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Muffins Anytime Ebook
Play Freerice and feed the hungry

Homemade Bread Troubleshooting Tips


By Kate Miller


Like many novice bakers, I was intimidated by making my own bread. To expand my baking repertoire, I attempted countless times for the perfect loaf; I followed the recipe to the letter yet my end results vary.


Sometimes it turned out very well, but on certain occasions, it just collapsed. Many people want to know the secret for baking a good loaf but to be honest, you have to experiment and learn through mistakes.


I hope these homemade bread troubleshooting tips can help if you encounter a little challenge.

Dough Does Not Rise
Water was too cool to activate or so hot that it killed the yeast thus the yeast is inactive. When you use fresh yeast,dissolved it in lukewarm water. Leave the dough to rise in a warm place ideally between 75° and 85°F.


When left in a warm place over a period of time, more carbon dioxide will be produced, causing the dough to rise to double, or more than, its original volume. Also, ensure all ingredients that you use for the dough are not too cold but are at room temperature.



Cracked Tops
It could be that the bread cooled too rapidly, probably in a draft or the dough is too stiff, or is not mixed well. When your dough is rising, you need to cover it with a clean tea towel.


Your bread will probably crack if you allow it to become dry when it is rising. One good tip is when the bread has baked, turn out of the pans and cool on a wire rack, away from drafts to prevent it from cracking.


Crumbles and Loses Shape while Cooling
Possible causes include dough not mixed well, too much flour added, rising place is too warm and too long or oven temperature is too low and not baked long enough.


To test bread, turn out of pan and wrap bottom of loaf with knuckle. A hollow sound and nicely browned bottom and sides indicate a well baked loaf.



Heavy and Dense
You have probably added too much flour. Certain flours such as whole wheat and rye create a heavier loaf than all-purpose unbleached flour. Bread should be turn out light and springy in texture.


When making bread, you always need to use bread flour which is also labeled as "strong" or "extra strong" flour. Normal flour lacks the necessary amount of gluten to make bread and is best for making cookies or cakes.


Avoid dusting handfuls of flour to stop the dough from sticking, unless you are aiming for a leaden, heavy loaf. Flour takes time to fully absorb moisture, so leaving the dough for ten to 15 minutes after combining it will help reduce stickiness.


Another possible cause of doughy bread is that the rising temperature was too high and killed the yeast, or perhaps the rising period is insufficient.


Heavy bread might just be undercooked. If that is the reason, you can pop it back in the oven for some more baking. When the bread feels firm to touch, it is well done.



Dry and Damp with a Coarse Grain
Too much flour is added, dough is not kneaded long enough, rising period could be too long or oven temperature is too low or you have not added enough shortening.


Allow the dough rise in a warm place but not too near a hot stove. At least 4 tablespoons shortening is needed for four loaves made from 10 cups of flour.



Yellow Streaks
A result of uneven mixing or kneading. When the dough is kneaded, the gluten develops into a elastic mass and this forms the framework for the bread.

In order to achieve best rising results, cover dough with waxed paper and a damp tea towel to prevent a crust forming.

Another possible reason is that your bowl was greased too heavily. Grease lightly and then put dough in and turned over so that the dough picks up only a little grease.


It could be that air not completely pressed out of dough when loaves were shaped or dough rose too long before baking.

This common problem is often the result of leaving the dough uncovered when it is rising. A minimum of 10 minutes of kneading is required to make sure all your bread ingredients are well combined.


Sour Taste
Rising place is too warm and therefore the dough rose too long and too quickly. If it has risen more than double in volume, it is likely that the dough is left for too long.

Another cause for sourish taste in bread could be that the oven was not hot enough. Many ovens hardly reach the high temperature needed to bake bread so make doubly sure oven temperature is right and high before you bake homemade bread.




What Is the Best Bread to Eat

Learn how to make sense of ingredient labels and buy the best breads at your supermarket.


Are You Buying Really Whole Grain Products?

How can you be sure a food is really made with whole grains? Learn to tell good sources of whole-grain and take the guesswork out of your selection process.


Poppy Seed Dinner Rolls

Sprinkled with lovely poppy seeds, these soft and fluffy dinner rolls bring a touch of sophistication to any meal. Easy, tasty and always a big hit!


Cheese and Onion Country Bread

Wholesome goodness in every slice! Really simple, even a beginner can grasp the basics.


Honey Almond Coffee Steam Bread

Aromatic coffee-perfumed steamed bread. Slight sweetish taste; excellent breakfast bread or a healthy afternoon perk-me-up.


Easy Banana Quick Bread

Soft and fluffy full bodied banana bread that's really moist and flavorful. Simple yet highly versatile recipe. Stores well. Great for breakfast, brunch, or tea time.







homemade bread troubleshooting tips