I’m going to depart from the normal contents of this blog for a second to hopefully help some other kiwi breadmakers.
We tried making bread a few times recently and found that it came out really stodgy. “Why,” we asked, “was our bread stodgy?”
I found the answer deep in our manual. “Ingredients should be at room temperature, 20-25 degrees celsius“.
Where in New Zealand is room temperature in winter 20-25 degrees celsius?
So, the next time I made bread I stuck the water (a significant ingredient) in the microwave and using a thermometer, heated it up to 25 degrees. It’s important to note that if you heat the ingredients too much, the yeast won’t work, so bear this in mind.
The bread was good, but far from perfect.
The next time, I decided to heat the flour. “But you’ll just cook it,” was the comment from other members of my household (and blog), and yes you will. But the first stage in cooking anything is heating it, and that’s all we want to do.
So I heated the water and flour to 25 degrees in the microwave.
The bread was excellent, but still not perfect.
This was when I realised that if the rooms temperature is below 20 degrees, then as soon as you take the ingredients out of the microwave, their temperature is dropping.
So this time I heated the flour and water to 30 degrees to allow some space for the temperature to drop.
The bread was absolutely perfect.
So, peteandmegan hot tip. If you live somewhere where the room temperature is below 20 degrees and your bread is stodgy, then you need to heat up the ingredients before adding them to the breadmaker.
Mmmmm, fresh bread.