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Old 01-15-2006, 01:16 PM   #1
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Center of bread isn't cooking right

Hi! I just found this board because I am totally new to bread baking. The problem I am having is that I am using my bread machine to mix my dough, then I put my dough into a bread pan and bake it myself in the oven. The problem is the center isn't cooking right. This has happened countless times! I initially started cooking it at 350 for various times; somewhere around 20 minutes. The outside will be perfectly done, and even the first slice looks done. As I cut closer to the middle I see that it isn't done. I tried cooking the bread longer at 300 degrees but that doesn't work either, although it did improve slightly. No matter what I do the center stays either complelety dough-y or at best, gummy.

I've tried playing around with the recipe and I've even tried bigger loaf pans...nothing seems to work! I'm simply using a basic white bread recipe from my Betty Crocker Best Bread Machine Cookbook which is very much like the recipes in the bread machine manuals that I've had. I don't think what I'm doing is supposed to be very difficult so I'm baffled at why the center won't cook!!!

Any suggestions???

Thanks!!!

Tiffany

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Old 01-15-2006, 01:36 PM   #2
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Hi welcome to the forum and bread baking!

Are you baking your loaf on a tray or in a tin?

Twenty minutes sounds way too short to me, I'd be shooting for 35 minutes in a moderate hot oven (I'm a celsius girl) and if necessary stick a piece of tin foil on top of the loaf if it's browning too quickly.

The other thing I'd recommend is checking your salt level. Salt can impede both the rising and baking process and cause your loaf to be too soft. Measure and test measure and test.

Bread making is very therapeutic but it can get a little frustrating at times!!!
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Old 01-15-2006, 01:41 PM   #3
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I'm baking my loaf in a bread pan (not a foil tin). The reason I mentioned the 20 minutes is because after 20 minutes, the entire outside looks like it is done! I read somewhere to tap the top and if it sounds hollow, then it's done. I did that...but obviously the center wasn't done. I used 2 tsp salt, which seems to be the usual amount for the basic white bread. Normally I would find this therapeutic...but it's downright frustrating now! LOL!

Thanks for your help!!
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Old 01-15-2006, 01:43 PM   #4
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Oh I also meant to ask if I should leave the foil on the whole time, and then just take it off for about the last ten minutes?
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Old 01-15-2006, 01:47 PM   #5
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I wish I could be of help, but I have made my own bread in many years. I do plan to start doing it again soon though.

I am just curious, why are you using a bread machine to mix the dough, but not to bake it?
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Old 01-15-2006, 01:51 PM   #6
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I am using the bread machine to mix the dough because I don't want to be bothered with that part (LOL!) but I don't like the hole that the blade leaves in the bottom and I can get the loaves longer if I use my own bread pan. The bread pan that is in my machine is short and stubby. It's really just a silly preference. Mostly it's just because I don't like that hole in the bread. I want to be able to bake bread and give it away without saying "don't mind the hole..." LOL!!!!!
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Old 01-15-2006, 01:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tshemory
It's really just a silly preference.
Nope not silly at all. That makes perfect sense to me

Like I mentioned before, I am no expert when it comes to bread, but the first thing I though was it needed to cook longer (like kyles mentioned). I would start without the foil and then once you hit 20 minutes (or whenever the outside looks right) then put the foil on for the rest of the cooking time.
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Old 01-15-2006, 04:10 PM   #8
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GB's suggestion is right, start without the foil and then stick it on when it looks brown enough. I'd reduce the salt down a teaspoon. I think that's where the problem might lying.

I used to do that, use the breadmaker to mix the dough, then bake it in the oven, for the same reasons, and also to have a play, I don't like cheese, sultanas (raisins) etc cooked in bread in the breadmaker, as you don't get much definition, I found sultanas used to dissolve into mush. And you can make pretty loaves in the oven.

I left my breadmaker in Australia so now I do it the old fashioned way but not very often any more!!! (due to weight reasons)
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Old 01-15-2006, 05:02 PM   #9
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Baking Loaves of Bread

Quote:
Originally Posted by tshemory
Hi! I just found this board because I am totally new to bread baking. The problem I am having is that I am using my bread machine to mix my dough, then I put my dough into a bread pan and bake it myself in the oven. The problem is the center isn't cooking right. This has happened countless times! I initially started cooking it at 350 for various times; somewhere around 20 minutes. The outside will be perfectly done, and even the first slice looks done. As I cut closer to the middle I see that it isn't done. I tried cooking the bread longer at 300 degrees but that doesn't work either, although it did improve slightly. No matter what I do the center stays either complelety dough-y or at best, gummy.

I've tried playing around with the recipe and I've even tried bigger loaf pans...nothing seems to work! I'm simply using a basic white bread recipe from my Betty Crocker Best Bread Machine Cookbook which is very much like the recipes in the bread machine manuals that I've had. I don't think what I'm doing is supposed to be very difficult so I'm baffled at why the center won't cook!!!

Any suggestions???

Thanks!!!

Tiffany
Hi Tiffiany,

I've been baking bread for some years now. I always bake my loaf pans of bread at 375F for 40 - 50 minutes. It takes actually quite a bit of time for the center of loaves to bake fully.

If you have an instant-reat thermometer, you could check stick it into the middle of you loaf, it should read about 190-200F.

Start the bread by pre-heating the oven to 375F and put the loaf in. Check it about 25 minuntes into the bake and turn the pan if it isn't browning evenly. If it seems to be getting too brown, put a tent of aluminum foil over the top (not tight, just sort of lay it over over the top to make a sort of tent). After about 40 minutes, check the bread to see if it's done. Thumping on the bottom for a hollow sound is the traditional way of testing. Let it set for at least 30 minutes before slicing (actually about 2 hrs is best but 30 at a minumum , to allow the bread to set so that it is sliceable and also because its flavors will conintue to develop).

If your bread is still gummy in the middle or if you have a tunnel clear through the middle of the bread, it's under-baked and you'll know to let it bake longer the next time.

Also, have you calibrated your oven recently? You'll need an oven thermometer. Put the thermometer in the oven and then set your oven to 250, when the oven indicates that it's reached the temp, check the thermometer. Write down your results, what you set the oven to and what the thermometer registers. Then set the thermostat up to 275, wait till it heats up, and check the theremometer again. Keep setting the thermostat up 25 degrees, checking and recording your results all the way up to 450. You'll have a good record of how accurate your oven is and be able to make any adjustments as necessary (setting the oven higher or lower than a recipe specifies, in order to obtain the correct temp in your oven).
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Old 01-15-2006, 05:06 PM   #10
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It sounds to me like your oven temperature may be off. I like to keep an oven thermometer to check the accuracy now and again. If the outside is browning before the inside is done - the temp must be too hot.
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