I have a bread machine and when I follow the recipes in the included booklet that came with the machine, the bread rises for about an hour, but the collapses back on itself and comes out rock hard and, usually, undercooked (doughy). I've tried adding flour, which helped a little, but didn't cure the problem. When I bake bread in the oven (hand-kneading, etc.) it comes out just fine.
Some additional info: I've had similar problems with chocolate-chip cookies. Recipes that work perfectly for other people collapse in our kitchen (even the recipe from the Nestle chocolate chips package). My only theory is that since we live one block from a very large lake the air is somehow more humid, or dense, or something. Adding almost twice as much flour to the cookies has make them stay up, but now they taste "cakey."
Does anyone know what might be going on and what I could try to help the problem? I'm stabbing in the dark, since I don't know the science behind what's going on.