My bread machine (Panasonic SD-2501) makes good bread. The loaves rise every time and it has a great golden crust. However, the bread is always too soft.
- 1 tsp dry yeast
- 440gm baker's flour. I have also tried 00 pizza flour and 50/50 white/spelt blend
- 1 tsp bread improver (Wallaby brand)
- tablespoon honey
- tablespoon olive oil
- teaspoon salt
- 330ml milk or water (doesn't seem to make much difference)
I am adding the ingredients in that order as Laucke suggests.
The bread machine cycle is 5 hours and includes about 30 minutes of "rest" once the ingredients are in and the cycle kicks off. I don't know why, since it seems like wasted time when nothing has been mixed; it all just sits there.
Anyway, the problem is not just that the bread is too soft right when it comes out of the machine, though of course it is even softer then. The trouble is that the bread stays too soft to butter even a day later, with room temperature butter, so it is very difficult to make sandwiches with. The bread feels very light, and I think it could do with a lot more body - I don't like fluffy white bread from supermarkets and I want to make something with a bit more chew and resistance to tearing. Being too soft also means it doesn't toast well; the toasting seems to take a lot of moisture out of the bread, and when you bite it there's not much there at all.