The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread sinking

middlecave's picture

Bread sinking

I have been making bread for some time using a fairly standard recipe - 500g bread flour, 300g water, fast acting dried yeast, with small quantities of salt, sugar and butter or olive oil.  The bread is cooked in a tin.

Recently I have had problems with the bread sinking immediately on putting into the oven - temperature 200°C, about 400°F.  It sinks about 10 - 20% resulting in very heavy bread.  This happens randomly,  about 1 in 3 or 4 times.

I wonder if a fan oven is worse than a conventional oven for making bread.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

If by "fan oven" you mean a convection oven, I don't know, never having baked in one, but I thought they were supposed to be LESS susceptible to problems with heating.  Are you letting the oven preheat first?  In a normal oven putting a baking stone on the bottom rack helps to even out the temperature, I don't know if this might also help in a convection oven.

There are several reasons bread might fall in the oven: 

overproofing, old/weak yeast, oven too cool (use an oven thermometer to verify thermostat setting)

I'm not sure how you would check for old/weak yeast, but I think this sounds like overproofing - the dough rises too long or too fast before going into the oven.  I say that because it only seems to happen sometimes and it happens soon after going into the oven (if the oven's too cool it will generally rise for awhile and THEN fall).  I'm guessing it would happen more often than not if it were a problem with the yeast.

Some reasons why you might occassionally over proof include variable temperature wherever you're letting it rise - if it's warmer sometimes that could cause the yeast to rise too fast.  Or you are busy and sometimes let the bread rise longer than you normally would.

Here is a method to tell when dough has risen enough:

Ripe Test

And here are two sites that have a list of bread problems, causes, and solutions:

King Arthur Bread Troubleshooting

Baking 911 Bread Troubleshooting

Hope that helps.

lazybaker's picture

It's probably due to overproofing. 

middlecave's picture

Many thanks for the help ofered.

I have tried your suggestion and it works!

Once again thanks for help.