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Volume III
September 16, 2011

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Help, My Whole Wheat Breadmachine Bread is Too HEAVY!

I need a recipe for "whole wheat bread" for my bread maker. Everyone I have tried is HEEAAVVYY. Any suggestions?



As for heavy whole wheat bread, there are several possible causes, so that, unfortunately, simply giving out a bread recipe won't solve the problem. When it comes to bread machines, altitude, the age of the yeast, the type of yeast, where you put the yeast in the mix, the salt content of the recipe, improper measuring, etc. all affect the outcome of the bread. It becomes really important to take notes when using the bread machine in order that through experience you can eventually create the perfect loaf for your area and machine.

My breadmachine give the following tips:

1- Use exact measurements. Lightly scoop or weigh flour instead of packing it into the cup.

2- Use fresh yeast and use the type of yeast specified in the recipe. If it calls for instant yeast, don't use active-dry. To test yeast freshness, fill a cup with warm water, add 2 teaspoons of sugar and stir until dissolved. Sprinkle a few teaspoons of yeast on the surface of the water. Wait 15 minutes. The yeast should foam and have a yeasty odor. If not, toss the yeast in the garbage.

3- Add ingredients in the order listed. This keeps the salt from inhibiting the yeast too soon.

4- Check your dough. After it mixes, look at the dough. Is it too sticky, like pancake batter? Sprinkle in extra flour. Is it too dry, flaky? Sprinkle 1 teaspoon water at a time on the dough as it mixes until it appears smooth, round, and dry (not sticky). Don't add too much water.

5- At high altitudes (above 3000 ft):
-increase the water as much as 2-4 tablespoons per cup.
-reduce the amount of yeast by 1/8-1/4 teaspoon for every teaspoon called for in the recipe
-reduce the amount of sugar by 1-2 teaspoons for every tablespoon of sugar called for in the recipe.

6- If bread turns out heavy, use less flour (1 teaspoon at a time) or more yeast (1/4 teaspoon at a time). Check your flour... is it old or are you using all-purpose when you should be using bread flour?

Here are some links to assist you in more bread troubleshooting:

Troubleshooting Bread

Delicious, Perfect Bread

Happy Cook'n,

Desiri Wightman, R.D.


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