Can't figure out why your latest loaf collapsed or is shaped like a mushroom? We've got a list of common issues you might experience while making bread in a bread machine to help you out. You can even print and download our bread machine troubleshooting guide for easy reference.

By Katlyn Moncada
Updated July 07, 2020
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If you're new to the bread-making game or just a fan of making your home smell like a bakery on the regular, a bread maker is a great investment to consider adding to your small appliance lineup. Unfortunately, there are several mistakes you could be making when using your bread machine that can cause your loaf to turn out a bit gummy or produce a few too many holes to your liking. If you've followed the instructions on how to make bread in your bread maker and are still finding your loaves to be less than ideal in taste, texture, or size, we're here to help you figure out how to solve the problem so you don't have to worry about wasting any time or ingredients again.

Andy Lyons

Bread Machine Troubleshooting Guide

Here are six of the most common issues you might face while making bread in your bread machine ($110, Williams Sonoma) along with some quick fixes to save your next loaf.

Download Our Bread Machine Troubleshooting Chart

1. Small and Heavy Loaf

Make sure the dough rises enough. Here's how:

  • Check measurements and be sure the ratio of flour to liquid is exact, which is generally 2½ to 3 cups flour to 1¼ cups liquid.
  • Make sure yeast is fresh and not past the expiration date.
  • Check dough consistency during the kneading cycle. You may need to add more liquid or flour.

2. Gummy Texture

Here are some tips to avoid underbaking your bread.

  • Make sure pan is large enough for the recipe to ensure heat will penetrate to center of loaf.
  • Use the right setting on your bread machine. For example, a light crust setting may be too short in duration to completely bake some rich bread recipes. Try using a darker setting if you have the option.

3. Collapsed Loaf

Opening your bread machine to find a collapsed or sunken loaf is no fun. Here are some ways to ensure it won't happen again.

  • Make sure pan is large enough for the recipe.
  • Check measurements (be sure ratio of flour to liquid is exact).
  • Check dough consistency during kneading cycle.
  • Avoid using more yeast than directed in recipe.
  • Be sure to add salt as directed in the recipe, which is essential for the structure of the bread.
  • If your area is experiencing warm, humid weather (which can cause dough to rise too fast, then collapse, before baking begins), bake during the coolest part of the day, use refrigerated liquids, or try the rapid cycle (if your machine has this feature).

4. Mushroom-Shaped Loaf

  • Make sure pan is large enough for recipe.
  • Be sure to measure ingredients properly and exactly as the recipe states.
  • Check consistency during kneading cycle.
  • If your area is experiencing warm weather, see the last point under Collapsed Loaf.

5. Open, Holey Texture

  • Check measurements (be sure ratio of flour to liquid is exact).
  • Check consistency during the kneading cycle.
  • Avoid using more yeast than directed in recipe
  • Add salt as directed in recipe
  • If your area is experiencing warm weather, see the last point under Collapsed Loaf.

6. Bumpy, Uneven Top/Very Dense Texture

  • Make sure you're using the correct flour and measuring it by lightly by spooning into a dry measuring cup, then level off with a straight-edged tool.
  • Avoid using too much flour. You can also check dough consistency during kneading, as you may need to add more liquid.

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