The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

It fell like a brick

Nyckname's picture

It fell like a brick

From the Breadman Ultimate manual:


Ingredients: 1 LB
Water 80º F/27ºC 3/4 cup + 2 TBL
Sun Dried Tomatoes in oil
drained and chopped 1/3 cup
Oil from Tomatoes 1-1/2 tsp
Olive Oil 1-1/2 tsp
Tomato Paste 1 tsp
Olives, rinsed, chopped 3 TBL
Salt 1/2 tsp
Sugar 1-1/2 tsp
Bread Flour 2 cups
Active Dry Yeast 1-1/2 tsp
Select French Cycle

I followed the recipe to the letter and it came out looking like a cartoon souffle. I do pause before the final rise to remove the paddle so the loaf doesn't tear, but haven't had any problems with other recipes. I'm thinking I need to cut the oil in half. Any other ideas? Ta very much.

Noor13's picture

I don't think that the oil is the reason. But I am not an expert when it comes to bread. I hope some other people from here are able to give you some good advice. 

Did the loaf not rise at all, oder was it just dense? Or both things together. Do you have a picture of it by any chance?

copyu's picture

I don't really see how the oil could cause a total failure, but I try not to use much fat in most of my breads, so I haven't got much real experience with 'oily' doughs

That being said, "Active Dry Yeast" sounds like a suspect! I'd never bake with this stuff without first ensuring that it's very fresh and/or verifying that it's still 'alive'. You usually have to 'prove' it first with warm water and often with a bit of yeast food...sugar/honey/malt, etc 

If you are using a bread machine, the usual stuff recommended is "Instant Yeast" which can be added directly to your other ingredients (at any stage, but mostly in smaller amounts) with zero problems...

Is this helpful?



Nyckname's picture

It rose and fell. High on the sides, low in the middle.


The yeast is fresh. I made a loaf of whole wheat four days earlier that came out fine.

ejm's picture

I'm not at all familiar with bread machines but it's possible that the bread over-rose.

At first I thought it might be too much salt. I'm not positive that I'm calculating the percentage correctly but I believe that without counting the salt from the olives and sun-dried tomatoes, it is about 1% salt.

  • water: 210 g comes to 82.7%
  • tomatoes???
  • oil: 13g  comes to 6.3%
  • tomato paste: 5.5g comes to 2.2%
  • olives????
  • salt: 2.8 g comes to 1.5%
  • sugar: 7 g  comes to 2.8%
  • flour: 254 g comes to 100%
  • yeast: 4.25 g  comes to 1.7%

And you say "active dry yeast". Did you mean "instant yeast"? From what I understand about bread machines, they always use "instant yeast", don't they? As far as I know, "active dry yeast" should be rehydrated before being added to the mixture.

What I'd be inclined to do would be to omit the tomatoes, half the oil, olives from the dough and turn this into focaccia. Yes, still flat bread but at least it would be on purpose. :-) Once the dough has risen, remove it from the machine and put it into a well olive-oiled jellyroll pan. Dimple the dough and place the olives, tomatoes and tomato oil over top and bake in the oven at 400 for 15 - 20 minutes until it's golden. (Turn the pan around half way through to account for uneven heat in the oven.)


amauer's picture

In the states we can't get Fresh (cake yeast) very often (if a all), so unless you have starter it has to be active dry or instant (or rapid rise, which most people do not use). In the US most people do not bake, especially bread, which is too bad, so it gets old in the dairy case. They do not market like Europeans either, they stock up in bulk like frozen pizzas, prepared foods, etc. I have been baking with active dry for many years and it is very stable as long as it isn't past expiration, which is about a year. I buy it by the jar and use it well before its date. You can tell upon rehydrating it if it is ok.  I use a starter, but believe me, dry yeast is fine. I think it just sounds like the bread was overproofed if it got that big as a cartoon souffle. LOL at the image!


ejm's picture

There are many ways to catch a fish....

I too use active dry yeast all the time. As Andrea has mentioned, as long as you know the yeast is viable (it's handy to have "past due dates" on the jars) then t works perfectly well. I always rehydrate it before adding it to dough but when my husband makes bread, he just adds it dry to the flour.

On occasion, I've used fresh yeast. But it's very expensive in comparison to the active dry that is readily available. I've also used "wild yeast" - that I captured myself. But for me, it was a lot of work to maintain it and I accidentally on purpose murdered it.

The only yeast I've never tried using is "instant yeast". But that's largely because I don't have a bread machine. And I gather that that is what "instant" is really for (I know; the commercial bakeries use instant yeast all the time too. I'm guessing it's because it's easier to throw the yeast into the flour rather than do the extra step of rehydrating).



Nyckname's picture

It's a bread machine. It's pretty much expecting Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast, or something very similar.


Yes, I'd much prefer to be hand baking, but I'm in what I think may be the smallest kitchen ever, so there simply isn't counter space. And I don't trust the stove and won't light the pilots. You'd need to see it.

ejm's picture

In the case of an untrustworthy stove then I can certainly see why you'd be using the machine,

It really does sound like a case of over-rising. If you're determined to make this bread again, maybe try adding less yeast. (And rather than "active dry", use "bread machine" yeast. I know that Fleischmann's makes it because I've seen it on the shelves when I buy our active dry yeast.)


amauer's picture

I love it! Demanding little weekend time stealers! I have two starters going right now  and need to feed them both, and make bread,  and do some other baking. I only have 1/2 bag of KAF, so I need flour stat. I am getting a 10 lb "better for bread" rather than KAF this time, and I just took $4.00 from my son's change as I am low on cash.