Bread making problems for the bread machine, bread made by hand, or bread made in a food processor.
Tracking down bread making problems is not too difficult.
After five minutes of kneading, the dough should be soft, slightly tacky ball. If it is dry, add water, one tablespoon at a time. If wet, add flour one tablespoon at a time.
Check the dough every time you make bread. Due to a plethora of factors, dough consistency can change every time.
- All ingredients are at room temperature
- Use active dry yeast in the breadmaker unless otherwise called for
- Check freshness of yeast. Pour some yeast into 1/4 cup water at 110 degrees with 1 tsp sugar. If fresh, mixture will foam after 5 to 10 minutes.
- Make sure yeast does not touch liquid
- Cut butter or margarine into small pieces before putting in machine
- Warm liquids to 95 degrees
- Bread flour usually works out the best instead of regular flour
- When bread is finished, take it out of the pan and cool it on a wire rack
Bread is too stiff
- Bread dough kneaded too long
- Too much flour or too little water
Bread does not Rise
- Check the yeast for activity. Proof it in 1/2 cup water and 1 tsp sugar mixture. It should foam within 5 minutes.
- Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.
- Make sure you use the correct amount of flour. Flour should be scooped and not compacted when measuring.
- In the fall and winter, flour will be drier than normal because of house heat. During the mixing stage, you may have to add a tablespoon of water.
- Whole grain flours will expand better if you add vital wheat gluten. 2 tsp per one cup flour.
- Using bread flour instead of all-purpose flour will help the dough expand better. Bread flour has more gluten than regular flour.
- As soon as it cools, cut the small, dense loaf into cubes then dry in the oven for croutons. You can crush the croutons for breadcrumbs, if need be.
Bread Rises too Much
- Bread will rise too much of the dough is too wet.
- Fast-acting yeast may cause the bread to rise too much. Note this is different than active dry yeast. Bread machine yeast is fast-acting. Rule of thumb: 3/4 tsp of active dry yeast per cup of flour, 1/2 tsp of fast-acting yeast per cup of flour.
- Salt is important to stabilize yeast growth. Make sure the correct amount is used.
Bread does not bake completely
If the bread is gooey in the middle, try these steps:
- Bread should be 190 degrees F in the middle when done baking. If you need to bake it more, do it in an oven at 375 degrees F for up to 30 minutes.
- Do not cut open the bread until it is completely cooled (wait at least 20 minutes) or else it will end up doughy. The bread needs that time to set up its structure.
- Insufficient rising period
- Oven too hot or cooking temperature too hot. Most breads are cooked around 350�
- Check the oven temperature and make sure it is accurate.
- Dark pans cook bread faster than light-colored ones.
- Too much moisture in the bread.
- Stick a toothpick in the middle. It should come out clean.
- If the crust is done but the bread is gooey, cover it with tin foil and continue cooking
Bread falls in the middle
The honeycomb structure of the bread is too weak and the bread collapsed.
- Using all purpose flour, which is not as strong as bread flour
- Not checking the consistency of the dough after five minutes of kneading
- Forgetting to use salt. Salt helps strengthen dough structure
- Using liquids that are too warm, resulting in dough that stretched too far
- Too much liquid. The bread is too wet.
- Too much yeast or wrong type of yeast.
Crust is tough
- If the bread did not completely bake or did not bake at a high enough temperature, the crust could be tough.
- Using milk for the liquid and butter for shortening will product a very tender crust.
Fruits and nuts are at the bottom of the pan
- Generally, the dough is too stiff and the fruits and nuts did not mix well.
- Check the dough after five minutes for proper structure.
- Make sure after you add the fruits and nuts, after a few minutes, that they are incorporated into the dough. If not, remove the dough and mix them in by hand.
There is flour on the outside of the bread
- Sometimes the flour sticks to the bread pan. Use a rubber spatula and help mix it in with everything else.
The bread is yeasty when it is baked in the oven
- If the bread rises too long or rises in a place that is too warm, the yeasty odor is more noticeable.
The crust gets all wrinkled
- Wrinkled crust is a sign that the bread has risen too much, making the crust thin. Test the readiness of the dough by gently pressing your finger in it. If the indentation remains, it is ready to bake.
Bread is not browned on all sides
- Pans are too bright and reflect heat away. Use glass pans.