follow us on facebookfollow us on twitter

Yeast Bread Baking Tips
Common Bread Problems and Cures

External Bread Appearance

Symptom Causes
Crust too dark - Oven temperature too high or wrong bread machine setting.
- Excessive milk or sugar.
- Excessive baking time.
- Over proofing.
Crust too light - Oven temperature too low or wrong bread machine setting.
- Insufficient milk or sugar.
- Insufficient baking time.
- Insufficient proofing.
- Insufficient mixing.
Crust broken - Insufficient proofing or wrong bread machine setting.
- Insufficient liquid.
Crust too hard - Oven temperature too high or wrong bread machine setting.
- Insufficient proofing.
- Insufficient sugar or shortening.
- Excessive steam.
- Insufficient liquid.
- Baking time too long.
Crust too soft - Oven temperature too low or wrong bread machine setting.
- Excessive sugar/egg yolks/shortening.
- Excessive oil/margarine as a wash.
- Insufficient steam during baking.
- Baking time too short or wrong bread machine setting.


Internal Bread Appearance

Symptom Causes
Coarse and irregular grain - Improper mixing procedures.
- Stiff batter.
- Careless or poor depositing in the pans.
- Oven too cool, (baked too slowly).
Dense grain - Excessive liquid in the batter.
- Improper mixing procedure.
Off-color breads - Improper mixing procedure.
- Oven too cool, (baked too slowly).
- Unclean equipment.
If raisins, nuts or dried fruit sunk to the bottom - Pieces of fruit were too large and too heavy.
- Sugary syrup on the outside of the fruit was not washed off- causing the pieces of fruit to slide through the mixture as it heated.
- Washed and dried fruit was not dusted with flour before being added to the mixture.
- Bread mixture was over beaten or was too wet so it could not hold the fruit in place.
- Oven temperature was too low, causing the mixture to melt before it set to hold the fruit in place.

General Bread Faults

Symptom Causes
Batter over-flowed the pans - Wrong adjustments to recipes (too much liquid, flour etc.)
- Wrong size pan used. Mixture should fill 2/3 of pan.
Poor flavor - Improper mixing procedure.
- Improper cleaning and greasing of the pans.
- Faulty baking conditions.
- Improper cleaning of the equipment.
Breads too tough - Excessive mixing.
- Batter too stiff (insufficient water).
- Batter too thin (excessive water).
Lacks body/structure - Excessive mixing
- Insufficient liquid.
Dries out too soon - Excessive baking time.
- Insufficient liquid.
- Improper mixing procedures.
- Cooled in a drafty location.


Baking Hints for Breads

Symptom Causes
Baking - Set your ovens about 20 minutes before baking. Use an oven thermometer to test the temperature inside.
- When you use a spray release agent on your bread pans, be sure the spray contains flour, or if it doesn’t, light dust your own flour over the sprayed pan.
- Bake breads at 350 to 360 degrees in regular oven.
- Bake breads at 330 to 335 degrees in convection oven.
- Handle the breads carefully when removing from the oven.
- Place breads on the center rack in the middle of the oven.
- Pans should not touch the sides of the oven.
- If your oven bakes unevenly on one side, do not pick up the pan, but rotate it about 2/3 into the baking time.
- Make sure the batter is level in the pans.
- Breads will spring back when touched, when they are done. The sides will shrink slightly away from the pan and a bread tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Baking times will vary with pan size and batter weight.
Mixing - Batter temperature should be 70 to 75 degrees.
- ALL equipment should be clean and grease free.
- Make sure your measuring cups and spoons actually hold the same volume if you are using them from different sets.
- Measure all ingredients as accurately as possible.
- Pans should be greased properly.
- When using a stand-up kitten mixer, use a paddle (not a wire whip) to mix the batter.
- Use a rubber or soft plastic spatula to scrape the sides of the mixing bowl after each addition of ingredients. (Scraping ensures proper ingredient distribution.)
- Follow the formula exactly as to mixing times.
- Always use fresh, high quality ingredients.
- Follow the formula exactly as to method. Use precise mixing times. If not, disaster may result!
Handling - Cool bread in pan 10-15 minutes before loosening the edge and turning it onto a wire rack.

Hint: To easily remove a bread form the pan, place a double thickness paper towel over the wire rack. The towel prevents the wire bars from breaking the crust or leaving imprints on the top of the bread

- Turn hot breads out gently.

- Cool bread at least 1 hour before decorating.

Hint: When frosting a bread, chill the bread before spreading filling and/or frosting. (Bread will be much easier to work with.) Also, apply a thin layer of frosting to the bread and then refrigerate until it is set before applying the final, heavier layer of frosting. This will seal in the crumbs and ensure a clean final appearance.

- Make only enough to last 3 or 4 days.