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Ten Troubleshooting Tips for Yeast Breads

Ten Troubleshooting Tips for Yeast Breads

Even for the experienced home baker, bread holds a certain mystique. Here is how to come ever closer to the perfect loaf.

Problem: Dough is not rising
Possible Causes: Yeast is old; yeast was dissolved in too-hot or too-cold water; dough was kneaded too stiff–gluten was overdeveloped; rising location was too cold.
Solutions/Suggestions: Try proofing new yeast and kneading it into the dough; additional flour might be necessary.

Problem: Dough is bloated and blistering
Possible Causes: Dough has over-risen; rising place is too warm.
Solutions/Suggestions: Punch down, reshape, and let rise again.

Problem: Bread rises and bakes unevenly.
Possible Causes: Dough was shaped unevenly; dough was not scored or scored unevenly; oven heats unevenly.
Solutions/Suggestions: Try rotating the loaf; there is little more you can do at this point.

Problem: Bread browns unevenly on top
Possible Causes: Loaf is or was too close to the oven top; oven heats unevenly.
Solutions/Suggestions: Rotate loaf if browning unevenly; lower the rack on which the bread sits if browning too quickly.

Problem: Bread is too brown on bottom
Possible Causes: Baking stone or oven is too hot.
Solutions/Suggestions: Place a rack or wire cake stand between loaf and stone; check that oven is calibrated correctly.

Problem: Bread is too brown all over
Possible Causes: Oven is too hot.
Solutions/Suggestions: Lower the heat; check that oven is calibrated correctly.

Problem: Bread interior has gaping holes
Possible Causes: Too much yeast was used in dough; too little flour was used; too little kneading; dough over-rose; oven was too cool.
Solutions/Suggestions: Use the bread for toast; the uneven texture is desirable in certain breads such as sourdough and French bread.

Problem: Bread didn’t rise high enough
Possible Causes: Water was too hot for yeast; too little flour was used; too little kneading; dough was under-risen; pan was too large.
Solutions/Suggestions: Slice thin and serve small pieces.

Problem: Bread is heavy and dense
Possible Causes: Too much flour was used; too little kneading; dough was under-risen.
Solutions/Suggestions: Slice thin and serve small pieces.

Problem: Bread has a yeasty taste
Possible Causes: Dough over-rose; temperature was too high during rise.
Solutions/Suggestions: Let the bread dry 1 day and use to make bread crumbs.

Read more: Food, , ,

Excerpted from Brilliant Food Tips and Cooking Tricks, by David Joachim. Copyright (c) 2001 by Rodale, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Press.
Excerpted from Brilliant Food Tips and Cooking Tricks, by David Joachim.

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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16 comments

+ add your own
10:11AM PDT on Apr 13, 2013

ty

9:02PM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

Thanks for the article!

4:34AM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

Yeast is very unhealthy. It's a parasitic fungus.

4:20AM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

Thanks for the tips.

12:25AM PDT on Jul 7, 2012

ty

9:32AM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

thankyou. I needed that

3:54PM PDT on Jul 3, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

6:22PM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

yum yum bread tips

10:07PM PDT on Apr 1, 2012

Very informative. My bread tend to be too dense. That's why I quit making it. I'll try again.

4:54PM PDT on Mar 24, 2012

Thank you for inspiring me to get bizzy baking bread again! :-)

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