The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New Bread Machine User - Loaf Top is Pale

mamadear7's picture

New Bread Machine User - Loaf Top is Pale

I am new to using a bread machine. I made my first loaf of a basic white bread. The problem is that the crust didn't turn out right. The sides and bottom were a perfect medium color, but the top was very pale. The sides and bottom seemed a little dry, top was somewhat sticky, and the rest of the bread seemed in between. I am not sure what to try because I'm not an expert at baking. Any ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated!

gary.turner's picture

I'm going to take a guess that the dough rose too high. Bread machines are truly convection ovens. They depend on the flow of hot air. When (my assumption) the dough came too close to the top of the machine, it blocked the flow of air, leaving the top under-done. Being under cooked it collapsed back on itself, hiding the cause.

There could be several reasons for this to have happened:

  • The room could be warmer than what the recipe expected;
  • The ingredients, especially the liquids, could have been too warm;
  • You miss-measured the yeast, and got too much;
  • Or, you simply made too much dough.

Concerning the last, bread machine recipes that I've seen use volume measurements, like cups and teaspoons. These lead to errors; flour measures being the most egregious. When measuring the flour, it is common for the tyro to scoop up the flour and then scrape it level. That leads to packing, getting too much. Use a spoon to get the flour, and sprinkle it into the measuring cup until it's mounded, and then scrape it level.



mamadear7's picture

Thank you Gary for your response. I was thinking it probably had to do with the rising process as well. I had searched it online and seem to always come back to the rising process being too long. I think I might try to reduce the second rise time and see if that helps. 

I also read it could be that there is not enough sugar in the recipe. The sides and bottom of the loaf were perfect color, so I don't believe this was the issue. Also this was a recipe from the bread machine maker, so I imagine it's unlikely that the ingredients are the problem.

I already was aware of the issue with scooping flour, so I didn't have that problem either.

I do appreciate your help. I will just try the recipe again and see how it goes.