The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Overproofing in bread machine?

chele519's picture

Overproofing in bread machine?

I'm sorry this is so long. This is my first post here and I'm having some trouble with a new bread machine. I just bought a Zojirushi 2 weeks ago. It is not my first bread machine so I'm not completely inexperienced but I cannot make a decent loaf in this machine.

I only make whole grain loaves and I've been using King Arthur white whole wheat flour. I've proofed my yeast and it is fine. I normally add 1 tbsp gluten per cup of flour or 1 1/2 tsp of KA whole grain dough improver per cup. From the troubleshooting section of the Laurel's Kitchen bread book, I think my bread is overproofing. During the last rise and before baking, the top of the loaf has bubbles/blisters forming. After the bread comes out of the machine, as it is cooling, the top shrinks down and becomes wrinkled. The top is more open while the bottom is denser. I've tried using different recipes but the main recipe I've been using is one I used in my previous machine with no problems. 

At first the bread wasn't rising and had a flat top. A few times the top crust seemed to be separating from the rest of the loaf. When I tried to put it in the toaster, the top almost ripped off. I was using room temp water but after checking, the temp of the water was 60deg. I've since switched to using warm water from the tap. I've also tried using bottled spring water and warming it in the microwave but it didn't make a difference. The machine adjusts the kneading time based on room temp so the kneading time is anywhere from 13-18 mins including 3 mins for mixing but it generally uses the 13 min cycle. I didn't think the gluten was being developed properly so I programmed a cycle for 25 mins kneading time. KA suggests using the basic cycle for whole grains because the rising time is longer than the whole grain cycle. I went back to using the rising times for the whole grain cycle with the increased kneading time and this showed some improvement but the top still had a couple blisters.

I've called KA and Zojirushi for advice but didn't get much help.  KA told me to make the dough ball a little drier which I will try on the next loaf but I'm hoping someone here might be able to help me. I'd really like to be able to use this machine but I'm getting discouraged and ready to return it.