The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread is cakey

rroorryyjj's picture

Bread is cakey

Hi. I got a really cheap breadmachine off ebay abd the bread from the recipe included come out very cakey... (See profile pic) I kind of want more doughy bread. Any ideas?

Recipe used

1.25 cups milk

2 desert spoons butter

3.3 cups flour. 

1.5 dessert spoons brown sugar

1.5 teaspoons salt

15 grams live yeast. Mixed in a lttle warm water


would dried yeast make any difference? 

Have tried immediate bake and also on a timer overnight. Same result. 

Bread also slumps in the mddle like a moist cake. Bummer, eh?

clazar123's picture

I wasn't sure if "recipe included" meant  with the machine or included with the post. I have very little experience with bread machines but I seem to remember that dry yeast was used and the layering of ingredients in the machine was crucial to the success of the loaf. I believe the dry yeast was always on top though I may be incorrect.  Is that still the case?

The crumb doesn't look too bad but the sinking indicates it is overproofed in the final rise before baking. That means it rose to the point where the gluten weakens and when the gas bubbles expand with the heat of baking, they pop and sink the middle. But they aren't so overproofed that everything sinks before the heat of baking sets the loaf. Reducing the yeast amount or even using dry yeast instead of wet yeast may make a difference. Time for a little experimentation!

It may also be "cakey" because it is an enriched loaf-it is made with milk and butter. The sugar is also sweetening it. There are several things you can try. Try using half milk/half water or even all water. Use oil instead of butter. Decrease or even eliminate the sugar.  Whatever you do, always keep track so you can repeat it on the next batch or tweak it more.

Have delicious fun!

clazar123's picture

What type of loaf are you trying to achieve? Do you want a soft sandwich loaf or more of an artisan,chewy loaf? A soft loaf can be achieved by several means-include fat,milk protein, beans or potatoes OR the use of a water roux (use the search box for that-the chinese for that is tang zhou, I think, and can be searched for on this site) .

A chewier,holier artisan bread is usually a leaner,wetter dough with longer raises. I don't know if you can do that from start to finish in a bread machine. A bread machine is a great tool but like any tool, it has some things it is good for and some things it won't be good for.

vavo's picture


Since I don't know how much bread baking experience you have please forgive me if I write things you already know!

I fully agree with clazar123!

The "cakiness" of your bread comes from milk, butter and sugar. They all tend to make your bread soft, crumbly and not very crunchy. I recommend using only the basic ingredients: Flour, water, salt (and yeast).  And here is why (in case you are wondering): The chewiness of bread comes from gluten strands that are developed from the protein in the flour during kneading and fermenting. Fat (as in milk and butter) coats the gluten and shortens the gluten strands (hence also referred to as "shortening) which makes the bread crumbly, caky and also less strong. The recipe for you first loaf ( on this page might be a good place to start!

Good luck! Might take a few attempts before it turns out the way you want - but it is so worth it!