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Volume I
January 28, 2003

Troubleshooting Bread

Soft, pale, soggy
1. Loaf underbaked (Bread should sound hollow (not dense or heavy) when tapped on the bottom with your knuckles.)
2. Oven temperature too low (Use an oven thermometer to ensure oven temperature accuracy.)

Detached from crust
1. Dough not punched down thoroughly before shaping.
2. Dough not rolled tightly enough during shaping.

Too thick
1. Added too much flour
2. Dough did not rise long enough
3. Oven temperature too low

Failed to rise properly
1. Rising place too warm; weakened or killed yeast
2. Expired yeast
3. Liquid mixed with yeast was too hot and killed yeast
4. Neglected dough rose more than double and collapsed

Collapsed in oven
1. Neglected dough rose more than double during second rising
2. Rising place too warm; weakened or killed yeast

Cracked along one side or rose unevenly
1. Loaf subject to uneven heating (rotate loaf while baking if oven has hot spots)
2. Poor air circulation between bread pans (leave as much space as possible between pans and between oven walls when baking multiple loaves)
3. Pan overfilled with dough or pan too small

Dark streaks
1. Dough not mixed or kneaded thoroughly
2. Rising bowl over greased
3. Dough uncovered while rising; top dried out and crusted (cover with greased plastic wrap and/or a damp tea towel)

Spread too much during baking (free-form or shaped)
1. Dough too soft or too warm when loaves were formed

Top of loaves cracked
1. Bread cooled too rapidly (set in draft-free place to cool)
2. Stiff dough (over kneaded or added too much flour)
3. Dough undermixed

Uneven browning on sides
1. Overcrowded oven; poor heat circulation
2. Shiny pan reflected heat away from sides

Alcoholic smell/taste
1. Prolonged rising time
2. Underbaked

Sour taste
1. Dough rose too fast (used instant yeast, rising place too warm, forgot the salt)
2. Before baking, dough allowed to rise too long

Yeasty, damp taste
1. Used too much yeast
2. Rising place too warm
3. Underbaked (Plunk loaf on bottom crust with knuckles; if no hollow sound, bake for 5-10 more minutes directly on oven rack)
4. Prolonged rising time

Crumbly and dry
1. Overbaked
2. Oven temperature not accurate (too high or too low; double check with oven thermometer)
3. Added too much flour
4. Dough not mixed well
5. Rising place too warm
6. Prolonged rising time

Doughy on bottom
1. Bread left to cool in pans (remove bread immediately after baking and place on cooling racks)

Heavy, dense
1. Added too much flour
2. Insufficient rising time
3. Used whole-grain flours (see Flours)

Large holes
1. Over kneaded by food processor
2. Under kneaded if by hand
3. Air incompletely punched out before/during shaping

Soggy, dense, flat
1. Added too much liquid that flour could not absorb
2. Dough underkneaded
3. Loaf underbaked

* DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *

Tortilla Soup

The Substance Within the Loaf
Tips and Techniques of the Home Baker
Bread Making References
Spicing Up Breads

Refresh Stale Bread
Freeze Your Own Dough
Troubleshooting Bread

Pillsbury Doughboy Obituary
Software Problems
Actual Signs across the USA


Unit Abbreviations

Missing Ingredient
Missing Recipe

Falling for ...Dessert!

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