The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wheat Bread Flattened

kathunter's picture

Wheat Bread Flattened

I made my bread dough for a wheat bread using my bread machine. After the kneed cycle I kneaded the dough just enough to shape it and put into a bread pan. It rose very nicely! I spread a little bit of butter on top then into the oven to bake at 350. The bread then flattened out unevenly, even!  What happened?  Suggestions appreciated.


Breadless in Seattle


alexlegeros's picture


I come from a Danish family where more butter is better.  Sadly, this does not hold true in all cases :(       (Brioche is another story, though!)

In my experience, a flattening bread is caused by just a few little things.  First off, be sure that your "butter wash" (unconventional--any other bread bakers out there commonly do this?)  isn't so think as to put unsupported weight on the dough.  If this recipe usually yeilds for you a nice, fluffy bread, then it is only logical that if the only thing you changed was the butter, then that's what caused the lumpy deflation.

From an outsider's prospective, however, you might want to try a few things to ensure you're getting the most rise out of the bread. First: don't let the bread over-rise.  It should roughly double in bulk, just enough so that when you press into it a little with your finger, it doesn't spring back.  Any more, and you can suffer deflation in the bake as the gluten structures break down in the extended fermentation process.  Secondly, you might want to try adding 100 degrees to your bake temp!  I know it sounds odd, but if at least for the first 10-15 minutes you keep it around 450-460, you can maxmize your oven spring if you have both some kind of steam and a high heat.  It makes for a better crust too--one that crackles when you take the bread out of the oven. Do not reduce your overall baking time, though--the interior of bread never gets hotter than 210 degrees.  I'm serious!

Hope these observations help you as you develop your bread baking.  If you want to know more about me or ask any other questions, check out my blog!