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Thursday, January 27, 2011

BE the Bread Machine (a converting recipes tutorial)

OK, enough complaints and excuses. I love to try and post bread machine recipes because I love the idea of "bread at the touch of a button," but bread machines don't do anything magical that you can't do yourself. ANY bread machine recipe can easily be converted to a manual recipe, and here's how:

1. First, combine the ingredients the way you usually would for bread. Dissolve the yeast in the liquid, add other “wet” ingredients (e.g., eggs, honey, butter), add the flour and other dry ingredients, knead for 8 to 10 minutes, then knead in any “extras” (raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.).

2. Let the bread rise once in the bowl until about doubled. The time will vary and you will have to experiment but it's usually around an hour, give or take. Or if you were going to do exactly what my machine does, rise for 20-3o min, punch down, rise again for 20-30 min.

3. Transfer it to a pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise again in a warm place about an hour. A bread machine recipe calling for 3 cups of all-purpose or bread flour or 4 cups of a whole-grain/all-purpose flour mix, will make a 1-lb. (8 1/2” x 4 1/2”) loaf. A bread machine recipe calling for 2 cups of all-purpose or bread flour or 3 cups of a whole-grain/all-purpose flour mix, will make a 10- to 11-ounce loaf (a 7 3/8” x 3 5/8” pan).

4. Bake for about 30 minutes in a preheated 350°F oven.

If there is a recipe in which you only use the bread machine to make the dough, like in the previous post, conversion is even easier. Follow steps 1 and 2 above, then follow the recipe as indicated for whatever you do with the dough.

I got the above information from King Arthur Flour, who I trust when it comes to bread. It varies slightly from exactly what my bread machine does, but follows common bread-making, so I would try what they say first. If it doesn't work out, you could try following more closely what a machine does. In my bread machine user manual, it tells exactly what the machine does and for how long:

Dough-only Cycle (1.5 hours)
20 min - Dough is mixed and kneaded
20 min - Rise
30 sec - Dough is punched down
50 min - Rise

Basic Bread Cycle (3 hours)
10 min - Dough is mixed and kneaded
20 min - Rise
15 min - Knead
20 min - Rise
30 sec - Punch down
55 min - Rise
60 min - Bake

Want to get started right away? Here are all the bread machine recipes I've posted.


tona said...

seems like in my experience that it takes longer outside the machine, because the machine keeps the temp SO consistent & warm which I cannot achieve just with room temperature.

Disco Mom said...

Excellent point. To give my dough a somewhat consistently warm place to rise, I turn on the oven to 200 when I start making the dough, turn it off and open slightly when I start to knead, then put the covered bowl of dough in there and close the oven for the rise. Warmer than room temp but not too hot. Alternatively, I have been known to run the dryer for a minute to warm it up, then put the dough in there with the door closed. Warm but not too hot.

ARLENE said...

thank you so much for this information; I must try that babka bread

Stef said...

Great post! Really informative. I'll refer people here when they ask about making my bread machine recipes without a bread machine.

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