I was thinking about how many times I have ended up with “crater loaves.” True, I can sometimes find some error to attribute it to, but to have it continue just seems wrong. In the cookbook, Ms. Hensperger states that you need to follow the instructions for your bread machine as to the order of ingredients that go into the pan. The instruction manual for my machine reads:
—FIRST, liquid ingredients
—SECOND, dry ingredients
That is what I have been doing, but I really wanted to see if there was something the manual DOESN’T say. Sure enough, I found it. Thank goodness for Google and the King Arthur Flour websites.
Salt is a natural yeast inhibitor and if it mixes too soon with the yeast in your bread, it can negatively affect your rise. I also read that creating a “well” for the yeast in the top of the flour will keep it better separated from the salt.
I will be making a loaf of Beer Cheese bread later today and shall see if I have any better results by adding the salt before the flour and the yeast into a well, after.