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This may be an old question, Can bread be done even if it does not sound hollow? The temperature is 197F but the bottom does not sound hollow. The bread is golden brown. The only thing that doesn't fit for being done is the hollow sound. It is a buttermilk bread. I have baked it 5 minutes longer than it says too.

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    Internal temperature is the most accurate indicator. – moscafj Apr 23 '17 at 23:23
  • I went with the temperature and it turned out ok. I have never made buttermilk bread before, so it kind of thru me for a loop when it never sounded hollow. – GJ.Baker Apr 24 '17 at 0:02
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    If it's the bread you were referring to before, it's not uncommon for dense breads to sound less hollow. For instance, a 100% rye bread isn't going to sound hollow compared to a white artisan loaf. – SourDoh Apr 24 '17 at 0:34
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    Yes it was the same bread as earlier. I don't know why but this buttermilk bread has been a challenge for me. I didn't even have this much trouble with my sourdough bread. I must have been off my game today. It is nice to know that bread doesn't always have to sound hollow. – GJ.Baker Apr 24 '17 at 6:49
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Absolutely, bread can be done without sounding hollow. We can make the analogy to a drum--if the drumhead is too loose, it won't sound hollow, and if the drum is full of something, it won't sound hollow. Similarly, if the crust is soft or if the inside of bread is undercooked and doughy, it won't sound hollow.

That said, for many breads--especially those made with enriched doughs--a crisp crust and a stiff interior are not good indicators of "doneness".

For a typical sandwich bread (one made with some milk, egg, sugar, and butter, like I expect your buttermilk bread is), it does often sound hollow when done. However, this is not a perfect (or even very good) test--even if it does not sound hollow, it may still be done.

The best test is to take a slice from the middle of the loaf after it has cooled. If the interior is too soft and doesn't spring back to shape when depressed, just bake a bit more next time--to 200F or 205F. Some more enriched doughs need to be baked to slightly higher temperatures.

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