Common Bread Baking Problems

We understand the frustration of your loaf not quite being picture perfect!  Don’t worry, we can help!  Let’s first make sure our ingredients are fresh, then explore some common bread baking problems, and we steps can be taken to correct them.

Collapsed or sunken loaf (rising and falling)

Cause: too much yeast, sugar or water, too little salt, or high altitude.

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf: Reduce your yeast by 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon to start with, and using cold water.  If you see an improvement but it’s still not quite there, continue to reduce incrementally.  Alternatively, you could try increasing salt, or decreasing your sugar or water.

Short, dense, and/or dark loaf

Cause: typical of too much flour (or other dry ingredients) or not enough liquid; less often a result of too little yeast, too little sugar, too much salt, or old ingredients.

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf: Reduce your flour* or increasing your liquids.  You can always check your dough during the KNEAD cycle to make sure the texture isn’t too dry.

Lopsided loaf

Cause: typical of too much flour (or other dry ingredients), not enough liquid, or recipe size is too small

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf: Reducing your flour* or increasing your liquids.  If you’re using your own recipe, you may need to increase the recipe size.  The minimum loaf size for our 2 pound bread machines is 1 1/2 pounds (BB-CEC20 and BB-PAC20), and 1 pound for our 1 pound machine (BB-HAC10).

Lumpy Loaf

Cause: Typical of too much flour (or other dry ingredients) or not enough liquid

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf: Reducing your flour* or increasing your liquids.  Check the dough during the KNEAD cycle—if it appears knotty or lumpy, you can add a tablespoon of water at a time until a nice, round ball of dough forms.

Unmixed Ingredients

Cause: The kneading blades were not installed properly, or kneading blades have worn out.

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf:  Installing kneading blades before adding ingredients to the baking pan.  If you suspect they have worn out, take the baking pan out of the bread machine and place the kneading blades on the metal shafts.  Then, try turning the blades with your finger.  Do they catch the shafts and make them rotate?  If one or both doesn’t, it’s time to replace them.

Add Ingredients Didn’t Mix

Cause: Typical of too much flour (or other dry ingredients) or not enough liquid.

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf:  Reducing your flour* or increasing your liquid.  When the dough is too dry, add ingredients like nuts and raisins cannot penetrate the dough ball.

*The weight of a cup of flour can fluctuate significantly depending upon how the flour is measured.  Using the measuring cup as a scooper, or pouring flour into the measuring cup will result in more of the ingredient being used than our recipes call for.  You can reduce your flour using one of two methods:

  1. Volumetrically: Fluff your flour with a fork or a whisk to loosen it; then, spoon it into your nested measuring cups, and level off without tapping or shaking.
  2. By weight: Weigh your flour with a digital kitchen scale (128g/4.51oz per cup for bread flour; 120g/4.23 oz for whole wheat flour, and 125g/4.41oz for all purpose).  This method yields the most consistent and optimal results, and conveniently cuts out the guesswork.

Still having trouble, or don’t see your baking problem listed here?  Please contact our customer service team for assistance or give us a message on our Facebook.

 

 

Product Inspirations –
Home Bakery Maestro® Breadmaker (BB-SSC10)

Our Home Bakery Maestro® Breadmaker has so much to love – it’s a small powerhouse that makes hugely satisfying breads, doughs, cakes, and jams!

This breadmaker is compact and comes in a modern white design. It has a small footprint, about the size of a letter-sized paper, taking up minimal counter space, and makes 1-pound loaves, perfect for smaller families. The Maestro features a wide selection of 15 course settings, which control the kneading, rising, and baking functions based on the type of bread, dough, cake, or jam to be made.

Ten of the fifteen course settings are for baking bread, including traditional loaves like White, Whole Wheat, and European, as well as settings for Quick White and Quick Whole Wheat. Along with the traditional course settings, the Maestro offers healthy settings for Multigrain, Gluten Free, Salt Free, Sugar Free, and Vegan breads.

The Maestro comes with special course settings for doughs, cake, and jam too. The Bread/Pizza Dough setting is great for producing things like Whole Wheat Pizza Dough and Naan bread, while the Pasta Dough course setting lets you make homemade pastas like Spinach Pasta. Quick cake breads like our scrumptious Lemon Loaf are easy with the Cake setting and our unique Jam setting lets you make fruit preserves without constant stirring over the stove.

While these course settings are all amazing, we really, truly love our Homemade setting! This course setting allows you to store up to three custom programs, so you can control the knead, rise, and bake times per recipe! We’ve even come up with a recipe that we had to call our Meatloaf Miracle, because it was made in the breadmaker using a Homemade course. (Check it out in the recipe booklet that comes with the breadmaker!)

Our Home Bakery Maestro® Breadmaker can make all of these recipes because of its smart features. It uses a removable, nonstick coated Baking Pan to hold the ingredients, and mixes them with a single Kneading Blade, which is secured into the Baking Pan on a sturdy, rotating shaft. It also utilizes double heaters built into the bottom of the breadmaker to rapidly heat the interior of the Baking Pan so that breads are springy, light, airy, and have gorgeous crusts. It also has a new, distinctive feature – the Auto-Add Dispenser. Instead of requiring you to keep track of when to add ingredients such as dried fruit, nuts, and seeds during the knead cycle, the Auto Add Dispenser holds these ingredients and works with the breadmaker’s intelligent microcomputer to add them to the dough at the right time during making. The easy-to-read LCD control panel accesses the brains of the machine and lets you choose the course setting as well as select the crust color. It also allows you to set an optional 13-hour delay timer.

In true Zojirushi tradition, the pan, along with all surfaces that come into contact with food, are BPA-free and cleaning is simple. The Baking Pan, Kneading Blade, and Auto-Add Dispenser pieces are all removable and hand-washable.

Accessories include a full color recipe booklet with 50 delicious recipes, liquid measuring cup, and measuring spoon.

The recipe booklet has amazing recipes, and you can find more on the special website we’ve dedicated to this amazing little bread maker. Check out recipes like Party Bread and Matcha Swirl Bread. Best of all, we’ve loaded eight how-to videos to help you perfect your bread and dough making skills!

If you’re already an owner of the Home Bakery Maestro® Breadmaker, share your favorite creations with us below. And if not…get one now!