The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread Machine Bread Bakes Flat in the Oven

kathunter's picture

Bread Machine Bread Bakes Flat in the Oven

Hello Fellow Bread Bakers,

I just baked a loaf of part wheat part white bread using my bread machine to do the mixing and kneading. Then I took the dough out, punched down the air on a lightly floured board, then placed the shaped dough in a loaf pan to rise. It looked beautiful after about 30 minutes. But as soon as I removed the lightweight towel, the dough sank and did not rise again when I placed it in the oven to bake. What do I need to do differently?

Thanks a bunch,


hanseata's picture

Kathleen, I'm sure your dough was overproofed. I never trust the kitchen timer or my eyeballing, but use the poke test to judge the proofing stage. You should poke the dough gently with your finger, and see what happens.

If the dent fills up right away, the bread is not ready for the oven, yet. If it comes a little bit back, but stays a visible indentation, the bread is proofed right. If the indentation stays exactly the same depth, it's probably already overproofed (unless it is a stiffer dough by nature, with a lot of seeds or grains).

You might also consider the amount of yeast, it might be too much.


Graid's picture

Yeah, I second the suggestion that the loaf was overproofed.

However, the loaf should not have had a problem with being proofed for this amount of time unless there was too much yeast in the recipe. What recipe were you using? 

A question- when you say you used the bread maker to mix and knead the bread, do you  mean that you let it do the full dough cycle, which would include some time spent rising in the bread maker (on my bread maker this takes about 1 hour 40 minutes), or did you just wait until the bread maker had kneaded the dough enough to make it cohesive and then take the dough out? Obviously this makes a difference to the time the dough has spent rising in total.



lsquared's picture

Hi! I have a similar problem although it seems to happen after I've removed my bread from the oven. 
I too use my bread machine to mix the dough (for Challah bread) and let it run the entire cycle and often then some. (It often will rise to the lid of the machine before I take it out). I then lightly remove air, braid it, and let it rise again until its about the size I would expect (I"m not an expert baker, but I have been doing it for years). 

It bakes beautifully in the oven and when I take it out it looks fabulous, but over the next 30 min to hour, the loaf deflates a little. It's still presentable, but not how it was when I removed it from the oven. 

Any help would be appreciated!

Graid's picture

Can you share the recipe you are using for this? How exactly do you mean that it deflates? Does it just sort of shrink a bit or does it collapse entirely? Is this before you've cut into it or anything? How does the loaf texture end up?

I can only make a guess that possibly there is too much yeast or you have proofed the loaf for too long, even though usually that would just cause collapse *before* the loaf is taken out.

lsquared's picture

Yes, the recipe is as follows. 

1 C water * 1 egg beaten * 1/4 C oil * 1/3 C sugar * 1/2 tsp salt * 3 1/2 C flour * 1 pkt yeast.

The bread is delicious even after it deflates. I'm not an expert but the texture is really soft, not crumbly, not dry at all. The crust is not very hard, but firm.

It's really delicous, it just not as beautiful as when it comes out of the oven. It doesn't fold in on itself, but it just sort of exhales. I don't think I can describe it better than that. And yes, this happens without my cutting into it. 

I've been experimenting with differetn flour brands because that seems to be a huge factor in the original rise of the dough. But even with the 'good' flour, the loaf deflates a little after coming out of the oven. 


Graid's picture

In my opinion, 1 (7g) packet of yeast is excessive. I generally don't use nearly as much as that unless I am putting a larger batch of dough in the fridge. I am not sure if this is the source of your issue or not but reducing the yeast probably wouldn't do any harm. I haven't really personally noticed that my challah deflates after baking, but maybe I wasn't paying enough attention! 

My challah recipe only uses 1 1/4 teaspoon of yeast for a similar amount of flour, though it also uses 2 eggs and uses 4 tablespoons of honey instead of the sugar.

My full recipe:

500g bread flour ( I assume Americans can use all-purpose, I'm not quite clear on the difference)

 1 teaspoon salt

 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

 50g melted butter (make sure it is not hot if you do this and add it!)

 2 eggs, beaten

 4 tablespoons clear honey

 175ml water

1 egg yolk for the glaze

Poppy seeds

I let this go through the breadmaker dough cycle (and no more). Plait, brush with egg yolk, add poppy seeds, then let rise for another 40 minutes. Bake at 180C in the oven for 35 minutes, usually having to cover it with foil/an aluminium tin after about 15 minutes to prevent over browning.  I usually find even with this reduced amount of instant yeast, the challah ends up rising huge amounts thanks to the sugars in the dough. And is soft and fluffy in texture.

lsquared's picture

Thanks! I'll try decreasing my yeast. 

I'll be sure to give your recipe a try too.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That's why some of us take baby bread pictures while the steam is still rising off the loaf.  Catch it at its best!  :)