Although bread baking should be a fantastic process, it can, in some cases, become complicated due to several issues. For example, you might mistake using the wrong proportions of ingredients, resulting in bread flattening or collapsing problems.
Assuming you encounter such an issue, you will obviously feel disappointed not knowing what to do with your bread. You will be asking yourself many questions among them, including:
- Should I eat this collapsed bread or throw it away?
- Will it harm me if I eat it?
- Will it taste the same?
- Can I correct the flattening?
- Why did it flatten, and how can I avoid encountering this problem the next time I’m baking? Etc.
Starting with the issue of whether you can eat collapsed bread, the straightforward answer is YES. We say this because our research found no harmful reported cases of eating collapses.
However, we discovered that flattened or collapsed bread doesn’t taste the same as regular bread. The taste can be somewhat sour – so whether you will enjoy it or not is personal.
Supposing you don’t enjoy the taste, we encourage you not to throw away the bread. Instead, you can take some steps and save your dough. Let’s find out more about this in the following subheading.
What To Do If Bread Dough Collapses?
As we have already discussed, bread collapsing is a common problem that can occur to you while you least expect it. When it happens to you for the first time, it is a normal thing to feel frustrated. In fact, some people would even think all is done. But luckily, this isn’t the case. There are several things you can check on and correct to resolve bread collapsing issues. Some of these include;
- Checking the type of yeast you are using and its expiration date
It’s important to note that expired yeast won’t cause the dough to rise. That being so, we recommend that you check the yeast expiration dates to confirm that your yeast is active. You will see the expiration date written on the package. But in case you lost the packaging, then consider how wrong you’ve kept the yeast on your counter. With regards to this, unopened yeast can last for approximately two years, while opened yeast will last for 4 to 6 months.
Supposing you suspect the yeast used is expired, we recommend that you add more active dry yeast.
- Take one cup of water and add 1 tbsp of yeast.
- Allow the mixture to proof for approximately 10 minutes until it gets an inch of foam.
- Warm the flat dough gently to say, 75 to 90 degrees (you do this by placing the bowl with the dough in warm water)
See if the dough rises. If it doesn’t, proceed to the next step.
- Increase the temperature of risen dough to 80 to 90 degrees.
Also, you can do another thing to resolve bread flattening issues is to increase the oven temperatures. Yeast loves a warm moist climate for it to work perfectly. Give it anything short of that; it will disappoint you.
- Take a baking pan, fill it with some hot water (boiling water)
- Set the pan at the lowest rack in your oven
- Take the container with dough and place it on the middle rack of the oven
- Close the oven door
- Allow some minutes for the bread dough to rise
- Boil a cup of water in your microwave
- Take the bowl with dough and place it in the same microwave with water
- Close the door
- Check the type of floor.
The type of floor and kneading technique can determine whether your dough will rise or not. For example, if you are using flour with antifungal ingredients (meant to prolong shelf life), you will most likely encounter flattening issues. This is so because yeast belongs to the fungi kingdom. Therefore any antifungal ingredient will hinder its growth.
- Your kneading technique
For your bread to rise as expected, you must make sure that you are using the correct kneading technique and follow the correct bread recipe. In connection with this, the expert recommends using a flour-to-water ratio of 5:3 and kneading for at least 15 minutes.
- Check on salt
Using salt is recommended when baking; it contributes to smooth elastic dough. Unfortunately, using too much of it will complicate things. This is true because it will invade yeast making it less active.
Note: You should add salt to the flour at the beginning and not water!
- Knead in the right container
If you have become tried with all the above hacks but still can’t resolve the issues with your bread, we recommend that you try kneading in a different container. This makes sense because a huge container causes the dough to spread out instead of rising.
- Allow the dough enough time to rest.
According to baking experts, the dough needs enough time to rise properly. Typically, you should allow it to rest for at least 1 to 3 hours without causing any disturbance to it. So, the proofing stage is also considered to avoid collapsed bread.
- Check on the ingredients you added.
If you used any dry ingredients, check that it doesn’t contain antifungal properties. If it does, it will denature the yeast.
Why does gluten-free bread collapse?
Similar to regular wheat bread, gluten-free bread will collapse when you
- use wrong proportions of ingredients
- Skimp on baking time
- Over proof
- Underproof, etc.
How do I save my collapsed bread?
As we already said, you should never throw away your collapsed bread. Instead, you should investigate the reason behind its collapse and take a right correcting measures.
- Use enough salt – try increasing the salt by approximately ¼ tbsp.
- Increase the floor – add at least 1 to 2 tbsp of flour. Also, ensure the floor isn’t expired.
- Decrease or increase the yeast – if you use too much yeast, your bread will rise and fall on itself. Try decrease to avoid this. And if you used less yeast, your bread might not rise at all. Try increasing and see if things change.
- Water – If you used too much or little water, try taking a right corrective mechanism and change for any changes in the dough.
What happens if your bread deflates?
When baking your bread, you try as much as possible to avoid deflating issues. But did you take the time to figure out why? Or do you think it is just because experts recommend it? Well, we will not assume you know; instead, we will tell you.
Deflated bread loses its taste and texture. As such, you may not enjoy eating it at all. This is why you should always do your best to avoid deflating your bread. s
Why does my bread collapse after proving?
When making your bread, you have one thing in mind – achieving tastier bread. But, you have to ensure you handle every step keenly to get fresh bread.
Among the many steps you must be keen on is the proofing step. You don’t want your bread to collapse after this process. If that is so, then you must avoid over-proofing and under-proofing.
Over-proofing – Over-proofing, your bread exhausts the yeast in the dough, and this causes the collapsing issues.
Under-proofing – under proofing harms the gluten mesh structure of your dough.