The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Need help to resolve a problem

herculeorama's picture

Need help to resolve a problem

I have been baking my bread for quite some time now. I have a bread machine which I use mainly for dough cycle only and then I shape and do the stuff in a standard fashion. In the last one month, I baked bread about 3 times with the same recipe, same measurements, same batch of AP flour.


Flour 450g

Water 300ml

Salt 1.5 tsf

Active dried yeast 1.5 tsf

Sugar 3 tsf

Milk powder 2 tsf


The one I baked a month back turned out very nice with good rise, crust and crumb. The dough also quite nice in handling. But after that what I found was that the dough had become unusually sticky, gooey-like, difficult to handle. And it won't rise even after 2 hours. Yesterday was the same except that there was some rise but the crust had many holes. The only difference I could point down was the room temperature. It was much cooler a month back. Now for the past 3 weeks the temperature is around 38 deg C(100.4F) to about 41C(105.8F)! Yes it's very hot weather. So my guess is that the machine also heats up a little in the dough cycle to allow for a warmer temperature.

Could the room temp be the reason of the dough behaviour? If so how to circumvent the problem? Or should I stop baking in the summer? :(



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That was the first thing that crossed my mind was warming room temps.  Try using ice water in the machine to cool the dough and less yeast while mixing.  Or chilling the machine down before using (slip something from the fridge into the mixer bowl, like a bag of ice cubes, then remove before mixing.  Then wet a towel with the cold water and wring it out well.  Drape it loosely over the machine while it works.   See if that helps. 

The high temps are getting a bit too high and your dough is falling apart thru fast fermentation.  Try wet towel draping or cooling your dough while it rises.  A cool box with a few cold drinks inside might be helpful to keep the rising dough cooler.  Gosh with those temps, you should have a solar oven!  I once parked my oven outside a window (in the shade) so it wouldn't heat up the cooler house.


If you don't have a refrigerator, large water soaked clay pots (bisque baked, porous) or water soaked bricks can be used.  As water evaporates, it cools.  If you have a fan, let it blow onto these surfaces (but not on the dough) and a cool breeze with come off flowing downwards.  Water soaked baked clay pots with lids (or a second inverted over the first) are very cool inside when kept in the shade.

flournwater's picture

Mini,  you are a genius ...

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Been there.  It is also a good place to keep vegetables fresh.

ananda's picture


Mini's right about temperature issues of course.

One more measure you could try to slow down the fermentation, is to leave the sugar out of your recipe.   It's only there to give the yeast a kick; this seems hardly necessary here when your dough is too active in the first place.

Best wishes


davidg618's picture

Heat the kneaded dough to about 84°F during the "rise" step, which will work against your trying to cool it. I recommend you remove the dough immediately after kneading, put it in an oiled bowl, and cool the bowl by whatever means you choose.

Good luck,

David G

Bigears's picture

I looked at every reference source I could find but there doesn't seem to be an answer anywhere I look.  What does "tsf" represent.


00Eve00's picture

I found an explanation on an Ayurveda site that says Tsf is "teaspoon full".

To the OP:

I made a double take when I saw how hot it is where you live.  Those are excellent suggestions from the other members and I wish you the best of luck with your bread.  

LindyD's picture

It's pretty clear the OP meant "tsp" - which means teaspoon - and forgot to proofread before saving.

herculeorama's picture

Thanks a lot everyone for the responses, especially Mini. May be instead of using the bread machine I'll make the dough by hand with cooler water. Because the machine is going to intermittently heat the dough as per its programmed circuit let me give it a try with the age-old method of hand-kneading! (Anyway, my wife has suggested that I cool off and leave the baking for a week to ten days!)

I really appreciate the suggestions.

*** tsf is teaspoonful. A typo error instead of tsp as rightly pointed out by LindyD.


@ ooEveoo - Yes, it's very very warm. Probably if you cracked an egg on the hood of a parked car, it wil cook in no time!


00Eve00's picture

"Probably if you cracked an egg on the hood of a parked car, it wil cook in no time!"

That is quite a visual!  I'm not sure if I could forgo baking for a week to ten days though.. lol!  Take care and stay cool.