Why do my loaves flatten in the oven?


This seems to be a recurring problem for me. My loaves crown nicely in the pans during the second rise, they look good going into the oven, but then their nice round crowns sink about 15 minutes into baking so that the loaves are flat across. I can tell you that I did not use all the flour in the recipe; could that be the problem? I don't want the dough to be too dry...

badge posted by: GailWool on January 22, 2011 at 9:01 pm in Baking, yeast
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reply by: PaddyL on January 22, 2011 at 9:37 pm

This is the usual result of letting the bread rise too high before baking. Let it rise a little less; it shouldn't fall when you bake it.

reply by: elim on January 22, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Thank you for the info, I think mine has the same problem, now I know why. Its the resting time too long, so what is the maximum time to avoid same mistake. Thanks KAF.

reply by: silkenpaw on January 23, 2011 at 12:03 am

You can't go by time when dealing with living things such as yeast. The rise time is dependent on too many factors. Temperature is one. Your bread will take a longer time to rise in a cold kitchen than a warm one.

You need to test the dough itself for its condition by doing the "poke test." Poke your finger into the dough to make a 1/2" indentation and watch for how well the indentation fills back in. If it fills in quickly, dough is not risen enough; if it doesn't fill in at all, dough has risen too much (best to deflate/punch down and start again). You are looking for the point at which the dough springs back slowly and partially, that means your dough has risen just enough to be ready for baking.

Once you've figured out how long this process takes for a particular dough in your kitchen at a given temperature, then you can go by time, but it's best to still monitor the dough.

reply by: GailWool on January 23, 2011 at 11:34 am

Hi silkenpaw!

Thank you for your reply! I will try your suggestions. Does this mean that the dough will not necessarily crown above the rim of the pan during the second rise?

reply by: GailWool on January 23, 2011 at 11:35 am

Thank you, Paddy L! I will give your suggestion a try!

reply by: petereklund on January 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm

It could also be too much liquid

reply by: frick on January 28, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Typically the bread should crown about an inch above the rim of the pan, though you don't say what kind of bread you are baking.

The comment on too wet dough is very possible, especially since you said you didn't use all the flour. Dry or moist bread is a factor of many things other than the amount of flour. Very wet doughs are typically flatter breads so your dough may not have enough gluten/flour to support all that moisture . . . so try the recipe as written.

Bake it and analyse it. Then worry about the moisture level, which can be augmented with the addition of potato in various forms, sour cream, and honey to mention a few. Also, bake the bread to an internal temp around 200 F, no more.

reply by: samarchesseau on January 31, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Could over rising also cause my bread to deflate when I slash the tops? My bread looks great until I try to add slashes then it deflates and never comes back.

reply by: Mike Nolan on January 31, 2011 at 4:42 pm
Mike Nolan

There will always be a little deflating when you slash your loaves, but if they're deflating that much and not rebounding, you've almost certainly over-proofed them.