has to be proportionate to flour to get a dough that kneads, flows, rises and bakes. It varies with flour; some ingredients can add water. Milk is mainly water, but not quite.
Bread machines are either dry (flour) first or wet (water) first, according to manufacturer’s recommendation. Either way, load the machine and let the machine mix the ingredients. Don’t stir or mix. Yeast should stay dry and should not come into contact with salt or salted water until the dough is mixed and kneaded. Loading a dry first machine (e.g. Panasonic) go down the table. For a wet first machine (e.g. Zojirushi) I go up the table, ingredient by ingredient:
- dry first – the yeast goes into the dry bottom of the pan and is covered by flour and dry ingredients; salt is the last dry ingredient. Fluids and water are on top, loaded last.
- wet first – water and wet ingredients first, then salt, then flours; the yeast is last.
Raisins and fruit are loaded as dry ingredients, in the dispenser (if the machine has one), at the signal (if the machine has one), or according to a timer, as a recipe will say.