Bread machine question
This is not about making bread by hand -- I do that.
I found an old bread machine -- without the manual of course. I cleaned it up, and it seems to work. I made a loaf of rye bread on the whole wheat cycle. It mixed the dough twice, and it was rising normally, and then it did a very quick mix - just a second or two, deflated the bread, and then baked it. The truth is, it was pretty good, and a rye bread should be dense. But did it do it on purpose, or is the machine broken? What if I want it to rise completely and be light, and then bake? Just use another cycle?
No idea about the machine, but have you tried looking for an online manual on the manufacturer's website? I've had luck doing that with all sorts of different things.
I'd just be inclined to sacrifice some dough and run through all the settings, just to see what the differences are. Maybe try a couple bags of the bread-machine mixes you can get, so you can compare the results with a consistent dough?
You can perhaps try looking up the manual for it online. Often times there are PDFs out there for older appliances.
I've tried out about 3 different bread machines over the years, and ended up returning all of them for the same issue you've mentioned. All the bread I made with them came out too dense and heavy. I tried a number of recipes provided by the manufacturer, all purpose flower and bread flower, honey vs sugar, etc.. no such luck
Sounds like the timer is malfunctioning. …except that I don't think there's a "timer" as such. More likely the mother board will need to be replaced and that means most of the cost of a new machine.
Have you tried using it for mixing on the "Dough" cycle and shaping and baking by hand? Could save you time on the mixing and first proof. You'll even get you a much better loaf than you'd get if the machine were in top working order.
Bread machines can be very useful but I never let it go through a complete cycle and do the baking.