Following is a list of mistakes and possible causes that can occur when you bake bread.

Bread Volume Too Low!

-Too weak or insufficiently oxidised flour.
-Low amylase activity in the flour.
-Insufficient or low quality yeast.
-Insufficient water absorption.
-Too much salt.
-Under or over kneading.
-Dough temperature too low, too long or too short rising time.
-Dough weight too low compared to the size of the baking tin.
-Oven temperature too high.

The enzyme amylase plays an important role in bread preparation. Yeast, which makes bubbles of carbon dioxide that allows the dough to rise , needs a lot of sugars to do so. The amount of natural sugars in the flour is not sufficient for a loaf to rise properly.

Flour consists for the most part of starch granules. Part of this starch grain gets damaged (cracked open) during grinding. The cereal grain contains the enzyme amylase, so that enzyme can also be found in the flour.

In the dough, the enzyme amylase is able to convert the damaged starch grains into maltose . Maltose is one of many forms of sugar and is also known as carbohydrate . The yeast cell uses this maltose as food and converts it into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Some flours (of lower quality) have a deficiency of this enzyme and in that case the yeast will get less sugars, so that the dough rises less quickly. Using a different flour is the solution, but you can also help by adding enzymes yourself, for example in the form of enzyme mix or diastatic malt flour .

Crust Color Too Pale!

-Low amylase activity in the flour.
-Too little salt.
-Proofing time too long, proofing temperature too high.
-Oven temperature too low / baking time too short / too little top heat.

Crust Color Too Dark!

-Too much added sugar/milk products.
-Oven temperature too high. Baking time too long / too much top heat.

Matte Crust!

-Insufficient steam when baking.

Blistering Under The Crust!

-Proofing time too short.
-Too much steam in the oven.
-Proofing time too long, proofing temperature too high.

Crust Rupture!

-Proofing time too short.
-Too little salt.
-No or too much steam when baking.

Gray Crumb Color!

-Too high amylase activity flour.
-Over or under kneading.
-Proofing time too long.
-Baking temperature too low.

Crumb Structure Too Open!

-Too high amylase activity flour.
-Too little salt.
-Proofing time too long.

Crack Of The Crumb!

-Overbaked bread.
-Irregular heat distribution in the oven.

Holes In The Crumb!

-Too weak flour.
-Over or under kneading.
-Crusting of the dough during proofing.
-Dough temperature too high.
-Proofing time too short.
-Proofing temperature too high.
-Too little steam in the oven.

Michael Lim