Breadmaker dough not rising: now what?

Updated on 29 May 2023
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Oh no, your dough is not rising in the breadmaker? That can be very annoying. But don’t panic, I know all about it. There are a lot of reasons why people want to bake bread. After all, you always put delicious fresh bread on the table yourself and you can bake bread just the way you like it.

Only, baking bread in a breadmaker can cause problems more often than you think. If you are looking for tips because your bread collapses in the breadmaker or the dough does not rise, you have come to the right place!

Why does bread rise, or not rise?

Let me start simply. Baking bread is nothing more than chemistry. First, let’s see, how does bread rise in the breadmaker? And then why does bread sometimes not rise in the breadmaker?

  • In flour, there is a protein (gluten). These will bind together when mixed with water. Kneading dough in the breadmaker can help with this.
  • The yeast will do well on the sugars contained in the flour. This produces a gas that causes the dough to expand.
  • At a temperature of around 34 degrees Celsius, yeast works best. However, at this temperature, it also works quite fast again, which can cause it to rise too quickly. A temperature of 30 degrees Celsius is therefore fine.
  • Salt is definitely recommended when baking bread in a breadmaker. This improves the gluten structure.

All in all, gluten is necessary for the structure of bread. Does bread sink in the breadmaker? Then one or more of the above points is going wrong. Yeast creates gases that push up the structure. Temperature affects the action of yeast.  The amount in yeast slows down or speeds up the process.

TIP: I would like to give you an important tip that the fermentation process is responsible for the flavour. A very fast rise gives a rather ”flat” sensation/taste to the bread. On the other hand, an extremely slow rise gives a rather complex flavour.

Bread collapsing? Here are some golden tips

Bread not rising in the breadmaker, I know how annoying that is. You just want to put a nice fresh loaf on the table, and then it fails time and again. Do you have breadmaker problems? Then I have some golden tips for you here.

Use fresh flour

Bread may fail to rise due to old flour. Many think that flour doesn’t spoil. I can assure you, it can. Older flour gives a much poorer gluten structure.

Pay attention to which flour you buy

Not every type of flour contains the same amount of gluten. If the bread does not rise in the breadmaker, it could just be because you have not compared different types of flour properly. 

Added things yourself?

This is one of the most common reasons why bread collapses or does not rise in the breadmaker. Did you add things yourself? If so, when do you do this?

Many add nuts or currants to the bread, for example. Always do this at the end! Hard materials can damage the gluten. Let sultanas soak first or they will draw moisture from the dough.

No reason for immediate panic

Does bread collapse with the breadmaker? No reason to panic immediately. Check the recipe, not all recipes have the goal of giving a loaf that is firmly risen. When this is the case, revisit the recipe. 

Weigh all the possibilities and perhaps make some adjustments to your method. In most cases, this will help immediately the first time!

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