The Fresh Loaf

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Bread falling after loaf rise

blackoak2006's picture

Bread falling after loaf rise

Ok, I have been making bread for some time now, and it has always seemed to work, but now I have developed a problem.  Really don't think that the mix has anything to do with it, so I will leave it out for now. 

I usually use 2 cups of WW flour, then use AP unbleached for the rest.  I put the yeast in with the dry ingredients, then heat the liquids to 125-130 degrees, then add to the dry ingredients.  I proof the bread in the oven, after I set the oven to 400 degrees for one minute, then turn it off.  I cover it with plastic and a towel, and let it rise until doubled.  I then seperate into 2 loaves then place in bread pans, cover and put back into the oven to raise.  This has worked well for the last 20 to 30 loaves that I have done, up until the last 2 batches.  The first batch, I took off the towel and the plastic, and the loaves fell to the top of the pan.  The next time I made these, the loaves raised to the proper height and the proper test by pressing down with the finger, so I placed them in the oven, (without preheating) and started them cooking.  When the time was up, I opened the oven, and the bread had fallen to the top of the pan.  This does not hurt the quality of the bread, but it is bugging me that I can't make a good looking loaf of bread like I use to.

Any help and or ideas would be appreaciated.


Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

First of all, why are you heating your liquids to 125-130F? Most baking books that I've read have said that 105 to maybe 115F is optimal and that higher than that will start to kill your yeast. When I use active dry yeast, I can use temps between 85 and 95F and still get the desired results. Maybe I'm wrong about the yeast death sentence thing but I've just never seen any instructions that went that high in temperature for liquids.

Second, what is the need for heating your oven to 400F, even for one minute, to use during the bulk fermentation? Unless you have a really, really cold house it's hard to understand why. Others here have suggested just using the oven light during the colder seasons for the bulk fermentation. Even then, they suggest you keep a thermometer handy to make sure the temps don't get too high- over 85F.

Since you use fahrenheit temps, I have to guess that you're somewhere in the US. It's summer and I'd suggest that you forego the heated oven for the first rise. Your loaf may take a little longer to rise or proof but I've found that more time is the friend of flavor. You can have the convienence of a fast loaf of bread but a good tasting loaf of bread is ready in its own time and not on a schedule.

blackoak2006's picture

I had just read, that if you add the yeast to the dry ingretients, that you need to have the liquid at the 125-130 point.  I have also read, that you can do it lower, but it has always worked for me, so I have stuck with it.  That is what is bugging me so much, is that it has worked so many times before, so I have stuck with it.  But now it is not working for me or I am doing something different that I am not seeing.

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hi There,

When I use commercial yeast I just use luke warm tap water. Hasn't failed yet. I agree, it is a well known fact too much heat will kill your yeast doing it's job.


Yerffej's picture

Your bread is rising too fast because of your very warm conditions.  It is also being overproofed and this overproofing is the cause of the collapsing.


blackoak2006's picture

Ok, I will rework my workings and give it a new try.  Glad making bread is so much fun or I would just give up.  Anyway, back out with the pans! :)

tgrayson's picture

Have you been using the same brand of flour the whole time?  The protein content can vary a lot among brands.

dosidough's picture

I can start with warmer water (118°) in winter when the kitchen is in the 60's because the water drops to about 110°—115° shortly after it hits the bowl, but in summer and an 80° kitchen that's just too warm and will get the yeast too active too quickly and change the rise. Just a thought — since you seem to indicate a recent change in previously consistant bakes. It took a while for me to put 2 & 2 together but I now notice a big difference from winter to summer baking. (In Chicago with inconsistant indoor temps)
Good luck with this. When loaves you've been good at go suddenly strange it is very frustrating. But...

Bake on!...