Bread rising problems

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Why is my bread flat?
Leaflet enclosed with Panasonic SD-ZB2502 Breadmaker

Breadmaker Bread does not rise

My loaves don't rise properly. I do quite a lot of home-baking with yeast, mainly bread with a breadmaker and home-made pizzas. Recently our favourite bread, basic French loaf, which is normally very light and airy would not rise properly and be dense, damp and heavy. This particular French loaf uses no sugar which would normally aid the fermentation and rising process. The pizzas however would still be fine.

I thought I would start with the yeast. We always use Allinson dried active yeast in a 125g can, which has been fine up to now. One sniff gave a clue. Instead of that nice warm yeasty smell, it was musty and almost bitter. Checking the best-before date: January 2011 - almost a year out of date!

A fresh batch of yeast and we are back with perfect bread again.

Ensure that you are using Strong bread flour.

Also check that you have not added too much water as a wet loaf never seems to rise properly.

Check your yeast is fresh and within the best before date!

Faulty Panasonic SD253 breadmaker - bread does not rise

After many years (5 or 6?) bread made in this breadmaker would no longer rise properly, we tried new flour and yeast to no avail. After speaking to a friend who had the same breadmaker and was suffering bread rising problems with his Panasonic SD 253, I thought it was time for a replacement (Panasonic SD-ZB2502 automatic breadmaker. After 4 rising failures with the same recipe on the Panasonic SD253, the first attempt with the SZ-B2505 worked perfectly using an the same recipe and the same ingredients.

I'm very mechanically -minded and have worked repairing similar items to this in the past, yet I can't think what could be causing the problem as the unit warms the dough and cooks the bread correctly. I can't imagine that the program / software could change and I've stripped lubricated all the moving parts and they appear to be move freely with plenty of power. However, faulty, it must be.

Similar problem

I read your note about your faulty Panasonic where the bread didn't rise. I had a similar problem with another breadmaker because the lid didn't close properly. It was something wrong with the sealing around the lid. Regards/Olle, Sweden

What to do with a poorly risen loaf of bread?

Don't waste the loaf. Even loaves that don't rise make perfectly good breadcrumbs. Cut the loaf into chunks, drop them into a food processor fitted with a metal blade and bland them into breadcrumbs. If the breadcrumbs are still a little moist, to dry them, spread them out on an oven tray and pop them into an oven for 15 minutes [150° C 300° F / Gas Mk 2 Slow/Low]. Stir them up halfway through.

I've found that with all brown or wholemeal flour bread recipes, half a vitamin C tablet (ascorbic acid) crushed between two tablespoons (about 100 mg) and added to the flour, seems to prevent a heavy, poorly risen loaf. It has an effect on Glutathione (WIkipedia) which has an affect on the the elasticity of the dough.

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