Yeast-Free Quick Bread and Yeast Bread
A major break-through in how much time I spent baking for my allergic son came several years ago with the advent of programmable bread machines. A bread machine can lighten your workload by making yeast breads, non-yeast breads, and cakes with very little effort on your part. Usually you just add the ingredients to the machine, push a button or two, and come back to a wonderful treat.
A question I am often asked is “Which bread machine should I buy?” The answer varies from year to year and sometimes even from month to month. Like automobile manufacturers, bread machine manufacturers change their products often. Also, the needs of each home baker are different. Ask yourself what you need: Will you be away from home and want to come home to a freshly baked loaf of bread to go with your dinner? Then get a machine with a delayed cycle timer. How much bread will you or your family eat? How often do you want to bake? If you have a large family or do not want to bake often, get a larger capacity machine. Do you have frequent power outages in your area? How long do the outages last? How much do you expect to use your machine? How much money can you afford to spend on it? How much money will it save you?
For people who must eat special breads, such as those on food allergy diets, the last question is crucial. If by making your own bread you will eliminate the weekly necessity of buying two or three small loaves of expensive frozen bread from the health food store, paying a little more for a bread machine is justified.
For more information about purchasing a bread machine and which bread machine features are important in baking for an allergy or other special diet, see pages 26 to 33 of the revised version of Easy Bread Making for Special Diets. (If you purchase the “bargain” original edition of Easy Bread Making for Special Diets from this website, we will include the chapter on bread machines and other appliances that can save you time (pages 24 to 33) as well as the tortilla recipe chapter which is new to the revised edition). To see the machine that in my opinion is the “best fit” for special diet bakers on Amazon.com, click here.
If you are allergic to yeast or on a low-yeast diet for Candida control, there are two types of baked goods that you can make more easily with a machine, non-yeast quick breads and tortillas, which are discussed below. You can make non-yeast breads with spelt, kamut, rye, barley, rice, or quinoa flour (or even wheat flour!) using a bread machine with a non-yeast cycle. When purchasing a machine for the non-yeast cycle, be sure to find out how long it mixes the dough before baking it. The ideal mixing time for the recipes in the books on this website is 3 to 4 minutes. If the machine mixes longer than 4 minutes, add the oil to the flour mixture, but delay adding the other liquid ingredients until about 2 minutes before the end of the mixing time. For example, if it mixes for 6 minutes, rather than adding the liquids 1 1/2 to 2 minutes into the cycle, wait until 4 minutes after you start the machine. (This may follow a minute or two of slow mixing). If the machine you wish to purchase mixes a little longer than this, it is still usable, but if it mixes for fifteen minutes and you plan to use the quick bread cycle often, I would suggest choosing another machine.
If you tolerate yeast, you can make egg-containing rice yeast bread or yeast breads made with spelt, kamut, or rye (and, of course, also with wheat) using almost any bread machine on the market. One exception to this is that for spelt yeast bread, some Breadman machines mix so vigorously that they over-develop the gluten, which is more soluble in spelt than in wheat. To use your machine to complete the whole process of making yeast bread with buckwheat, rye, quinoa, amaranth, oat, barley, or rice flour, you will need a machine on which you can control the length of the last rising time before baking.
There are two possibilities for controlling the length of the last rising time before the bread bakes. In terms of initial investment in a bread machine, the “cheaper” choice is to buy a machine with a bake-only cycle and a dough cycle that includes rising time as well as mixing time. You can use the dough cycle followed by the bake-only cycle to make your special bread, but you have to be present to stop the dough cycle and start the bake cycle after the bread has risen for just the right amount of time. Bake-only cycles are not uncommon, and many economical machines can be used to make special breads in this way.
The option for controlling the last rising time that is more expensive (only in terms of initial investment – it will save money on bread in the long run) is to buy a truly programmable machine. As with all bread machines, programmable models change frequently. Zojirushi was the first to introduce a truly programmable machine in the early 1990’s with their $350 BBCCS15 model, and they have continued to make excellent programmable machines. In the late 1990s I got a Zojirushi Home Bakery model BBCCV20 which I used to make several loaves of bread every week for over twelve years when my sons were hungry teenagers. The Zojirushi BBCCX20 which I currently own has served us well for about 8 years and is still going strong.
Recently, Zojirushi came out with a new model, BBCEC20, which is very similar to the BBCCX20 and previous Zojirushi models with two kneading bars. I purchased this new machine about three months ago and I love it! I have been using the three programmable cycles to develop sourdough bread recipes made entirely in the machine using the new wheat- and gluten-free freeze-dried sourdough starter. See the 3rd edition of Easy Breadmaking for Special Diets for these new recipes. Since this machine is very similar to the BBCCV20 and X20, I expect it and future similar models to be reliable, long-lasting workhorses like the previous models.
All three of these models are 2-pound machines which have a horizontally rectangular pan with two kneading bars. They make large normal-shaped loaves of bread. The two kneading bars produce a mixing motion that includes both ends of the pan, so for most types of bread, the cook does not have to make sure that all the flour in the corners of the pan has been incorporated into the loaf. These machines’ standard cycles include basic, whole grain, dough, quick basic, quick whole grain, and quick dough cycles, a cake (non-yeast) cycle, a jam cycle, a signal to add raisins for raisin bread on most of the cycles, “homemade menu” programmable cycles, and the BBCEC20 also includes the new sourdough cycle. The machines’ memory can store three homemade menu cycles which you can program to the time you want for any part of the cycle, including the last rising time, which is critical for allergy and gluten-free bread baking. The quick yeast bread cycles on these machines make excellent bread using SAF™ instant yeast in about two hours. The quick dough cycle only takes 36 minutes. I most often use the quick cycles to make wheat or spelt bread or dough. These machines are very “mellow” kneaders and produce excellent spelt bread as a result. You can also make good non-yeast bread for allergy and gluten-free diets with this machine. Click here, and then click on the BBCEC20 bread machine’s link to the Amazon website to read more about this machine.
If you already own a bread machine which is not programmable and does not have a “bake only” cycle and/or a dough cycle which includes rising time, you can still use your machine to do the hard part of the job of making yeast bread. Measure out your ingredients into the pan and start the dough cycle. At the end of the first rise, remove the dough from the machine, stir or knead it down, and put it in an oiled and floured loaf pan. Allow it to rise in a warm place until it is just under doubled in volume. Then bake it at 375°F for 30 minutes to 80 minutes. Very dense loaves, such as rye, take longer to bake, than for example, egg-free rice bread. Your bread is done when it pulls away from the sides of the pans and is well browned.
The information on this page is abridged from
Easy Breadmaking for Special Diets ($19.95 eBook $10) © 2007
The Ultimate Food Allergy Cookbook and Survival Guide ($24.95, eBook $13) © 2007
Allergy Cooking with Ease ($19.95, eBook $10) © 2007
Easy Cooking for Special Diets ($24.95, eBook $13) © 2007
How to Cope with Food Allergies when You’re Short on Time ($4.95 eBook $3) © 2006
For more information about these books, click on the book's title above.
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