The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Loaf Falling in Oven?

artinhappiness's picture

Loaf Falling in Oven?

I've been baking bread for a few months now - though granted, most of it in the secondhand bread machine I picked up on Craigslist.  The texture of the machine bread seemed far too dense and crumbly for sandwiches, so yesterday I decided to give a full handmade bread a shot. (For the record it was this recipe from KAF).  Everything seemed to progress fine - the dough rose beautifully and went into the oven....where over it's baking time it fell.  I'd say it's probably about 2.5-3" thick now.  I was using a silicone bread pan...could that be the cause perhaps?  The crust browned beautifully all the way around, and it tastes great.  It's just...short.  More like a quick bread put into too large of a pan.  I was using active dry yeast from a jar, it's new and proofed well.  I googled a conversion for what the equivelent of one package which seemed to be 2.25 tsp - perhaps I was using the wrong amount?

Thanks for any suggestions... I'm very new at this still, so I'm not entirely sure where to start experimenting to fix the problem!

flournwater's picture

My guess:; overproofed ...

But let us see the entire picture (formula and process description) in case there's something else to consider.

artinhappiness's picture

I linked, but it appears this forum doesn't make links easy to see! ;o)

Oatmeal Toasting & Sandwich Bread

This tender bread is just slightly sweet.

3 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1 cup rolled oats (old-fashioned oats)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar or honey **I used honey**
2 teaspoons instant yeast OR 1 packet active dry yeast*
1 1/4 cups lukewarm milk
3/4 cup raisins or currants (optional) **I omitted from recipe**

*If you use active dry yeast, dissolve it in the warm milk before combining with the remaining ingredients.

Manual Method: In a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all of the ingredients, mixing to form a shaggy dough. Knead dough, by hand (10 minutes) or by machine (5 minutes) till it's smooth. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow it to rest for 1 hour; it'll become quite puffy, though it may not double in bulk. Shape as directed below.

Bread Machine Method: Place all of the ingredients (except the fruit) into the pan of your machine, program machine for manual or dough, and press Start. About 10 minutes before the end of the second kneading cycle, check dough and adjust its consistency as necessary with additional flour or water; finished dough should be soft and supple. Add the raisins or currants about 3 minutes before the end of the final kneading cycle. Shape as directed below.

Shaping: Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface, and shape it into a log. Place the log in a lightly greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, cover the pan (with an acrylic proof cover, or with lightly greased plastic wrap), and allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, till it's crested 1 to 2 inches over the rim of the pan.

Baking: Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 190°F. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil for the final 10 minutes of baking. Yield: 1 loaf.

I followed the manual method - hand mixed, hand kneaded. 2.25 tsp of active dry yeast proofed in warmed (100 deg F) milk.  Used whole milk, proof time I would have to say about 6 minutes?  Dough took the full hour to crest about 1" above the pan's rim.  Allowed it to rise in the oven to avoid drafts on this unseasonably cool few days we've been having, removed to preheat oven.

I appreciate any insight...

ETA: I should also say, I was using Gold Medal "Better for Bread" flour since I had run out of my KAF and haven't been able to afford another bag at the moment.

rayel's picture

Hi, I agree that it was very likely overproofed, but a  recipe for easier handling overall, would be one not containing oatmeal or raisins. Both I think, could undermine your results. At least for your first hand made loaf, simpler is better. I am sure other more helpfull sugestions will follow.

When you try this recipe again, it will probably come out well.   Ray

rayel's picture

I thought of something to add. I read recently that water is better to proof active dry yeast, but have forgotten who said it and the reason. It sounds like you did everything correctly. I think making bread without the machine is the way to go. Getting your hands into it from the begining teaches you so much.  I don't know how high Gold medal better for bread flour is in protein, but King Arthur all purpose is quite high,  12 1/2% I  believe. It doesn't sound as though you had problems with the rise, at least initially.

I had something like that happen, while in the oven, it first rose and I thought it would be a great oven spring, then, it didn't colapse, but seemed to shrink in size a bit. That was an all whole wheat with extra bran recipe. I haven't retried that one...yet.   Ray