The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Trouble Shooting List

CountryBoy's picture

Trouble Shooting List

A few months back someone asked re a Trouble Shooting List that could identify problems and their solutions.  It might be useful if we could take a list- and then build on it with contributions from members so as to have a more comprehensive and in depth list to be placed in FAQs?.  I suggest this since it appears that many similar questions get asked repeatedly.

For a starter list I suggest the following from King Arthur Flour at   It is in no way complete but is possibly a good beginning.



The Dough Does Not Rise
Old yeast

Water was too cool to activate the yeast or so hot that it killed the yeast

The dough is too stiff

Rising place is too cool

The Bread Falls In The Oven

Dough rose too much and got too light

The Bread Does Not Brown On The Sides
Pans are too bright and reflect heat away from the sides

Poor pan placement in the oven and therefore overcrowding

The Bread Has An Excessive Break On The Side
Oven is too hot

Insufficient rising period

Improper shaping

The Tops Of The Bread Loaves Are Cracked
Bread cooled too rapidly, probably in a draft

The dough is too stiff

The dough is not mixed well

Baked Loaf Crumbles Easily

Dough is not mixed well

Too much flour added

Rising place is too warm

Rising period too long

Oven temperature is too low

The Bread Is Doughy On The Bottom
Loaves were not removed from pans and allowed to cool on racks after baking

The Crust Is Too Thick
Too much flour

Insufficient rising period

Oven temperature is too low

The Bread Is Heavy & Dense
Too much flour added

Insufficient rising period

Certain flours (whole wheat, rye, and others) create a heavier loaf than all-purpose unbleached flour

The Bread Is Wet Inside & Has A Coarse Grain
Insufficient rising period

The Bread Is Dry & Has A Coarse Grain

Too much flour added

Dough not kneaded long enough

Rising period too long

Oven temperature too low

The Bread Contains Dark Streaks
Uneven mixing or kneading

Bowl was greased too heavily

Dough was not covered during rising period

The Bread Has Holes In It
Air not completely pressed out of dough when loaves were shaped

Dough rose too long before baking loaves

The Bread Smells & Tastes Of Yeast
Rising periods too long

Rising place is too warm

The Bread Has A Sour Taste
Rising place is too warm and therefore the dough rose too quickly

Dough rose too long before being baked

Oldcampcook's picture

I like the list.  You have already answered a couple of questions that this 'newbie' had.

Old Camp Cook