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To get the best results in baking, the pans should be placed so that the air in the oven will circulate freely around them. If they are so placed that the loaves touch each other or the sides of the oven, the loaves will rise unevenly and consequently will be unsightly in shape, like those shown in photo.
If the loaves rise higher on one side than on the other, even when the pans are properly placed, it is evident that the heat is greater in that place than in the other parts of the oven and the loaves should therefore be changed to another position. Proper care given to bread while baking will produce loaves that are an even brown on the bottom, sides, and top and that shrink from the sides of the pan.
Tips van Paul Hollywood:

The crust has broken away from the loaf:
If the bread has a ‘flying top’ where the top crust breaks away from the loaf then you have most likely under proved it.

The dough developed a skin after I left it to prove:
Do not leave your dough uncovered when proving as it can cause the dough to develop a crust.

The crust has split at the side of the loaf:
If the crust splits at one side of the loaf then you may have baked the loaf too close to the side of the oven.

My loaf has a flat top:
If the loaf has a flat top then you may have used flour which is too weak. Always use strong bread making flour. Other potential reasons for this problem could be that too little salt was used, the dough was too wet or that the dough was poorly shaped.

The surface cracked after I took it out from the oven:
If the crust surface cracks after removal from the oven then you could have over-proved the dough, the oven could have been too hot or the bread could have cooled in a draft.

The dough collapsed when I put it in the oven:
If the dough collapses when you put it into the oven then it is likely that the dough was over-proved.

My bread is like a brick – it has a dense, heavy texture:
If the bread has a heavy, close texture and hasn’t risen very well then there are a number of reasons for this. The flour could have too low a protein content, there could be too much salt in the bread recipe, you did not knead it or leave it to prove for long enough or you could have killed the yeast by leaving the dough to rise in a place that was too hot.

My bread has a course, open texture:
If the bread has a coarse, open texture then the dough could have been too wet, over-proved or the oven temperature was not high enough.

My bread is holey:
If the bread has an uneven texture with large holes then the dough might not have been knocked back properly ,which could potentially leave large air bubbles, or the dough could have been left uncovered during rising.

My bread tastes sour and yeasty:
If your bread has a sour, yeasty flavour and smells of alcohol then you have either used too much yeast.or you may have use stale yeast or creamed fresh yeast with sugar.

My bread goes stale very quickly:
If your bread stales quickly and is crumbly then you may have used too much yeast, the flour may not have the correct protein content or the length of time that you left the dough to prove for was either too long or too short.

Photo: Stephnie Du Plooy


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