Yeast measurement for bread machines

When I started to bake bread in the Panasonic SD-YD250, I had a problem. Medium loaves  – low sodium and regular recipe – based on The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook (“BLBMC”) filled the  pan, and had airy, weak crumb; some ballooned or cratered/collapsed/imploded. Panasonic’s  recipes (in the manual; see its online recipe resource pages) call for half the amount of yeast in typical recipes:

  • 1 tsp (instead of 2 tsp or more ) for 3 cups of flour for a medium loaf;
  • 1.5 tsp. for 4.375 cups of flour for extra large loaves;

These recipes have identical hydration rates, and the same B% for yeast: 2.8 g to 417 g total flour weight; in baker percentage 0.7%. The Panasonic SD-YD250 will bake an extra large (2.5 lb) loaf that may take more than 4 cups of flour but the yeast dispenser does not hold much more that a tablespoon. Set for medium loaves, basic bake and whole wheat cycles, the Panasonic SD-YD250 mixes for 3 minutes, kneads and rests to rise before baking. The knead time of 20-30 minutes is a little longer than for many machines. The rise phase is 2 hours, more or less, depending on the size of the loaf. The rise is longer by about 25-30 minutes than the rise in other machines.

Bread baked in the Panasonic SD-YD250 bread machine does not need as much yeast as recipes from sources other than the Panasonic manual. I am not sure of how these combine, but the factors are:

  • Gluten formation:
    • longer knead, and
    • machine may provide a more intensive mixer action that other machines; and
  • Longer rise.

I adjusted yeast in BLBMC formulas for white, whole wheat, and multigrain fomulas requiring 2 tsp  yeast for a medium loaf (a formula with 3 cups or 15 oz. flour +/- by weight). This approach resolved the inflation problem and produced loaves that were not inflated. This is the way it works for almost any recipe not specifically written for a Panasonic machine:

  • Ignore the amount of “bread machine yeast” in a BLBMC formula and use the amount for instant dry yeast (BLBMC has different amounts of SAF instant dry yeast and any other “bread machine yeast”);
  • Weigh the yeast and salt; know the correct conversion factors:
    • 1 tsp of instant yeast weighs 2.8 grams, and
    • A recipe refers to conventionally ground table salt; 1 tsp weighs 5.7 grams;
  • Reduce salt and yeast equally. Use the salt but halve the amount of yeast for SAF instant dry yeast in a BLBMC formula (instant or “bread machine” dry yeast ).

I prefer low sodium bread. The principle is to reduce yeast by the same percentage as salt as suggested in BLBMC at p. 290 and by the Please Don’t Pass the Salt bread page.  For low sodium I cut yeast in equal proportions – for 50% sodium I just halve both. I make a “Panasonic” adjustment by halving the yeast again. When I use 50% of a BLBMC recipe amount of salt, I use 25% of the BLBMC recipe amount of yeast.

I will have to rework my approach to yeast when I replace this machine.

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