making bread

Hello-I’m new to this website and would like to know why I always fail at making bread. I follow the directions that came with my new KitchenAid mixer, used their recipe with fresh ingredients. Bread never rose and when I baked it it was raw in the middle. Please enlighten me! What am I doing wrong and how do I fix this?

Thanks!
Cindy

First thing is to be sure your yeast is fresh. Secondly, proof it with warm (105 degrees F works best) and a sprinkle of flour or sugar (if your recipe calls for sugar). Water that is too cold won’t activate and too hot will kill it. Let it rest until it is frothy. Proceed with your recipe’ and then let it rise in a warm place away from drafts until it is doubled in sized; a turned off oven works well. Be sure your oven is at the right temperature. Use an oven thermometer to check if your oven is accurate.

Baking Tips:

1.Consistent Crust2.Crust Colour

TIP #1 Consistent Crust

Always allow sufficient time for the dough to rise, but do not let it over rise.Carefully measure your ingredients. Too much flour, or too little sugar or fat, can toughen your crust.Doughs made with water generally yield a crispier crust than those made with milk.To soften a crust, brush crust with melted butter as soon as it comes out of the oven.Cool bread completely, and then place in a plastic bag.

TIP #2 Crust Color

Aluminum pans reflect rather than transmit heat and can result in a more pale loaf. Try using a baking pan made from something other than aluminum. For a darker, richer color, brush finished loaves lightly with butter or margarine and return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Position pans in the oven so that they are evenly exposed to the oven temperature, allowing air to circulate between the loaves. Bake on a lower oven rack, unless otherwise directed. If crust is becoming too brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil during the last 10 minutes.

Loaf Rises Then Falls (Cratered Loaf)-Decrease water or milk by 2 Tbsp. or-Increase salt by 1/4 tsp. or-Decrease yeast by 1/2 tsp. or-Flour, too fine or-Ingredients not measured properly.

Loaf Sides Caved In:-Decrease water or milk by 2 Tbsp. or-Increase salt by 1/4 tsp. or-Decrease yeast by 1/2 tsp. or-Ingredients not measured properly.

Loaf Rises Too High (Mushroom Loaf)-Decrease water or milk by 2 Tbsp. or-Increase salt by 1/4 tsp. or-Decrease sugar or honey by 1 tsp. or-Decrease flour by 2 Tbsp. or-Decrease yeast by 1/2 tsp. or-Used wrong type instead of dry granular yeast or-Ingredients not measured properly.

Loaf Does Not Rise Enough-Increase water or milk by 2 Tbsp. or-Decrease salt by 1/4 tsp. or-Increase sugar or honey by 1 tsp. or-Increase yeast by 1/2 tsp. or-Not enough water or milk or-Flour too old or-Flour too low in gluten content or-Flour too fine or-Used wrong type of yeast instead of dry granular or-Accidentally measured salt in Tbsp. instead of tsp. or-Ingredients not measured properly.

Flat Loaf, Little To No Rising, Short and Heavy-Liquid too hot or too cold or-Flour too old or-Flour low in gluten content or-No yeast added or-Yeast too old or-Used wrong type of yeast instead of dry granular or-Accidentally measured salt in Tbsp. instead of teaspoon or-Ingredients not measured properly or-Breadmaker unplugged or power interruption.

Crust Too Dark-Decrease sugar or honey by 1 tsp. or-Ingredients not measured properly.

Crust Too Light-Decrease salt by 1/4 tsp. or-Increase sugar or honey by 1 tsp. or-Ingredients not measured properly or-Breadmaker unplugged or power interruption or-Incorrect bread setting was used.

Uncooked or Partially Cooked-Decrease water or milk by 2 Tbsp. or-Breadmaker unplugged or power interruption or-Incorrect bread setting was used.

Overcooked-Decrease sugar or honey by 1 tsp. or-Incorrect bread setting was used.

Not Mixed or Partially Mixed-Not enough water or milk or-Flour too fine or-Ingredients not measured properly or-Breadmaker unplugged or power interruption or-Baking pan not properly seated inside breadmaker or-Kneading blade not installed correctly.

Loaf is Soggy-Bread not removed from baking pan soon after baking.

Gnarly Knotted Top-Increase water or milk by 2 Tbsp. or-Decrease flour by 2 Tbsp. or-Not enough water or milk or-Ingredients not measured properly.

Loaf Core Texture Open, Coarse or Uneven-Increase salt by 1/4 tsp. or-Decrease yeast by 1/2 tsp. or-Forgotten salt or-Ingredients not measured properly.

Loaf Core Texture Heavy and Dense-Increase sugar or honey by 1 tsp. or-Decrease flour by 2 Tbsp. or-Increase yeast by 1/2 tsp.-Used wrong type of yeast instead of dry granular or-Ingredients not measured properly.

Burning Odor During Operation:-Ingredient spilled inside breadmaker and/or heating element or-See Mushroom Loaf Solutions for bread mushroomed over edge of bread pan,crust burned.

High Altitude Adjustment-Decrease water or milk by 2 Tbsp. or-Decrease sugar or honey by 1 tsp. or-Decrease yeast by 1/2 tsp.

Breadmaker Cannot be Programmed or Started-Breadmaker unplugged or power interruption or-Breadmaker too hot, allow to cool 15 minutes between baking cycles or-Breadmaker malfunctioning.

Loaf Burned Completely-Breadmaker malfunctioning.

In using compressed yeast you may use double or even tripple the quantity of yeast given in your recipe in order to shorten time of fermentation.Be sure not to let your dough get too light at any stage of the procedure.

(In other words, don’t let the dough go for too long a rise. If you use this procedure and watch your dough texture/height, there is no reason why this should not work, and want the joy of doing it yourself.)

I don’t know what recipe you are using and I don’t know where you live and how much experience you have had with bread making, yeasts, etc.

First of all - flour. Just because a recipe calls for “X” amount of flour when baking breads. it doesn’t mean that you will use that much. I can be off as much as 2 cups. Why? All flours are different - even between companies/mills. They absorb moisture differently. depending on the temperature and the humidity, the amount of flour called for in the recipe will vary.

Als ways put in the least amount of flour that the recipe calls for and slowly add more as you are kneading it. You want a smooth, satiny texture to your dough.

Protein content is different in flours and when mixed with liquids gluten forms (this gives your dough its elasticity and allows the dough to rise.)

Kneading the dough is one of the most important steps in bread baking. This step more than any other will determine the outcome of the bread.

Steps: 1. Start with dough that has been measured and mixed properly.

  1. Turn the dough out on a clean, floured work surface.

  2. Flour your hands well.

  3. Use the heel of your hands to compress and push the dough away from you, then fold it back over itself.

  4. Give the dough a little turn and repeat Step 4. Put the weight of your body into the motion and get into a rhythm.

  5. Keep folding over and compressing the dough until it becomes smooth and slightly shiny, almost satiny. Check your recipe for specifics. The most common test for doneness is to press it with your finger. If the indentation remains, it’s ready for rising. You can also try stretching part of the dough into a rectangle. If it can stretch into a thin sheet without breaking, you’ve kneaded it enough.

It’s difficult to over-knead dough by hand, but it’s actually very easy to do with a machine, so check it fairly often. Kneading one loaf’s worth of white-bread dough by hand should take about 10 minutes. Kneading two loaves’ worth takes almost double the time. It takes longer for whole-wheat flour as well. (An all-whole-wheat loaf would take twice as long to knead, but you’ll seldom make an all-whole-wheat loaf.)

Kneading does three crucial things for bread: it distributes the yeast and other ingredients evenly and thoroughly, it develops the gluten in the dough, and it introduces air. The gluten, or wheat protein, is what enables the dough to stretch instead of collapsing when the yeast grows inside it. If the gluten isn’t developed, the dough won’t rise well and will produce a heavy loaf - rather like a brick.

Some bread recipes call for a second kneading just before the dough is added to the loaf pans. Professional bakers call this benching and shaping the dough.

Making white bread

Makes two loaves.

Mixing the Dough

Steps: 1. In a measuring cup, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water.

  1. Mix together salt, sugar, and 5 cups flour in a large bowl.

  2. Add milk, oil and yeast mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Start by stirring with a wooden spoon, but you might graduate to your hands after a few minutes.

  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it for 10 to 15 minutes, adding as much as flour as necessary if the dough feels sticky. 5. Form the dough into a ball. Yeast needs a warm environment (ideally about 100 to 110 degrees F) to “turn on” and start to grow. However, too warm an environment (over 115 degrees F) will kill the yeast. If the water you use feels nicely warm, but not too hot (as for a baby’s bottle), it’s probably fine. For more info, see “How to Proof Yeast”.

Bread flour has more gluten than all-purpose flour, and makes for a higher loaf; gluten, a wheat protein, is what allows the dough to rise well. (The protein network of the gluten lets the dough stretch without falling.) You can substitute all-purpose flour.

For more on kneading, see “How to Knead Bread Dough”.

Warnings: Don’t leave salt out of bread dough; it will rise too quickly and fall.

Ingredients:
1/2 c. lukewarm water
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. warm milk
1 tbsp. sugars
2 tbsp. vegetable oils
5-6 c. bread flour
1 tbsp. dry yeast

Preparing and Baking
Steps: 1. Put the smooth ball of dough into a clean bowl coated lightly with vegetable oil. Turn the dough once so that the top is oiled.

  1. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place until the dough rises to roughly double its original size. Check after 45 minutes.

  2. Dump the dough back onto the floured surface and punch it down.

  3. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and let rest for five minutes.

  4. To make a pan loaf, use your hands to roll each piece into a thick cylinder a little longer than your bread pan. Using the heels of your hands, press the cylinder in to compress it to the length of the pan.

  5. Put the loaves into oiled bread pans. The sides of the loaves, especially the short ends, should touch the sides of the pan.

  6. Put a kitchen towel over the bread pans and let the dough rise in a warm place until it is roughly twice its original size, about 35 to 40 minutes.

  7. Put the loaves in the oven at 400 degrees F and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden brown and the bottoms have a hollow sound when thwacked with your hand.

  8. Remove from pans and cool on racks.
    Although it is tempting to rip right into fresh bread, it won’t cut well until it’s cooled (in technical terms, it will smoosh).

“Proofing” can mean several things in bread baking: ensuring that the yeast is active, setting the dough to rise, and letting the shaped loaves rise before baking.

Steps: 1. To proof the yeast and make sure it’s active, add one packet active dry yeast to 1/4 c. warm water (between 110 and 115 degrees F) and stir to dissolve. (The water should feel like a pleasantly warm shower, or about the temperature you’d use for a baby’s bottle. If it feels uncomfortably hot, it will probably kill the yeast.) Add one teaspoon of sugar and let the yeast sit for five minutes. If the yeast is foamy and smells like bread, it’s active.

  1. To set dough for rising, find a place in your home that is at or closest to 80 degrees F (27C). This is the optimum temperature for proofing yeast and allowing dough to rise.

  2. Gather the kneaded dough into a ball (see “How to Knead Bread Dough” for more information about this crucial step) and cover it with a floured linen towel, a piece of plastic wrap or other cover. Covering the dough prevents moisture loss and contamination by competing yeasts.

  3. Allow dough to rise undisturbed. It’s done when it approximately doubles in size and it does not spring back when poked with a finger.

  4. Punch the dough down after it’s risen. This relieves stress on the dough, squeezes out unwanted gas and redistributes the yeast, which improves most breads.

  5. Form the bread into loaves, then cover and let rise again. If possible, let this rising take place in a moist area; you might use a damp towel for covering the loaves. The second rising usually takes half as long as the first; be ready for this and be ready to bake as soon as the dough has finished rising.

also - are you allowing the correct time for rising and placing your dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat (very lightly) and then covering - using a LARGE bowl - cover with plastic wrap and ifyou want - a clean lint-free dish towel and placing in a warm place away from drafts?