I have a Hitachi HB-B201. Off and on for the past 14 years, I have had almost zero positive luck in making bread that will rise. I have tried many differing approaches; altering the ingredients slightly this way then that, and then a lot this way and then that, and then all directions, and almost invariably, I will turn out a Jolly-Green-Giant sized crouton.
The breads have been tasty (except for those where I eventually tripled or quadrupled the yeast). I don't ever have to worry about crushing the bread when cutting it with a dull knife; either side of the blade. Storage is no problem. It doesn't seem to carry any charm for a passing rodent. The instruction booklet says nothing about the weaponization of bread flour; so I'm guessing that I'm doing something wrong.
If anyone has any "helpful" suggestions, I would love to hear it.
Don from Lake Kiowa, TX
Check that your yeast is fresh by putting a teaspoon or so in warm water. If it foams or grows in a while it could still be good.
To buy new yeast, the best place for me is Sam's club. You can get 2 lbs cheap.
Good Luck (06/19/2008)
By no name today
I had this happen too. I even went and bought a new bread machine to find it was not the machine it was the yeast. Once the yeast is opened it is only good for a few days, and needs to be used quickly. Remember the bread mixes you buy with all the ingredients in them have yeast in them as well and if it is a large box of bread mix the yeast will die after a few days. So if I buy the large mixes for making bread I also buy the small foil packets of yeast and add what is needed. The small packets is a good idea because you only open what you need and don't have any waist. Hope this helps. (06/20/2008)
The temperature of the water is very important, make sure it is the temperature that is required in the recipe. (06/20/2008)
I was a Home Ec Extension Agent, a few things:
Check dates on ingredients first. Do you have hard water?
While getting my degree, I did research on BM and found out bread made either from scratch or BM, you should use distilled water. Hard water has minerals that yeast doesn't work well with. Since this research was done, I always have a jug of distilled water on the shelf just for making bread and great cinnamon rolls. My own breadmaker will do a 1 1/2 lb loaf, but sometimes I can get a nice 2lb loaf with just the difference in water. Try it, you might be surprised that it might be just your water. (06/20/2008)
It is essential to put the ingredients in the pan in the proper order, wet first, then dry. I keep my yeast in the freezer and measure it out directly from there.
These are all good suggestions, except that yeast does not die in a couple of days. It lasts for quite sometime, especially if you keep it in the fridge or the freezer. However, I would suspect that it is the yeast that is causing you problems. It is critical to have warm, not hot nor cold water to add to your bread maker. Too cold will delay the rising, and too hot a water could kill the yeast. Buy some new yeast, follow the directions and recipes that came with your bread maker, and talk to your neighbours and see if anyone else has trouble with the water affecting their bread. I have never heard of that, but it might very well be true of some very hard water. Certainly worth a try.
Since you don't know how this is going to work, buy your yeast in the individual packets. This ensures freshness, and you don't need great quantities until you can turn out a good loaf of bread.
Just a thought. Maybe it is something to do with the timer on this breadmaker, and it is not getting enough time to rise before it bakes the loaf. And are you sure you are using the right setting? Mine has settings for making rice and whatnot, that I have never used, but I am sure that those settings wouldn't make good bread! (06/21/2008)
Get a bottle of gluten and add a heaping teaspoon to the ingredients; this will help the loaf rise. (06/23/2008)
I had the same problem and I know what's going on! I had received a wonderful sourdough bread starter (over 8-years old and very, very sour and yummy), but when I followed the instructions to a "T", I got a 1 1/2 pound loaf which was a total of 3" tall; great paperweight, lousy loaf of bread. I finally watched the machine during the cooking process and found it rose during both rising times in the machine, but fell flat as can be during the baking process. Problem: too much moisture. When I watched the kneading process I found the dough never pulled away from the breadpan walls; it was too wet. I started adding extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough formed a nice, spongy ball in the bottom of the breadpan and, when the bread was done, I had a beautiful loaf. I kept track of the additional flour I had added for future loaves, but found that weather conditions effected the bread-moisture on a daily basis, so it's important to keep track of the weather reports. If it's a particularly humid day, add an additional tablespoon of flour, but if the forecast predicts dry days ahead, cut back by a tablespoon. You should have great results, I promise. Trust me, I was there. (08/18/2008)
I just make a loaf of bread in my Hitachi, just a simple recipe from instruction manual. Oh my God! First time in my life and it just was perfect! I add 3 teaspoons of gluten to the recipe and take off the same amount of the bread flour! Thank you so much. (11/16/2008)
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