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If I was going to try and start 6 avocado pits I think I would start them straight in to dirt. I have found out I have a better chance with that. Good luck with your trees.
You can change out the yeast for regular yeast but I don't think it would be a requirement. You can do the mixing by hand, knead the bread dough until everything is mixed and combined. I use the bread machine because I am lazy but kneading by hand can be theraputic (so I am told). Let it rest in a bowl under a piece of plastic wrap or damp cloth and let it rise. Punch it down, form the loaves and then let it have its final rise. Follow the rest of the directions.
it is one of those things that my mom did while I was growing up. I think its to let the bottom of the loaf to cool and it would let the steam escape. I guess that you could use a metal rack and achieve similar results.