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I hope someone has an answer.

Although I have been baking 2 or 3 loaves a week for 4 years using a breadmaker, and I haven't recently changed my flour mix or any ingredient proportions, my last 3 loaves have risen fully as normal, but, when cutting a slice, the bread is sticky and heavy and goes to paste when chewing it.

The bread has also become friable, the gluten structure seems to have gone, i can pull the slice apart easily, it has no structure holding it together. The air bubble distibution in the loaf is good and even as normal, no large air pockets.

I tried reducing the usual amount of water, no difference. The yeast is new, the flours are new. If it makes an difference, this has happened after the recent hot weather although my ingredients are stored away from warm or humid air.

Any ideas, I am wary of baking another now, and we need some bread cooked !!

Regards Jonathan

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Thermostats do go bad. Do you have a way to check or set actual temp. In your breadmaker? –  Wayfaring Stranger Jul 2 '11 at 2:05

1 Answer 1

It sounds like the breadmaker is not cooking properly. If the bread dough feels correct but is the baked loaf is fragile and sticky inside, it is under-cooked. This could be a result of problems with a thermostat, heating element, or possibly the timer.

To solve this problem, try taking the bread maker out of equation by baking in an oven. Use an inverted, oiled sheet pan, and hand-shape the dough (The Fresh Loaf has instructions), or use an appropriately-sized loaf pan. Check the bread 5 minutes before it should be cooked (to make sure it doesn't over-bake due to using oven instead of bread-maker), and keep checking it every 5 or so minutes until done.

If this solves the problem, use the breadmaker for mixing and not baking... or replace/repair it.

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Many thanks Bob, I had begun to fear that was the problem, I tried giving a slightly longer bake time and although it had a darker colour going from the usual golden brown to a darker brown, it was still sticky inside but a slightly better gluten strand stucture. I think the timing during the bake sequence has gone awary. I will try your suggestion of transferring the risen dough to a bread tin, letting it rise again and oven baking. Will post what happens. Regards Jonathan –  user6637 Jul 3 '11 at 11:43
    
Thanks for other tips, I will try all till I get back to my usual consistent loaf that we all enjoy. Regards Jonathan –  user6637 Jul 3 '11 at 11:47

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