Bread Machine Troubleshooting

Gone are the days of having to make bread by hand and wait hours for it to rise in the oven.

Bread Will Not Rise

Fancy and simple new bread machines have taken all the labor out of making bread. But bread machines are only as proficient as the person using them, and the machines themselves can sometimes make mistakes. If you are having problems with your bread machine, some bread machine troubleshooting tips might help.

If your loaf of bread will not rise in the bread machine, it usually means that the ingredients were not in the correct proportions. You may have had too much sugar, liquid, yeast, flour or a combination of ingredients. It could be that you had too much dough for the size of the bread pan. You may have used too many sugary ingredients. Too much salt or no salt will also cause the bread not to rise.

Loaf Is Too Short

If your loaf of bread is coming out of your bread machine looking short, it could have been caused by several things. You may not have added enough sugar. You may not have added enough yeast, or the yeast may not have been stored properly, or the yeast may have been expired. The ingredients may have remained in the pan where the yeast was in contact with water and salt for too long. The pan may have been too large for the size of the loaf, so there was not enough bread dough to fill out the pan. Sometimes it is normal to have a short loaf if you are using all-purpose flour or whole grain flours.

Bread Has a Sunken Top

If your loaf of bread has a sunken top, your ingredients may have been disproportionate. The bread pan could have been too small. You may have forgotten the salt. The bread machine may have been opened while you were baking. The dough might have risen to the top of the bread machine, interfering with baking and cooling. If the weather is too warm or humid, it can cause the yeast to rise more quickly and cause the bread to sink immediately after it begins to bake. To prevent this, use cool liquids and bake during a cooler time of day.

Bread Has a Mushroom Top

If your loaf of bread has a mushroom top, it is generally because the ingredients were disproportionate. You may have had too much sugar, liquid, yeast, flour or a combination of ingredients that caused the dough to overfill the pan. You may have used an overabundance of sugary ingredients. Or maybe you used too much salt or no salt at all.