Picture this, the bread machine signals that the bread is done. The bread smells great. You peeked in earlier and everything was going well. The bread smells great. Then you open the lid and discover that the bread has fallen or collapsed.
Talk about disappointing!
I also call this The Big Valley as it usually leaves a sunken area in the middle of the loaf. It happens to all of us at one time or another. Here are some ideas about what’s causing the problem as well as fixes.
While this website is about making bread with a bread machine, these tips and hints will work with any method of making bread.
Bread that Falls or Collapses Can Be Caused By:
- Too much liquid – try decreasing water or milk by one to two tablespoons. Remember to look at your dough after a few minutes of kneading and see if it’s a smooth, round ball.
- Not enough salt – try increasing salt by ¼ teaspoon
- Not enough flour – try increasing the flour by one to two tablespoons
- Too much yeast – try decreasing yeast by ¼ to ½ teaspoon
- Flour – The flour might have been old or not the right type
- Yeast – The yeast might have been old or might have been the wrong type for the setting (bread machine yeast versus rapid rise yeast)
More Hints for Fixing the Problem
As a first step, try making the bread again. Maybe you accidentally measured something wrong or forgot an ingredient. I’ve forgotten the yeast, the bread machine paddles and lost count of how many teaspoons of salt I’ve added.
If you made the recipe correctly, the next step is to try it again making just one or two changes. Also, make notes about the changes. How did you vary the recipe? What was the result?
Use your revised recipe as the new baseline. Look at the result, look at the variables and try again if needed.
For example, maybe you adjusted the yeast and didn’t notice enough of a change? No problem. On the next loaf make you can try an additional change to the yeast or maybe a change to the salt.
Keep in mind that bread suffering from The Big Valley usually tastes just fine. If it’s too oddly shaped to slice, consider using it in one of these recipes for leftover bread.