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Banana Nut Bread II

Reviewed: Feb. 21, 2013
I suggest not making this recipe in a breadmaker. It would be fine to bake it in an oven. Here is what happened to me: 1) the breadmaker didn't completely mix the ingredients. There was a bunch of flour left on the bottom and corners when the bread was done. Also, the stick of margarine wouldn't get mixed--it just floated on the surface as the breadmaker mixed the other ingredients. (I'm aware the instructions say to mix completely before adding to the breadmaker, but if you are going to do that, why not just put it in the oven, too?) 2) the breadmaker sloshed ingredients onto the sides and this burnt. If you stopped the breadmaker before this burnt, the bread wasn't half done. 3) My breadmaker had no setting for cake/bread that doesn't use yeast. All of the settings had a rise stage. This is certainly unnecessary and possibly bad for this recipe. 4) My breadmaker didn't bake this nearly long enough. Most of the middle was completely liquid, so I had to reset the breadmaker at a "bake" setting. The bread thus had burnt stuff on some edges and unmixed stuff on others. The bread tasted great, however. It is just that a breadmaker is the wrong tool to make it.
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Bread Machine Pumpernickel Bread

Reviewed: Dec. 28, 2012
Trouble getting this to rise enough? I have the solution for you! I originally made the recipe exactly as written, and then I made it with a few modifications to make it SUPER RISE. In fact, it hit the glass top of my breadmaker and was really light and people loved it. If you want it to SUPER RISE, do this: 1) add the full amount of vital wheat gluten. This is NOT optional! (Need I explain why? Bread rises because yeast releases CO2, but that isn't sufficient--you need protein structure to contain the CO2 and keep it from escaping, and that protein is GLUTEN!) 2) Add 2 tbsp (tablespoons, not teaspoons) of honey 3) Add 2 tbsp (packed) of brown sugar 4) Use Fleishmann's Rapid Rise yeast (NOT active dry yeast). If you follow these 4 additional steps, and the pumpernickel is not light enough for you, I'll eat my hat.
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Cheese Herb Bread

Reviewed: Nov. 17, 2012
I tried this recipe a number of times in my bread machine. My first time was a catastrophe--the bread looked like it was going to be wonderful--nice a full and plump. But then just as it started baking, it fell,... and fell... and fell. I was embarrassed to serve it. I thought no one would believe how much it fell, so I measured--it was nearly 2 inches down in the center from the sides. After reading about troubleshooting, I tried, instead of 1tbsp of yeast (as the recipe says), using 1 tsp (1/3 as much) yeast. (I always use Fleishmann's Rapid Rise yeast). This worked very well. It did shrivel a little during baking, but no collapse at all. Just to be sure that this wasn't coincidental I made a THIRD loaf, but again using 1 tbsp yeast. Collapsed catastropically again! So for sure 1 tbsp of Rapid Rise is way too much. Why did this recipe work so well for so many other people? My suspicion is that most people either used Active Dry (rather than Rapid Rise) or else they didn't use the full 1 tbsp that the recipe specifies.
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