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!!!
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).