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memojames is asking: (4 answers)
I recently bought a bread machine and I am puzzled by products that say they are specially prepared for bread machines. Examples of what I mean are flour for bread machines, yeast for bread machines etc. How necessary, if at all, are these products? Would ordinary flour and yeast work as well as "for machine" products? Thank you William James

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Last updated: Jan. 20, 2013 1:07 pm
Posted: Jan. 20, 2013 9:20 am
Answered by: Brenda
Jan. 20, 2013 9:47 am
I don't use bread flour and my bread always turns out fine. I did when I first got my bread machine but I did a google search and found it wasn't necessary to use bread flour. I have never had a failed loaf of bread. And I just use rapid rise yeast.
Answered by: Goodfood
Jan. 20, 2013 9:50 am
As it relates to the dry yeast home cooks can buy, there are only 2 kinds. Regular and 'rapid' rise. I always use the rapid rise kind since it gives the best results year round whether using a bread machine or not. According to the Fleishman's website which is one brand of yeast.....bread machine yeast is the same as rapid rise. I only buy bread flour and use it for all of my cooking/baking needs and never had any issues. Bread flour has a slightly higher protein content which helps in gluten formation. Some of the difference in these products is simply clever marketing by those companies. ...
Jan. 20, 2013 9:51 am
Forgot to mention, I have recently seen a 3rd kind of dry yeast to use when making pizza crust, but have never tried it and doubt it would make any significant difference in the results.
Answered by: JustJann
Jan. 20, 2013 9:59 am
I consider bread flour a necessity, as it will bake a lighter bread that rises well. Some recipes call for quick rising yeast and others ordinary yeast. I just buy an huge bag of yeast at Costco or Sams and keep it in the freezer. Buying in a regular grocery store can be expensive. You may find bread flour there too. I believe this is only quick rising. I use it in any recipe, but I know there are reasons for specifying quick rise or regular, but I cannot tell you the difference.
Answered by: pomplemousse
Jan. 20, 2013 10:33 am
Short answer: you can use ordinary flour and yeast in a bread machine and you are fine. I do it all the time and as far as I'm concerned, it works. Longer answer: If you want breads to rise much more, you can get bread flour. If you like wheat or rye flours, it's worth purchasing vital wheat gluten to get a better rise, as they have less gluten and can be more difficult to get to rise or to work with, especially if you want a texture closer to white bread. Semolina flour is nice to have if you are a fan of homemade pizza and flat breads, but not necessarily. It also seems to be called for in homemade pasta recipes, although that's a completely different issue. Your biggest issues with bread in a bread machine are that it's important to make sure all ingredients are at the proper temperature when you put them in: all ingredients, except water (if you don't have a machine that preheats, anyway; water should be btwn 105 and 110 degrees so as to activate the yeast but not kill it) should be room temp. If you are already experienced in bread baking, your experience will help you with the breads. Also, a bread machine, until you know the recipe will go all the way through just fine, does need checking at various parts of the cycle. It's a little more complicated than putting things in and walking away . . .sometimes, you need to add more flour or water or things like raisins/nuts at a certain time. Hope that helps and isn't too long winded. Sorry if it was. :(
Jan. 20, 2013 10:46 am
Thanks to all the responders! You have been very helpful. William
Jan. 20, 2013 1:07 pm
I agree with pomplemousse, bread making is more art then science and using a bread machine helps with the consistency. You can really use whatever flour/yeast you have and it should turn out fine.
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