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Old 07-17-2011, 04:19 PM   #1
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Default Homemade Bread

Made some bread today. Tasted good but didn't really turn out. It never rose in my bread machine. So I have a question.

I think it was the almond milk. I am slightly lactose intolerant and real milk has a bad taste for me, so I don't buy real milk. Does one absolutely have to use real milk to bake bread?
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:39 PM   #2
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The yeast you used may have been no good regardless of the expiration date, due in part to temperature changes.

Do you use packet yeast or fresh, say from a supermarket or bakery? If you have access to the latter and intend to make bread regularly, I suggest that. If you're just trying it out, buy another packet of yeast and try again. I doubt it had anything to do with the milk you use.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:56 PM   #3
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I'd agree with Casting Pearls that the freshness of your yeast is most likely to be the culprit. However, the weather may play a part as well: I have noticed that my bread doesn't rise very high when the barometric pressure is low. One way to get more rise out of your dough is to mix a tablespoon of wheat gluten into your dry ingredients before you add the liquids. You can get it at most supermarkets and all health food stores, and it's baking magic: it can even make corn bread as light and fluffy as cake!
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:44 AM   #4
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That could be. I don't have central air, only a window unit, and it's been very hot this summer.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:26 PM   #5
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The thing about bread machine bread, is that every machine is different, and each manufacturer has their own method of mixing, rising, and baking. While I agree with the others about having fresh yeast, I would also have you pay close attention to the order in which the ingredients are required to be added.

And of course, try.. try again.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Feelgood View Post
I'd agree with Casting Pearls that the freshness of your yeast is most likely to be the culprit. However, the weather may play a part as well: I have noticed that my bread doesn't rise very high when the barometric pressure is low. One way to get more rise out of your dough is to mix a tablespoon of wheat gluten into your dry ingredients before you add the liquids. You can get it at most supermarkets and all health food stores, and it's baking magic: it can even make corn bread as light and fluffy as cake!
Dr. Feelgood, I just read your post about rising cornbread and I must add my two cents worth (I just got paid yesterday!). In Arkansas, most of us really don't care for light and fluffy, cake like cornbread. I like cake - sure enough (chocolate, lemon, white, . . .)

But my cornbread should be stone ground (a little gritty), not sweet, and not fluffy. It should hold together when picked up. You should be able to slice it in half and put butter in it. You should be able to store it for a couple of days (or longer) in a pie safe and without refrigeration and still eat it without getting sick. Hot water cornbread is even better. For you yankees, that means it is not baked - it is fried in a hot skillet like a little pancake.

Did you watch the remake of True Grit starring Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon? The Arkansas law man (Rooster Cogburn) engaged in a shooting contest with the Texas Ranger (LeBeouf). Rooster used chunks of cornbread carried in his saddlebag (for weeks) and flung them into the air for targets. When shot, they broke into pieces - now that's Arkansas cornbread! (Only thing better is to add cracklins to it when available.)

In order to keep on good terms with the good Oklahoma Dr (my friend), I am enclosing a monkey picture.
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Old 09-06-2011, 01:24 PM   #7
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And a splendid monkey picture it is: that little guy could show up at my family reunion with no questions asked! On the subject of cornbread, I will agree with you that gritty, substantial cornbread is excellent: that's how my momma made it, and I like it that way. But when Marie Callender's opened a restaurant here and I tasted their (extremely) cake-like cornbread, I liked it too, and I tweaked the recipe until I found out how they did it. I think I just like cornbread.
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:55 PM   #8
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I almost always use water for making bread, no milk at all. If it isn't rising it is something to do with the yeast. I've never used a bread machine, high temperature should make it rise faster, I get a slow rise when the temperature is low and then I let it rise to a certain volume no matter the time needed... how you would do that with a bread machine, I don't know. I keep my yeast in the fridge and it keeps pretty well, but new yeast wouldn't hurt.

My advice would be to take the bread recipe down to simple ingredients: water, flour, yeast, salt, sugar, oil, and once you get that to work in the machine you can switch out ingredients and see if one does or doesn't change the bread.
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