How to Keep Bread From Molding (13 Must-Know Tips)

You’ve bought the best breadmaker, and you’ve got great bread making recipes. But it’s just not working out! We understand the frustration of your loaf not quite being picture perfect!  Don’t worry, we can help!  Let’s first make sure our ingredients are fresh, then explore some common bread baking problems, and the steps that can be taken to correct them.

The most common reason why bread deflates in the bread machine has to do with yeast and liquid ratio. If you put too much liquid in the dough, it could kill the yeast which results in collapsed bread.

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Spending time baking bread is something that a lot of people enjoy doing, and many have been baking it for fun while they have extra time at home. If you recently started down this path with a bread machine, you might just be figuring out how to use it well.

It can be a bit disheartening when your bread isn’t rising in the bread maker like it should, though. You could be confused about what is going wrong, and it might not always be clear what you should do.

Read on to learn about what you can do when this happens. You’ll learn why this might be happening as well as what you can do to try to alleviate the issue.

There’s really nothing better than a fresh loaf of bread for sandwiches or to spread with butter and homemade jam to have with a cup of tea. Whether I’ve baked the bread myself, or picked up a loaf at the specialty bakery, I always have bread in my kitchen.

One of the problems I have with bread
is how to keep it from molding. It doesn’t take much for just the
right amount of moisture to build up so mold can start to grow. And
when mold starts to develop, you’ll have to throw out the entire
loaf of bread!

I’ve come up with a few techniques that guarantee your fresh loaves of bread won’t get moldy before you have a chance to enjoy each and every slice!

Baking bread is a lot of fun, and just the thought of having a nice, warm slice of bread with some melted butter on it is enough to make anyone drool. But sometimes baking the bread does not go according to plan, and the bread can collapse, leaving you disappointed. So, why does your bread collapse?

Several factors can cause your bread to collapse, including adding too much water to your dough, there could be problems with the yeast you used, you may have over-proofed your bread dough, or maybe you did not knead dough enough. It can be difficult to find the reason this happened.

As there are many causes to this particular problem, you may need to go through them all, but how do you fix all these causes that make your bread collapse? Let us find out!

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Is there anything more frustrating than when your bread collapses in a bread machine? We thought the machine was meant to make baking easy!

Wondering how to stop bread collapsing?

There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you make fresh loaves using a bread machine, and let’s be honest, it’s a lot quicker than doing things by hand. However, one of the most frustrating things about using a bread maker is that it doesn’t always guarantee a perfect rise on your baked doughs.

Even if the bread rises well, there are still times when you may have found yourself faced with a collapsed loaf at the end of your machine’s final baking cycle.

If you’ve ever found that your bread collapses in a bread maker, then you don’t have to give up baking and hide your machine at the back of the cupboard for good.

Tips To Stop Bread Collapsing

Are you wondering how to make rye bread in a bread machine?

We know, we know, it sounds impossible. A good loaf of rye can be hard to come by.

If you’re a Seinfeld fan, you’ll know that sometimes the only guaranteed way to get your hands on one is to wrench it out of an old woman’s grasp or to hook it with a fishing rod.

It’s a little tricky to make. Rye, after all, behaves very differently from your usual white grain, and that can seem like a major problem to coax the dough into something edible.

Even easy-to-use home bread machines aren’t always designed for ryes, and that makes the whole process seem much worse than it needs to be.

Familiarizing yourself with how rye dough works will give you a huge advantage. Understanding its chemistry will allow you to use a bread machine when creating perfect, dense loaves of any kind of rye you like.

Let’s start by looking at some of the key features of rye, what ingredients you’ll need, and some basic rye bread machine recipes. That’s all you’ll need to become a pro.

The baking process provides us with a series of challenges in each part of the way to the perfect loaves. One of the common problems first time bakers encounter (and, to be frank, experienced bakers can encounter as well from time to time) is that the bread splits in different places of the loaves.

So why is the bread splitting and bursting in all the wrong places? The reason is either too much internal pressure built up in the bread or your bread formed a crust too early.

Here is a list of the when and where your problems can arise from:

  • The dough is too wet or too dry
  • Shaping and skin tension
  • Tight seam
  • Under-proofing
  • Crust
  • Steam
  • Slashing

Yes, making a burst free loaves is a tricky business, but gladly I’m here to help. So let’s go over this list in more details and see if you can spot your issue.

Dough is Too Wet or Too Dry

When the dough has too much moisture in it, it can create extra steam inside the bread which will add to the pressure already build by the gases released by the yeast. All this pressure will cause your bread to burst and not release evenly from the slashes in your bread.

Shaping and Too Much Skin Tension

Another factor that can dramatically influence the outcome of Your bread regarding splitting is your technique of shaping the bread or molding.

When you shape your bread you actually wrapping a smooth skin of dough around a greater mass to obtain a certain shape. You need to make sure that you do not leave air pockets in the dough. These air pockets can be a result of a bread that is too loose and can end up close to the surface of the bread. The baking process will expand and push out of the crust wherever they are, causing a burst or split in your crust.

Tip: before molding the bread be sure to get all the air out of the dough first. This will reduce the chance of air pockets in your bread.

When talking about skin tensions in the molding stage ( tightening up the bread and folding it into shape ), you can create too much skin tension. The skin will end up being too thin.

When inserting the bread in the oven and it undergoes the initial rising stage. The thin skin will then split and allow gases in the bread to escape out of it. You need to make sure that there isn’t too much skin tension. If you mold your bread and start to see the outside ripping apart it means you have it too tight.

Pay attention to the feel of the dough when molding. You will be able to feel the tension in the skin when pulling on it. This is especially true at the seams of the bread. If it feels like it is about to rip, loosen it up a bit and try to mold again. Breathe this time. 😉

Tight Seam

Think of your bread as a beautiful garment, the seams should be in a placed hidden from the eye, the same goes to your bread. That means the seam needs to be hidden in the bottom of the bread as appose to the top or the side of it. Also, you have to make sure the seam will be sealed properly because if it’s not, it will tear in the weak areas.

So what to do? Make sure you are getting a good tight seam when you shape your bread before final proof. make sure you have the right tensions in your dough as explained above in the Shaping segment. If you are creating a round loaf, once you have gathered the dough into the center of the bread give the bottom seam a 90 degrees turn before laying it down for final proof. If you are closing up an elongated loaf, push down with the heel of your hand on the seam and move along the full length making sure you have put enough pressure on the entire seam.

Under Proofing

what is proofing? proofing is the stage where you let your dough rise after you finished shaping the loaves and before it goes in the oven. It is the stage of fermentation. If you don’t let it rise long enough, and put it in the oven too soon, it is under proofed. in the same sense if you take your time and wait too long before getting your dough into the oven you have over-proofed your dough.

While every recipe is a bit different most of them should give direction to the amount of time you need to proof your dough or at least what to look for.

It is worth to emphasize that circumstances like temperature where you bake (if you are in a cold winter or humid summer), type of oven you use, etc.. will force you to make adjustments to your proofing time. The bottom line is you have to “feel” the dough and know what to look for when its time to get it in the oven.

How do I know my bread is proofed enough? Well, you can perform a simple test in most cases. Poke your finger into the bread. If the bread bounces back right away it is under-proofed, if the dough does not bounce back at all it is over-proofed and if the dough bounces back about halfway in the hole you poked it’s just right. Just like goldilocks 🙂

So whats proofing got to do with bread splitting or bursting? well, if you under-proofed ( under prooved ) your dough will have not gone through the full fermentation process. When you put your bread in the oven, it will accelerate this process and there will be too much pressure built up in the bread from the gasses released by the yeast. This pressure will release anywhere it can find space. Even if you make deep cust in your bread it will not ensure that these gases will be directed their way. These gases will find the shortest rout out of the bread hence creating a burst in the bread.


Again, what’s happening is that your bread crust is hardening before the expansion is done, and the crust splits at the weakest point. moisture can keep the dough soft and pliable until it stops expanding. There are a couple of ways you can go about this.

  • Put a pan of water in your oven, preferably before baking. By the time your bread will be ready to put in the oven, your oven will be full of steam. This is crucial. It is best to place the water before placing the bread and allowing your oven to heat up. This way you do not lose heat when opening the oven to insert the pan. The less you open your oven door the better.
  • Use a dutch oven: Put your bread in a large cast-iron pan with a lid, then remove the lid. The lid keeps the steam in, removing it allows the crust to harden just in time. ( Check out our products review page for best dutch oven here )


Steam is important to ensure your crust does not form too early. Not enough steam will cause bursting as explained. But steam and moisture is also crucial during the final proofing or rising of the bread before baking. Professional bakeries use a proofer. It is basically a steam box. This way the bread proof in a warm and humid environment ensuring that a crust will not form at this stage.

Since you are baking at home and do not have the luxury of a proofer you can place your bread in a closet or maybe even a microwave and place beside it a cup or bowl with boiling water. This will create humidity in the environment and will give your bread a good proof. You can replace the water from time to time.

If you are proofing without steam make sure that you cover your bread with a towel ( even a damp towel will be great ) or with a plastic wrap “saran wrap”. You can also give your bread a couple spritzes of water before covering it. This will help with the moister as well.

Steam is a crucial part of baking. It is not only to prevent your crust from bursting but also helps form the proper crispy crust.


The loaf bursts due to pressure building up after the crust hardened. You can try to fix it by scoring the bread, which allows air to escape just enough where it won’t burst. Slashing or scoring your bread is basically giving your bread a chimney or ventilation. However, make sure you don’t wait too long between slashing the dough and putting it in the oven. Waiting too long can make this ventilation close up, putting you and your bread in square one. Also, make sure you slash the top deep enough. A good 3/4 inch deep is probably advised.


If you’re having trouble with turning out a great looking loaf, check out our step-by-step guide for avoiding bread collapses in a bread machine.

  • Firstly, always make sure your yeast is fresh. If you’re unsure of the expiration date, place 1 teaspoon of yeast in a glass bowl with 1 teaspoon of sugar and half a cup of warm water. Give the ingredients a quick mix and leave the mixture to rest for at least 15 minutes. The yeast will only be fit for use if the mixture bubbles and becomes foamy.
  • It’s always best to separate the ingredients when adding them to your bread machine pan. Put the water in first, along with any other liquids in your recipe like milk and oil. Then add dry ingredients, such as salt and sugar. Next pour in the flour, and lastly the yeast. This ensures there’s no unpredictable interactions between ingredients.
  • When the consistency is correct, your dough should form into one ball that does not stick to the bottom or sides of the pan. Then, close the lid and let the machine get down to some serious kneading and baking.
  • Another great tip is to ensure you are using the right size pan for the amount of dough you want to bake. If you’ve got too much dough and it touches the lid of the pan, then it’s likely to result in a sunken loaf.

Take a look at this breadmaker troubleshooting video on more advice for why bread falls in a bread machine:

And there are our tips for what to do when your bread collapses in a bread machine.

What do you do when your bread collapses during baking?

Reasons Why Your Bread Collapses

Having your bread collapse on you can be very disappointing as it takes time to make a good loaf of bread, and now it just seems like that time was wasted. This can leave you wondering what happened to your bread and why did it collapse.

Unfortunately, there are several reasons this problem may occur, and it can be challenging to pin down which one caused your bread to collapse. But let us go through the reasons so that you can maybe find the one that suits your situation the most.

1 – There Is Too Much Water in Your Dough

One of the most common causes for a loaf of bread to collapse is adding too much water to the dough as you mix it. Water is a needed ingredient in the bread dough, as a strong gluten mesh needs well-hydrated flour to be created.

But if there is too much water in your dough, this moisture can cause the bread to collapse as it cools after baking. This is especially true with quickly made loaves of bread as these types of quick bread recipes need the dough to be dryer to avoid shrinking when it’s cooling.

If your bread dough was too wet, then adjust the recipe for next time and see if that helps stop your bread from collapsing, or you can try baking the bread for a little bit longer as this can help evaporate some of that moisture.

2 – Problems with the Yeast in Your Dough

When you are making your bread dough, the most important ingredient is the yeast that you add to the dough mixture, and if your bread is collapsing, your yeast could be to blame.

The problem could be that your yeast is too old; you need to remember that yeast is a living organism, and if it is left in your kitchen cabinet for too long, it can expire, meaning the yeast can die. If you use this expired yeast in your bread dough, your bread will not rise properly and collapse.

So, you should always test your yeast before you use it if you know it has been in your kitchen cabinet for a while. Another issue could be that you used too little yeast in your dough mixture.

If there is not enough yeast in your bread dough, then the dough will need a lot of extra time to proof as the small amount of yeast needs this time to create the gluten mesh that helps the bread rise.

If you use a smaller amount of yeast in your dough and do not give it extra proofing time, then your bread will collapse either in the oven or as you take it out.

3 – The Temperature That You Baked the Bread At

The temperature at which you bake your bread is extremely important, but unfortunately, all ovens are not the same, and they all have their gimmicks that can affect the temperature inside them.

You need to get to know your oven and how it works with all the little tricks it needs to work the way you need it to so you can bake your bread without collapsing. Some ovens will run cooler or hotter than their settings, which can affect the cooking time of your bread.

If your oven runs hotter and you are unaware of this, your bread will come out pretty crispy and brown on the outside of the bread but doughy on the inside, which can cause the bread to collapse when you take your bread out of the oven.

Alternatively, if your oven runs colder than the settings, the bread will not rise in the oven properly, and it will come out dense and sunken. If you do not know your oven well and you suspect the temperatures could be the problem causing your bread to collapse, you need to experiment with your oven.

4 – You Did Not Proof Your Dough Long Enough

Proofing your bread dough before you bake it is an essential part of the bread-making process and should be done with all bread recipes. When you proof your bread dough, you need to ensure you proof it for the right amount of time for the specific type of bread you are making.

The bread dough needs time for the gluten in it to develop as the yeast can then eat the starch that is in the flour. The yeast will then convert this starch into carbon dioxide and alcohol.

The only way for the gluten to develop enough to start this whole process is by kneading the dough and allowing it to proof. If you do not let your bread dough proof enough, this will affect the structure of the gluten mesh in your dough, and the dough will collapse.

When you are proofing your dough, you need to remember that the two crucial elements to make the proofing process work are time and temperature. If your kitchen is cold, the bread dough will need a longer time to proof, whereas if it is warmer, the dough will take less time to proof.

Remember to check on your bread dough while it is proofing to ensure it gets enough to proof properly, which may take longer than the recipe says, depending on your kitchen’s environment.

5 – You Over-Proofed Your Bread Dough

If you notice that your bread dough collapses when you slash the dough before you bake the bread or transfer the dough from the proofing basket to the pan or bread-making machine, this can indicate that your dough is over-proofed.

This is a common problem and generally indicates that the bread dough is over-proofed. The proofing stage is the final stage before you bake your bread, and this is where your bread dough is the most susceptible to collapsing.

Over-proofing your bread dough will result in your bread collapsing or flattening as the bread bakes. The reason for this collapse is that the yeast in your bread dough has exhausted itself, and it no longer has the energy to keep rising the dough as the bread bakes in the oven.

This is also because the bread dough has expanded too much, so when you place it in your oven, the dough cannot rise anymore as the yeast in the dough cannot produce more gasses to help it, so the dough collapses.

This problem is more likely to happen if your bread recipe takes a long time to make, as you can easily misjudge the proofing time of your bread dough.

To stop this from happening, you need to strictly stick to the proofing time mentioned in your bread recipes and set a timer so you do not forget.

6 – Mishandling of the Dough Can Collapse It

There will be a few times where you notice that your bread dough starts to collapse or flatten when you transfer it from one place to another. This is especially true with doughs that have high hydration levels, like a ciabatta bread dough.

You need to always be careful and gentle when handling these types of doughs, as they have a very fragile gluten mesh.

If you are too rough when you handle your dough and knead it, for example, bashing the dough on your kitchen counter can break the delicate gluten mesh and cause gases to escape from the dough. If this happens, your bread dough will either collapse before you bake it or during the time it is baking in the oven.

To help avoid this problem with your bread dough, you need to be gentle with it when you are handling it in any way. Even though most bread dough is pretty forgiving, all bread dough can be damaged in this way if you are not careful enough with it.

So, remember to always have a gentle touch with your bread dough, no matter the bread you are making, and ensure you use the correct tools, like a bench scraper, when moving your dough as this will help avoid putting any pressure on the dough.

7 – You Did Not Knead Your Bread Dough Enough

Kneading is an important part of the bread-making process, so it should not be skipped to save time. Kneading your dough once it has been proofed for the right amount of time helps create the gluten mesh that allows your dough to rise and stay risen when it comes out of the oven.

If this gluten mesh is not developed enough as you did not knead your bread dough for the correct amount of time, your bread dough will rise fast but then quickly collapse when you handle the bread dough after proofing.

This is due to the gluten mesh not being strong enough to hold the gases in the dough after proofing.

With this problem, even though your dough collapses before you even start baking your bread, you will only notice it during the baking stage when the gases escape from the dough, and the bread flattens out.

To fix this problem, ensure that you knead your dough for the correct amount of time and use the right method for the type of bread you are making. You can also test to see if the gluten mesh n your dough is strong enough or if you need to knead it more through a simple test.

This test is known as the windowpane test, and to conduct it, you need to take a small piece of your bread dough and stretch it between your fingers. If you get a nice thin piece of dough where light can shine through it and the dough does not break, then there is a good gluten mesh present.

Cloth Bread Bags

If you don’t have a bread box, or don’t have room in your kitchen for one, consider purchasing a cloth bread bag. These bags keep your bread air-tight while still allowing just enough air flow, so the bread breathes.

Don’t have a cloth bread bag? Wrapping bread up in a large clean tea towel will get you the same results as a bag you purchased. I’ve found that using a cloth bag works well for white French bread, keeping it fresh for two days.

Slice Bread From the Middle

Another way to keep unsliced loaves of bread fresh and mold free is to cut into the middle rather than from the end. Just keep pushing the bread together again before you store it.

The end crusts will keep the loaf fresher with just enough moisture to keep it soft without getting moldy.

Can You Do Anything with Dough That Won’t Rise?

If you can’t figure out what went wrong even after going through the information above, you might need to start over. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to throw out the dough that you made, though.

There are some things you can do with this dough that could be fun and tasty. Many people will roll the dough out until it’s very thin before baking it so that they can make crackers.

You could also roll it out thin before cooking it on the stove to turn it into a type of flatbread. You can salvage the dough to make something tasty even if you can’t figure out what mistake you made.

In all likelihood, you’ll be able to determine where you went wrong so that you can correct things. Often, just waiting a while longer or figuring out what ingredient you missed is all that you need to do.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to make the delicious bread that you have been looking forward to. It’ll give you a chance to enjoy something nice with your friends or family members, and you’ll be happy once you’re able to get consistent results.

Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.

Use Fresh Ingredients

Are you using fresh ingredients every time you bake? This can also impact the quality of your bread.

More importantly, do you use fresh yeast? We’re not talking about the rarely used and unpredictable fresh yeast that has about a 2-week shelf life and has to be kept in the refrigerator.

We’re talking about active dry yeast or instant yeast (commonly used for bread machine baking).

Instant yeast has a very long shelf life and can be frozen or kept in cool temperatures for a long time. Active dry yeast, on the other hand, has a shorter shelf life and is rather unstable when compared to instant yeast.

Check the expiry date on the yeast package before you add it to the dough. Active dry yeast can be dead even if it’s not close to expiring. That is why active dry yeast must be activated or mixed with warm water.

This process is used to check whether the yeast you have is still alive and usable. If bubbles start to appear on the surface within 10minutes or less, then it’s fine and you can add it to the dough. If not, you must buy fresh yeast.

Keep Bread Out of the Fridge!

Not matter what anyone else tells you, your fridge is not the place to store bread. In fact, putting bread in the fridge is a good guarantee that you’re going to have stale bread in as little as one day.

While you may be preventing the growth of mold, you’re just reducing the shelf life of the bread. As the starch in the bread starts to crystalize, the moisture moves from the middle of the loaf to the outer crust.

2 – You Got the Ingredients Wrong

One of the more common mistakes that throw people off when making bread is making a small mistake with the ingredients. If you can’t get the bread to rise no matter what you do, it might be that you didn’t add all of the right ingredients.

Try to go over the recipe that you are using again and check to see if you used all of the ingredients that you were supposed to. If you did, then you will be able to go on to something else, but it’s plausible that you might have missed something.

Even measuring something wrong can make a big difference in how the bread will turn out. For example, you could have added a teaspoon of something instead of a tablespoon due to trying to go too fast.

6 – Pan Size Issues

Pan size issues can actually trick people into thinking that bread hasn’t risen when it has. If you put your bread dough in a pan that is too large or is an unusual shape, you might get thrown off.

Try to use the right type of pan for the bread recipe that you want to make. Many bread recipes are specifically meant for traditional bread loaf pans, and it’ll be easier to tell if things are going right if you use the recommended pan type.

Think about the type of pan that you’re using and see if that could be causing your problems. If you’re using an unusual pan, the dough could have risen without you realizing it.

Store in Kitchen Cabinet

A kitchen cabinet will also work well to store bread and keep mold from growing. Place the loaf of bread into a paper bag or an open plastic bag.

There will be just enough air circulation in the cabinet to prevent mold from developing yet not enough air that bread will dry out too quickly.

If you’re going to use this method, choose a cabinet that’s not over the fridge, where heat and humidity may build up.

Why Do You Use Caraway Seeds In Bread Machine Rye Breads?

Rye bread typically includes caraway seeds and is often a staple ingredient. They are rich in fiber and are known to aid in digestion. However, caraway seeds are also an acquired taste for some. It is the main seed included in many rye bread recipes.

The flavor is a combination of fennel seeds and cumin and gives the rye bread its distinct spicy but sweet flavor. If you don’t like caraway seeds, they can be substituted for fennel seeds.

Add Ingredients in the Correct Order

This is the commonly recommended order for loading ingredients:

Tip: Check your dough from time to time. Open the lid and see whether it has formed a smooth, elastic dough. If it’s too sticky and moist, add a bit more flour and vice versa, if it’s too dry, add a bit of water.

Brown Paper Bag

A simple brown paper bag will keep bread from molding. Many bakeries sell their bread in brown paper for this very reason.

This method works really well for hard-crusted, rustic breads and will keep bread fresh for up to two days. Just keep the bag tightly closed and store out of direct sunlight.

Reviving Stale Bread

Keeping bread from molding doesn’t mean it won’t get stale. There’s no need to throw out those last few slices of bread just because they’re stale.

There’s a trick to reviving stale bread so you can use it – just pop it into a warm oven for a few minutes. Place the entire loaf, or a few slices, onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.

Heating for about 3 to 5 minutes will help to soften bread so it’s almost as fresh as new.

Check out some other uses for your old bread in my article about uses for leftover bread!

Why Bread Falls in a Bread Machine

There are actually several reasons why bread falls in a bread machine, so you’ll need to do some investigating to find out what’s gone wrong.

First and foremost, check how much liquid you’ve used in the dough before putting it in your bread machine.

When you use too much liquid, you can inhibit or even kill the action of the yeast, leaving your loaf to rise then collapse.

A good way to tell if you’ve used just the right amount is when you’re left with a soft and smooth dough — and not a sticky, wet mess.

When it comes to water and liquid temperature, always think of baby’s bath water or milk. It should never be so hot that it scalds you, nor should it be too cold.

Use a kitchen thermometer to determine how warm the water and other liquids are as you start the dough making process. Anywhere between 90 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit should be fine.

Any hotter than that, and you’ll kill the yeast.

Don’t have a kitchen thermometer? We’d recommend the excellent Kizen Digital Thermometer, suitable for all kinds of baking.

You also need to ensure that you use just the right amount of yeast, and always remember to check the expiration date before adding it with your other ingredients.

See more: the best types of yeast for baking.

When you use too little yeast, your bread won’t rise at all, and too much will make it rise and collapse.

It’s also worth noting that instant yeasts are stronger than active dry yeasts, meaning much less is required to get that beautifully risen loaf.

A loaf collapse could even be something as simple as a measuring error, so always double check your recipe before making your dough and ease up on the salt.

Lastly, make sure you never open the lid during a baking cycle.

What Bread Machine Should I Purchase to Make Homemade Bread?

The bread maker you choose is dependent on the kind of bread and other recipes you want to make. However, we do suggest the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Breadmaker. It allows you to choose the crust you want, and it has several pre-programmed settings for homemade bread recipes.

See More – Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus Review

The Type of Bread Matters

Some breads will get moldy more quickly than others. The top culprit for mold and staleness is French and white loaves of bread. You’ll need to store both well away from direct air flow to keep them fresh for longer than a day.

Darker breads, such as rye, sourdough, whole wheat, and whole grain, take longer to grow mold, but should still be stored using one of my methods mentioned here.

Toast Bread!

One of the best and tastiest ways to
eat bread that’s starting to get stale and you’re afraid will
mold very soon, is to toast it! Bread that is toasted and spread with
butter is good morning, noon, and night.

Those are my methods to keep bread from molding. Home baked and purchased loaves of bread will stay fresh and mold free so you can enjoy the entire loaf without having to throw it out after just a day or two.

Of course, if your home is anything like mine, fresh bread doesn’t last longer than a day or two anyway!

More Tips to Help Stop Your Bread Collapsing

If you have gone through and fixed everything mentioned above that could be causing your bread to collapse and you are still having trouble with it, there are a few extra things you can look out for that may help you avoid your bread collapsing next time you make it.

  • You can try using different flour, as some flours offer more support to the structure of the bread than others.
  • Ensure you shape your bread correctly, as shaping the dough has a big impact on the rising of the bread. If you do not shape it well, it could collapse, especially if you are not using a loaf tin.
  • Be careful when you score your bread; if you are too rough, it can cause your bread to collapse.
  • Remember to use slat in your bread dough recipe as this can affect the rise of your dough and can cause your bread to collapse if it is not present.
  • Ensure you use the correct amount of flour in your bread dough recipe as the yeast needs it to make the bread rise.
  • Never add the salt for your recipe directly to the yeast when making your bread dough, as this can kill the yeast.

Avoid Pre-Sliced

When buying bread, it’s best to buy it whole and not pre-sliced. Cut off what you need each time you’re making a sandwich or toast.

Pre-sliced bread is more exposed to air and will get moldy much quicker than unsliced bread. And with unsliced loaves, you get to determine how thick you want your slices!

What Is Rye?

When making bread, we’re always choosing between two main kinds of grain: wheat or rye.

As you can probably guess, rye bread is made from rye grain, which is similar enough to wheat to allow for cross-pollination but requires its own specific cultivation process when turning the grain into flour and eventually bread.

Loaves of rye are typically denser, darker, and more flavorful than those made from other kinds of grain. So much denser, in fact, that it’s difficult to get them to rise on their own.

Rye gluten just isn’t strong enough to expand while still maintaining the basic wheat structure, which normally creates the air pockets that give bread the right lift.

Most rye bread machine recipes, then, require workarounds to make sure that “pure” rye has enough support to actually rise in the oven/machine.

Health Benefits of Rye Bread

Rye bread provides all kinds of health benefits that make it preferable to wheat: it’s less fattening, satisfies longer, reduces inflammation, adds important fiber to your diet, and helps manage glucose levels.

Because rye is slower to bake, the final loaf will retain more of the grain’s natural properties and adding seeds and other proteins into the bread can help you get even more of a health boost.

So how to get rye to rise like wheat bread? One of the most common ways is to mix rye and wheat grain together to form a combination bread that will rise as it should.

Most bread makers are built for wheat-based breads. Bread machines work by combining instant yeast with water, and doughs like rye are so naturally moist that the yeast can activate too early, which can leave you with an underbaked dough pudding instead of a crunchy loaf of rye.

You’ll want to keep this in mind as you start building your recipes.

The most important thing to remember is this: the darker the flour, the heavier the bread will be, and the less it will rise as it bakes. The greater the rye-to-wheat ratio, the slower the bread will take to bake and the denser it will be.

Keep this in mind as you decide on the kind of bread you want to make and add more all-purpose flour if you want a puffier loaf.

Of course, there are all kinds of rye varieties. First, let’s look at a very basic rye bread machine recipe that’s great for beginners.

Dark Rye Bread Machine Recipe

  • 1 ⅛ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons molasses or honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups rye flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 teaspoons machine bread yeast

Notice we have an almost even ratio of flour, which means we’ll get a really dark bread that has enough flour to give it a nice rise.

This recipe also contains more sugar than others, and that, too, will help the bread rise. It’s all about providing enough support for the bread’s structure.


With most rye bread machine recipes, adding ingredients in the correct order is the only difficult part. With almost any variation, you can just use the Basic setting on your machine and let it do the work.

Refer to the manufacturer’s suggestions when it comes to the order you should add your ingredients in.

If your machine gives you more variety, select the loaf size (most recipes are designed for 1 pound to 1 ½ pound loaves) and the crunchiness of the crust you want.

You may have to try several loaves to find the consistency, color, and size that you most enjoy. Once you’ve mastered the basic texture, you can add nuts, seeds, onions, and other seasonings.

Take a look at our guide to the best bread machines on the market (for Rye and more!)

Next Steps

Place your ingredients in the pan of the bread machine, adjust your settings, and punch Start.

Once the first rise is finished, remove the bread from the pan and place it in another cooking pan to cool and rise. Cover it with a light cloth and shape it as you see fit.

If you prefer learning by video, check out this basic rye bread in the bread maker recipe:

Light Rye Bread Recipe

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seed
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup rye flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons bread machine yeast

For this easy light rye bread recipe we pulled from Hamilton Beach, all you need to do is put all the ingredients into your bread machine as listed above, in that order. Next, you will choose the basic bread cycle since this recipe is for a 1.5-pound loaf and medium crust color. Press start. When your homemade rye bread is done, remove it from the machine and let it cool for 10 minutes before slicing it.

Related Reading – Hamilton Beach 29885 Bread Maker Review

Caraway Rye Bread

This Caraway rye bread recipe can be made in your bread machine at home. Prep time only takes about 10 minutes, and this homemade rye bread recipe yields just one loaf.

  • 1 ¼ cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons dry milk powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 ¾ cups bread flour
  • ¾ cup rye flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons caraway seeds
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons active dry yeast

Making rye bread in your bread machine at home is relatively easy to do because you just have to make sure to add the ingredients in order and the quantities listed. For this rye bread recipe, add all the ingredients listed above to your bread machine in the order as they are listed. This is the order that the manufacturer suggests.

Once you have added all your ingredients to the machine, select the grain setting and the 2-pound loaf size and push start. Remember, the actual cook time and serving size depend on the specific bread machine model you are using.

You can find the complete recipe and nutrition facts for this rye bread recipe at AllRecipes.

Swedish Rye Bread

Another favorite is Swedish rye bread. This yeast bread is slightly sweet and contains orange zest, giving it a brighter flavor. It can be made in a bread machine or by hand. Swedish rye bread is sometimes known as Swedish Limpa. It makes a great sandwich bread and is ideal for toast.

  • 1 ¼ cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons anise seed
  • ½ teaspoon caraway
  • Orange zest
  • 1 ½ cups bread flour
  • 1 ½ cups rye flour
  • 1 packet rapid rise yeast
  • Butter

For this bread machine recipe for Swedish rye bread, you will add all these ingredients into the machine in the order listed above. Make sure that the yeast does not touch the liquid. You will then use the setting on your bread machine for white bread and a light crust. Once your homemade bread is baked, remove the bread pan, and transfer your loaf to a rack for cooling. You can then brush the top with some melted butter for added flavor.

What to Do When Your Bread Deflates?

If your bread came out with a deflated top, there’s nothing you can do at this point really. You can, however, make sure that the next time you make bread, it turns out just fine.

There are several possible reasons why bread deflates in the bread machine so make sure that you learn about them. You might be making a pretty silly mistake that you are not aware of but which could have easily been prevented.

1 – You Might Not Have Given It Enough Time

Before moving any further, it’s important to acknowledge that bread takes quite a bit of time to rise. It’s very possible that you might not have given it enough time to do what it needs to do.

If you gave up early, this might have been easily avoidable if you’d exercised a bit more patience. It’s normal to think that something might be wrong when you’re new to the world of making bread, but giving it more time to rise might be just what you needed.

Try to give the bread that you are making the time that it needs to rise. It’s also true that different types of bread will take different amounts of time to rise, and this means that you’ll want to check information for the bread recipe that you are using.

If you’re able to get the bread to rise by just waiting it out, you won’t have to troubleshoot any further. If this isn’t the issue that you’re experiencing, there are still other things to consider.

How to Prevent it From Happening?

If your loaf of bread still turns out deflated despite sticking to the recipe, you might want to reconsider the recipe. Also, take advice from experienced bakers who know how to avoid such problems.

For a perfect loaf of bread, chef Jacob suggests allowing your dough enough time to rise (at least 2 hours for the bulk fermentation and 1 hour for proofing).

So don’t rush your dough. If you are in a hurry, perhaps you should postpone your plan to bake bread for when you have more time.

Baker Patrick Moore believes that recipes that come with a bread machine are a good place to start if you want to make a good loaf of bread. However, one must be aware of the absorption rates that different types of flour have.

He suggests sticking to the flour that you know how to work with and also taking note of the suggestions indicated on the package of the flour.

In order to prevent your loaf from sinking, stick to the recipe when it comes to how much water you should use. But let that not be your only indicator. If your loaf of bread turns out to be too dense and inedible, then you need to add a bit more water the next time.

On the other hand, if the loaf is too airy and pale, you should reduce the amount of water you put in the dough.

Important tip: Make sure that the pan is big enough for the dough. If the dough touches the lid of the pan, this can result in a deflated top.

Avoid Storing in Plastic

Mold needs just the right conditions to grow and storing your bread in a sealed plastic bag is going to provide those conditions – moisture and warmth.

If you absolutely need to keep bread in a plastic bag, keep the bag open and place on your countertop out of the sun. Keeping the bag open will allow some air circulation in the bag, so mold won’t develop.

4 – Old Yeast or Baking Powder

Another thing that you need to consider is how old the yeast or baking powder that you’re using is. If you use yeast or baking powder that is too old, you might not get good results.

Did you buy the baking powder that you’re trying to use a very long time ago? Is your yeast from a date in the past that you can’t even recall at this point?

Avoid using old yeast and old baking powder when you want your bread to turn out how it should.

Bread Boxes

Bread boxes aren’t just for looks (although some can definitely improve the look and feel of your kitchen). They’re also ideal for storing bread to keep it from molding. Just place the loaf directly into the box without putting into a paper or plastic bag first.

The inside of a bread box has just the right amount of air circulation to keep mold from being able to form and just enough humidity to keep bread soft and fresh.

It’s best not to put more than one loaf into the bread box. The more bread there is, the more humidity will start to build up in the box.

All work well to keep bread fresh, so indulge and buy a bread box that matches your kitchen décor.

How Can You Keep from Getting Holes and Tunnels in Your Homemade Rye Bread?

If you include too little yeast, your bread won’t sufficiently rise. In contrast, too much yeast may cause your bread to rise and then collapse. Watch your dough as it rises and bakes. This is easy to do when you have a bread maker with a large viewing window.

Why Does a Loaf of Bread Sink in the Middle?

Bread can deflate for several reasons but they all have to do with recipe imbalance and handling the dough incorrectly.

Professional artisan baker Patrick Moore explained how using too much water can cause a loaf to sink. Another problem is baking the loaf at low settings which results in a quite pale, unappealing loaf of bread.

Similarly, adding too much yeast in the mixing process and baking the loaf at a too hot setting can also result in a deflated bread in the middle. Except that in this case, the loaf would not be pale but quite the opposite, it would be a bit burned.

To sum up, recipe imbalance, wrong temperature, and the wrong setting are the most common reasons why bread sinks in the middle.

Additionally, there is another factor worth mentioning here and that is the type of flour used to make bread. Certain flours such as rye flour, tend to give your loaf of bread a flatter appearance, Patrick explained.

So be mindful when using different types of dough. Read up on each to find out how much liquid to use in your recipe, etc.

On the other hand, Chef Jacob Burton says that the common reason why bread deflates is related to the temperature in your kitchen and over-proofed dough. If it’s too hot, the dough will rise too quickly and will then collapse.

The hotter the kitchen environment is, the more activated the yeast gets. Hot temperatures cause the yeast to hyperactivate which leads to overfermentation which then results in a deflated loaf, Jacob explains.

Kitchen Drawer

If you have a deep enough kitchen drawer, consider storing bread there. I’ve found this is a great place to keep a rustic artisan bread fresh for up to two days.

I just wrap it in a clean tea towel with the sliced end of the bread facing down.

Does Kneading the Dough by Hand Help?

Actually, the kneading process is directly related to how light and airy your loaf of bread turns out to be.

Many bakers use the dough setting of the bread machine to knead the dough but then proceed to bake the bread in the oven and not in the bread machine.

In their experience, the bread machine does a much better job kneading the dough when compared to kneading by hand. The result is a delicious, airy loaf of bread.

Similarly, you may also knead the dough by hand and then place it in the bread maker to bake.

If you’re kneading the dough by hand, you should leave your dough to rest covered with plastic wrap for at least 2 hours during the first rise. After that, punch the dough a few times to relax it. Your fingers will leave indentations in the dough and that’s fine.

That’s your clue that the dough is perfect and almost ready for baking.

Gently knead the dough and shape as desired. Leave the dough in a warm spot (on top of the oven) for a second rise. This time, the dough rises more quickly so there’s no need to wait for a long time (1 hour is more than enough).

Tip: Use a bit of oil to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. It’s better than using flour as you can add too much flour to the already risen dough and thus jeopardize the quality of your bread.

3 – You Didn’t Knead the Dough Well Enough

Kneading the dough is something that can help it to get into the right state so that it will rise. People who are new to making bread might assume that a bit of kneading will be enough, and they will wind up moving on too quickly.

If you only did a bit of kneading before trying to get the dough to rise, you likely made an error. You might wish to try kneading the dough more so that you can get better results.

Many recipes will give you information about how long you should knead the dough. If you don’t have that information, you might be able to get some specifics by looking up information on the type of bread that you’re trying to make.

What to Do if Your Bread Collapses in a Bread Machine

Sadly, once your bread collapses during baking, there’s no saving it.

The only thing to do is to learn from the experience.

You can try making the bread again just in case you forgot to add an ingredient. Alternatively, you can try making it with just one or two changes. Just be sure not to make too many changes at once as it will make it harder for you to determine the cause of your sunken loaf.

Each time you try something different and slightly tweak your recipe, make a note to easily keep track of any changes. For example, you may have used less liquid and your bread still collapsed.

When making your next batch of dough, make an additional change to the yeast or use less salt.

Eventually, you’ll work out the perfect combination and amount of ingredients — and you’ll have recorded your notes for next time.

Can You Eat Collapsed Bread?

Chances are that if you used commercial yeast instead of active dry yeast AND your dough wasn’t kneaded long enough or at an appropriate temperature then yes – it probably would taste sour and horrible.

If it was a standard bread recipe though and you used active dry yeast, odds are that your bread will still taste okay.

Try letting the dough rise in a bowl covered with plastic wrap or a towel in a warmer place for an hour or two. The outside shouldn’t feel hard when you poke at it anymore and it should have some spring to its bounce back. If this doesn’t work then it’s probably not worth saving.

One to file as Lesson Learned!

Why Does Your Sourdough Bread Collapse?

When baking sourdough bread, and it collapses, this is extra disappointing as sourdough bread generally takes quite a few more hours of preparation than normal bread.

So, if you think that your sourdough bread is not collapsing based on any of the reasons mentioned above, then there are a few other things that may be the culprit. The first thing you should look at, though, is your sourdough starter.

If your sourdough starter is young or it is not strong enough yet to bake with, and you use it in your bread dough, this will cause your sourdough to collapse. If you do not feed your sourdough starter enough, this can also affect the bread you make with it.

To ensure this does not happen to your sourdough bread, make sure your sourdough starter is strong and ready to be used in baking. You can do this by feeding your starter once or twice a day for two weeks before you try to bake with it.

Store Bread in Your Freezer

One of the best ways to keep bread from molding is to keep it in the freezer (check out more detailed tips for freezing and defrosting). If your loaf of bread is unsliced, you’ll want to slice before freezing so you can pull out individual slices when you need them instead of the entire loaf.

Cut to the thickness that you prefer. Once sliced, wrap the entire loaf carefully in either plastic wrap or aluminium foil. Then place into a plastic bag and seal tightly – I use thicker freezer bags when I freeze my bread.

Wrapping well will keep the moisture in the bread so it doesn’t dry out and will also help prevent freezer burn.

My freezer method will keep your bread from molding and will also keep it fresh. When you need bread, but don’t want to take the entire loaf out of the freezer, slices will break apart easily. Just take what you need and carefully wrap up the remainder to leave in the freezer.

It will only take a few minutes for slices to unthaw so you can use them for sandwiches. Or take slices, or the entire loaf, out of the freezer the night before and leave on the counter. Bread will be fresh and ready for you in the morning.

If stored and wrapped correctly, you
can keep bread in the freezer for up to three months.

Bread Baking Problems and Solutions

Cause: too much yeast, sugar or water, too little salt, or high altitude.

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf: Reduce your yeast by 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon to start with, and using cold water.  If you see an improvement but it’s still not quite there, continue to reduce incrementally.  Alternatively, you could try increasing salt, or decreasing your sugar or water.

Short, Dense, and/or Dark Loaf

Cause: typical of too much flour (or other dry ingredients) or not enough liquid; less often a result of too little yeast, too little sugar, too much salt, or old ingredients.

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf: Reduce your flour* or increasing your liquids.  You can always check your dough during the KNEAD cycle to make sure the texture isn’t too dry.

Lopsided Loaf

Cause: typical of too much flour (or other dry ingredients), not enough liquid, or recipe size is too small

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf: Reducing your flour* or increasing your liquids.  If you’re using your own recipe, you may need to increase the recipe size.  The minimum loaf size for our 2 pound bread machines is 1 1/2 pounds (BB-CEC20 and BB-PAC20), and 1 pound for our 1 pound machine (BB-HAC10).

Lumpy Loaf

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf: Reducing your flour* or increasing your liquids.  Check the dough during the KNEAD cycle—if it appears knotty or lumpy, you can add a tablespoon of water at a time until a nice, round ball of dough forms.

Unmixed Ingredients

Cause: The kneading blades were not installed properly, or kneading blades have worn out.

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf:  Installing kneading blades before adding ingredients to the baking pan.  If you suspect they have worn out, take the baking pan out of the bread machine and place the kneading blades on the metal shafts.  Then, try turning the blades with your finger.  Do they catch the shafts and make them rotate?  If one or both doesn’t, it’s time to replace them.

Add Ingredients Didn’t Mix

Cause: Typical of too much flour (or other dry ingredients) or not enough liquid.

Here’s what you can try doing to improve your loaf:  Reducing your flour* or increasing your liquid.  When the dough is too dry, add ingredients like nuts and raisins cannot penetrate the dough ball.

*The weight of a cup of flour can fluctuate significantly depending upon how the flour is measured.  Using the measuring cup as a scooper, or pouring flour into the measuring cup will result in more of the ingredient being used than our recipes call for.  You can reduce your flour using one of two methods:

  • Volumetrically: Fluff your flour with a fork or a whisk to loosen it; then, spoon it into your nested measuring cups, and level off without tapping or shaking.
  • By weight: Weigh your flour with a digital kitchen scale (128g/4.51oz per cup for bread flour; 120g/4.23 oz for whole wheat flour, and 125g/4.41oz for all purpose).  This method yields the most consistent and optimal results, and conveniently cuts out the guesswork.

Top Bread Machine Rye Bread Tips

Try adding a little bit (1 tablespoon) of caramel coloring or cocoa powder to get a rich chocolate color for pumpernickel bread or dark rye loaves.

After you’ve mastered this basic rye bread recipe, venture out and try one of the other rye bread recipes we included above. You can then find other superb rye bread recipes online that give you more texture, density, and thickness and adjust according to your tastes! There’s no need to fear rye, so give it a try!

Have you tried bread machine rye bread yet?

How Do You Keep Rye Bread from Cracking on the Top?

Temperature issues can actually cause your bread not to rise either. This can involve temperature issues with the water that you’re using and the temperature of the room itself.

The water that you’re using for the bread should be between 100 degrees Fahrenheit and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t want the room to be too cold either, since that can have an impact on the bread.

Keep your room at a temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re waiting for the bread to rise. Many people keep their homes significantly cooler than this, and this could be the cause of your trouble.

Final Thoughts

Baking bread can be a challenging task as so much can go wrong and cause your bread to collapse. There are so many aspects you need to remember to do when you are baking your bread to ensure it doesn’t collapse.

There are many outside factors that can cause this problem, which you also need to account for, but if you go through all the factors mentioned above, your next loaf of bread should be perfect!

Final World

As you can see, bread usually deflates because you made a mistake somewhere in the dough-making process. You either used dead yeast, too much yeast or got the temperature wrong.

To ensure your loaf of bread comes out with a perfect, crisp top, stick to the instructions and always use fresh ingredients.

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