Sliced fresh-baked breadFarmhouse Loaf:
  • 210ml water
  • 350g bread flour
  • 25g whole wheat flour
  • 15ml milk powder ¼ cup milk
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¾ tsp instant-rise yeast active dry yeast, bloomed

36 hours since my last try, and I'm still enjoying the results of that. It makes good toast! I am still using milk instead of milk powder and active dry yeast instead of instant rise. I decided there were two problems with the last loaf: I accidentally doubled the yeast, and I intentionally had more liquid because my results of the preceding loaf. I was tempted to correct both problems for today's loaf, but I decided to correct one at a time so I can see the result of each adjustment individually. And besides, the last loaf is quite delightful except for the sharp taste presumably caused by way too much yeast.

Speaking of yeast, I'm still not 100% clear on whether to bloom the yeast for the machine. It seems like the right thing to do if I am going to start the kneading cycle immediately after loading ingredients, but the instructions suggest using the rapid cycle for rapid rise yeast which implies the regular cycle is okay for active dry yeast. (The instructions say either rapid rise or active dry can be used, but not fresh yeast.)

Some other noteworthy items for this loaf : I used up my last batch of bread flour and finished with a much fresher batch. I don't expect this to make much difference, but I am noting it here, anyway. I am following the machine-prescribed order of putting the liquids in the bottom and dry ingredients on top; last batch in an attempt to save using an extra mixing bowl I measured the dry ingredients into the tin while the yeast was blooming and then added the liquid on top. I noticed that caused more dough to stick high on the sides while it was mixing and kneading. This time the dough has seemed to mix together more quickly with less bits sticking on the sides. I bloomed the yeast in the tin instead of in a cup; I doubt this makes a difference in cooking, but it turned out to be much nicer since I didn't have to scrape yeast bits out of a blooming cup, and since the tin is wider than the cup the yeast pellets seemed to spread out, soak up and sink in a more uniform manner. I have no idea if that matters, but it looked more orderly and appeared to be better dissolved.
The dough seems to have mixed more quickly this time and looked a bit sticky early in the first knead cycle. It seems having the liquid on the bottom makes for better mixing in this machine.
I peeked in a few times, and it didn't seem to rise anywhere near as high as the previous loaf, but early in the baking cycle the crown of the dough was roughly an inch blow the top of the tin, and around the edges the dough was roughly 2 inches below the top.
Late in the baking the top of the bread looked lower; I'm eyeballing it, so I could be wrong, but I noticed there is a wrinkle along one side as if it tried to collapse slightly. Interesting; similar collapse even with half the yeast and not as high a rise. I can only guess the dough was too wet to rise properly.
It cooled while I slept. It seems to be perfectly fine inside. Oddly enough I can't tell much difference in the crumb of the new loaf compared to the last loaf side-by-side, but the last loaf is a couple of days old now and is probably staling.
Comparing crumb of two loaves of bread
Edited for additional notes: This loaf turned out very good for sandwiches and toast. It was a hit when I took it over to a family dinner. My sister thought it tasted slightly salty; I hadn't noticed, but since she said that I see that the salt ratio is higher in this recipe than the cottage loaf recipe I tried earlier. I want to try backing down to 1⅛ tsp salt or maybe 1 tsp largely to see if it will rise more since the salt retards the yeast. I'm hesitant to back off the liquid even though I am ¼ cup over the recipe and have sticky dough because I really like how this loaf turned out.