The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread Craters?

chico1st's picture

Bread Craters?

Can anyone tell me why all the bread i make forms giant craters in the middle. 1/2 the height of my loaf is just walls that stand up that grow along the side of my pan.


I am using a 3lb bread machine if that makes a difference.. and sometimes it seems to overflow so much that it gets teh window all messy with dough.... then the bread deflates. :(


thanks for any help you can give. 

Marni's picture

I looked in two of the manuals from my now defunct machines and they both suggest that the loaf has overrisen or risen too fast.  They suggest further that the yeast and/or water be decreased.  Also more salt could be added.  Salt inhibits rising or slows it down, so that makes sense.  And clearly less yeast would work.  I would try one of those suggestions and see how it works for you.  I hope this helps.


holds99's picture

Sounds like your recipe, if you're using one, is out of whack.  Try Googleing "Bread Machine Recipes".  There's loads of them out there.  Here's a link I found using Goodle but, as I said there's a ton of bread machine recipes out there.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

cecile's picture

 I had the same thing happening to me (in a 2-lb machine, using 1 or 1.-lb recipes). I found the answer to my problem on the King Arthur Flour website:

Look at the hint#9

"Bread that rises, then collapses in the middle as it bakes -- the infamous “crater bread” -- contains too much liquid. Adjust your formula."

That's what I did and I didn't have a problem anymore :) 



Max-WaState's picture


I just bought a new Oster Bread Machine. I had a bread machine 20 something years ago. But-and I can't remember whether I only used mixes or actually added all the ingredients myself-I thought all the bread was tasteless. On the other hand this new Oster of mine has made some quite delicious bread. My main two fails so have been when I tried doctoring some recipes. I tried to make some raisin challah from a box of challah mix which didn't go that well and I added some tomato paste to an herb bread recipe that didn't taste great either. 

Back to my question-I live just about at sea level in Washington state. I have been making the following recipe for Italian Herb Bread that came with the Oster Machine.  I tweak the recipe a bit by adding some oregano and rosemary. Also I am using a three cheese blend rather than straight grated Parmesan. I am including a picture of the recipe here. But if the picture ever becomes unavailable, either look at it from this website or web search Oster Italian Herb Bread recipe, and you'll probably find it.


 My bread seems to rise fine prior to and while baking. In fact I'm wondering if it doesn't rise too much. My bread doesn't crater . It comes out of the bread machine fine. But then I let it cool, and that's when the problem occurs. While the top doesn't crater exactly, it seems to sink slightly and become wrinkled. Then when I try slicing it, usually the middle of the top tears somewhat.

Do y'all think maybe a bit less yeast would help?


Thanking the suggestions in advance.