The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread tightens/collapses after cooling

reptilegrrl's picture

Bread tightens/collapses after cooling

I've been making a lot of progress with my gluten-free breads, but I do have an issue I hope some of you can help with.

Without fail, even if a bread is airy and open on day 1, by day 3 it will be much tighter. It's not just a matter of the bread "falling", though that does seem to be part of the problem, but also, the bread really seems to kind of shrink all over. I've read that this may be a matter of too much starch. Thoughts?


pmccool's picture

Wrapped or unwrapped?  If wrapped, what kind of wrapper?  Room temperature or refrigerated? In a container?

Without knowing anything else, my first guess is that the bread is drying somewhat and shrinking because of moisture loss.  That's purely a guess, though.


Moya Gray's picture
Moya Gray

I just read your post - the same happens with some of my gf breads.  the bottom "sinks" toward the middle of the loaf.  My first thought was that it was the starch de-gelatinizing.  but I have no clue either.  Have you found an answer?


jimad's picture

Yes this is a common problem in GF breads, also in wet supermarket non-GF sandwich breads which often form a "collapsed mushroom" profile to each slice of bread.  You can choose to make a heavier, dryer, bread which will have more structure.  Or, more rounded shapes uniformly convex shapes will hold their form much better because the crust will form a "balloon" like outer structure.  I often make GF bread in boule shape baking in pyrex bowls, cooling and drying them off in a similar sized and shaped perf'ed colander. For elongated "French bread" shapes I use a round-bottomed Fox Run 44515 Rehrucken/Almond Cake Loaf Pan, cooling and drying the loaf in a perf'ed Matfer Bourgeat 311141 French Bread Pan. Hearth Bread Pans work pretty well too -- although the bottom has a too-flat section that tends to turn concave.

Also, I cool and dry off the bread for an hour or two before storing it in a plastic bag overnight, before cutting into it.  If I "try a bite" before it has had a chance to fully develop overnight I end up ruining the loaf.