TROUBLESHOOTING YOUR BAKING

Stop right here if you need to troubleshoot your baking---Click on your choice:
Cooking at High Altitudes
Baking Cakes and Pies
Baking Yeast Breads
Baking in Bread Machines

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Guidelines for Cooking at High Altitudes

INGREDIENT3,000 FEET5,000 FEET6,500 FEET AND ABOVE
YEAST1/2 teaspoon less for every tablespoon (or package) at elevations above 3,000 feet..
LIQUID1 tablespoon more per cup2-3 tablespoons more per cup3-4 tablespoons more per cup
SUGAR1 tablespoon less per cup2 tablespoons less per cup3 tablespoons less per cup
FLOUR1 tablespoon more per cup2 tablespoons more per cup3 tablespoons more per cup
BAKING SODA1/8 teaspoon less per teaspoon1/4 teaspoon less per teaspoon1/4 teaspoon less per teaspoon
BAKING POWDER1/8 teaspoon less per teaspoon1/4 teaspoon less per teaspoon1/4 teaspoon less per teaspoon
OVEN25 degrees more for all elevations above 3,000 feet..
DEEP-FRYING3 degrees less for every 1,000 feet above 3,000 feet..

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Baking Cakes and Pies With Confidence

*******CAKES******* *******PIES*******

PROBLEMPOSSIBLE CAUSEPROBLEMPOSSIBLE CAUSE
Pale color1.Too little sugar
2.Too short baking time
Pale Color1.Baked in shiny, not dull pan
2.Underbaked
Does not rise properly1.Too much liquid
2.Too much fat
3.Too large pan
4.Oven too cool
Pastry looks smoothDough was handled too much
Peaked or cracked on top1.Too much flour
2.Too hot oven
Bottom crust is soggy1.Baked in shiny, not dull pan
2.Baking temperature too low
Coarse grained1.Too much shortening
2.Underbeaten
Tough1.Too much water
2.Too much flour
3.Too much mixing
Crumbly1.Too much shortening
2.Too much sugar
3.Underbeaten
Too tender; falls apart1.Too little water
2.Too much shortening
Dry1.Too much baking powder
2.Too long baking tim
Too tender; falls apart1.Too little water
2.Too much shortening
Heavy1.Too much liquid
2.Too much shortening
3.Too much flour
Dry, mealy, not flaky1.Shortening was cut in too fine
2.Too little water
Batter overflows1.Too much batter in pan
2.Pan too small
3.Too much leavening
..

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Troubleshooting Baking Yeast Breads

PROBLEMCAUSESOLUTIONS
BREAD FLAT1.Dough not kneaded enough
2.Yeast not properly dissolved
3.Not enough flour in dough
1.Knead longer
2.Proof yeast
3.Let dough rest, covered, for 10 minutes after kneading. If dough is sticky and has spread sideways instead of rising, continue to knead a bit longer
BREAD COLLAPSED IN OVENOverrose in bread panLet rise for less time
BREAD COLLAPSED WHILE RISINGToo much rising timeKnead dough briefly and let rise again until doubled. Continue as directed
BREAD SPLIT AT SIDES1.Too much flour in dough
2.Too much dough in pan
3.Uneven heat in oven
1.Decrease flour
2.Fill pan no more than 2/3 full
3.Use a pan that conducts heat well
LARGE HOLES IN BREAD1.Insufficient kneading
2.Dough overrose
3.Dough insufficiently kneaded after rising
1.Knead dough longer
2.Punch dough down and let rise again until doubled
3.Carefully knead (or press) out all air bubbles after dough has risen but before it's shaped
DENSE AT BOTTOM1.Not enough rising time
2.Too much flour
1.Let rise until fully doubled
2.Decrease flour
BREAD DRY AND CRUMBLY1.Too much flour
2.Dough overrose
3.Oven temperature too low
1.Decrease flour
2.Punch dough down and let rise again until doubled
3.Increase oven temperature
SKIN ON DOUGHDough insufficiently covered while risingCover bowl with plastic wrap while rising

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Troubleshooting Baking in Bread Machines

Bread machines can't compensate for variaitons in humidity, heat, altitude, and ingredients. That's why loaves sometimes are overproofed, fail to rise properly, or turn out doughy. It also explains why a recipe that's successful in spring and autumn may not work as well in summer. The most reliable way to ensure that each recipe produces good results is to check the dough after the mixing cycle has begun, adding water or flour if needed until the dough maintains the correct consistency---it should form a soft ball that pulls cleanly away from the sides of the pan. If results are still not satisfactory, consult the chart below. If more than one solution is suggested, start with the first one; if that doesn't solve the problem, try the second one, and so on.

PROBLEMCAUSESOLUTIONS
OVERRISES AND THEN SINKSToo much leavning action1.Decrease liquid
2.Decrease sugar by 50%
3.Decrease yeast by 25%
4.Increase fat by 50%
GNARLEDToo much flour1.Increase liquid
2.Reduce flour
3.Increase yeast
LARGE UNEVEN HOLESLeavening action is too fast for rise cycle1.Decrease liquid
2.Decrease yeast
3.Increase salt by 50%
SINKS BEFORE BAKINGImproper flour-liquid ratio, resulting in weak gluten structure1.Increase flour
2.Decrease sugar
TOO DENSEInadequate gluten structure or insufficient leavening1.Add wheat gluten(1-1/2 teaspoons per cup whole-grain flour)
2.Substitute bread flour for some of the whole-grain flour
3.Reduce salt by 50%
4.Increase sugar by 50%
TOP OR SIDES SHRIVELEDMoisture condensing on bread while coolingRemove loaf from bread pan at beginning of cooling cycle
RAW IN CENTERRising time too short or not enough yeast1.Do not use rapid bake cycle
2.Increase yeast by 30% to 50%
ADDED INGREDIENTS CLUMPEDIngredients not mixed in1.Add ingredients right after machine beeps
2.Chop ingredients into smaller pieces

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