Fresh hot steaming bread from the oven or bread maker is one of the best smells in the world, but what if it ends there? Sometimes when a loaf comes out, it smells delicious, but could double as a hockey puck, or maybe the top is caved in, here are some troubleshooting tips for figuring out why your bread flopped, to keep it from happening again!
Issue: Bread is too Small/ Short loaf
- Not enough yeast, or yeast is too old/was improperly stored
- Not enough sugar
- Pan was too large for recipe size
- Timer Issue- if using a bread machine timer/delay be sure that ingredients are in the correct order, the water and salt should NOT be touching the yeast
Issue: Bread has coarse, crumbly texture
- Dough was allowed to rise for too long
- too much kneading
Issue: Bread has coarse, Holey texture
- Too Much water/liquid was used
- Salt was omitted
- too much yeast was used or yeast action may have been accelerated due to overly warm ingredients or hot, humid weather
- If Fresh fruit or Veggies were used, be sure to drain them well and pat dry before adding to the dough
Issue: Bread is too Dry
- Lack of shortening in the dough
- Dough may have risen at too high of a temperature
Issue: Bread Caved in During Baking/Sunken Top
- Salt was omitted
- bread pan too small for recipe
- too much liquid in the dough- which causes the dough to be too soft when baking begins
- Ingredients in recipe were out of proportion
- Oven or Bread machine were opened during baking
- Yeast action was sped up due to overheated liquids (milk or water in recipe was too warm), warm weather, high humidity- these all cause the dough to rise too fast and then collapse during baking. The best way to avoid this is to use cooler liquids and bake during cooler parts of the day.
Issue: Bread is Overly large/ Misshaped
- Oven Temperature was too low – double check the oven temperature
- Dough was given too much time to rise – dough should only be allowed double in volume
- Too Much dough in pan
Issue: Bread is Very Heavy/Dense
- Dough didn’t have time to rise or rose too much, causing cell collapse- dough should be allowed to rise until double in volume, no more, no less.
- Not enough water
- not enough sugar
- not enough yeast
- too much flour (this can occur if you Scoop out the flour when measuring, rather than spooning the flour into the measuring cup)
- Salt omitted
- Too much whole grain flour at once
- Too much dried fruits or additions to the dough
Issue: Bread failed to rise
- No Yeast or old yeast was used
- Liquid temperature was too high and yeast was killed
- too much salt was used and yeast was killed
- too much sugar was used and yeast was killed
- If using a bread machine/timer feature- failure to rise may be due to yeast coming in contact with water or salt too early, be sure to put ingredients in the pan in order.
Issue: Bread contains yellow streaks within the loaf
- Addition of too much grease on Top of the dough, which failed to mix in; to avoid this issue, Very Lightly grease the pan or dough
Issue: Bread Collapse during cooling
- Bread was not done/baked long enough
- Oven temperature was too low during baking
Issue: Bread Machine Mushroom Top
- Too much yeast, sugar, flour or liquid combination that exceeds the limits of the pan
- Bread pan too small for amount of dough
- No salt or too much salt used
- Too much sugar/sugary ingredients used
Issue: Gummy Areas within the loaf
- Too much sugar was used
- Too many wet ingredients (applesauce,eggs,fats,etc)
- If using a bread machine- the room was too cold, affecting the baking temperature of the loaf
- If you’ve double checked the ingredients and the room temperature and this keeps occurring, the Thermostat in bread machine may be defective.
Additional Tips, Hints and Helps:
- Be sure the Yeast is fresh, storing it in the freezer ensures longevity past the expiration date. To “proof” yeast, place 1 tsp of yeast in a glass dish with 1/2 c. warm water and 1 tsp white sugar, mixing well. If it bubbles and foams after 10 minutes or so, it’s still good to use. If it doesn’t, it’s dead.
- Use room temperature ingredients- flour, sugar, applesauce, etc (other than yeast) when baking bread.
- If using a bread machine a good rule of thumb for the recipe is not to add more than 1/4 c. sweetener of any kind, if you are using more than 1/4 c. of sweetener, be sure to use Gold Yeast which is designed for high sugar/high acid recipes.