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Resolved: Bread machine problem. I think it's the yeast

AwkaMom's picture

Resolved: Bread machine problem. I think it's the yeast

I'm new here, so, I'm not sure if this is the kind of thing to ask. However, I have no idea what else to do.

I'm trying to make bread in a bread machine. I was using a recipe, but it would rise way too much, so I cut the recipe by a third, except the flour I did more wheat than white, and tried again. Also, I started buying jars of bread machine yeast instead on individual packets. By the time I made my adjusted recipe, my yeast had died (I never refrigerated it). So, I bought new and tried again, but still bad results. I did the previous recipe and it worked, but still too much. Then today, several weeks later, I did the old recipe, and now it's not rising. So, my question is, why is my yeast not activating right? Or could it be something else?

Thanks in advance :) (if needed here's the recipe after it's been adjusted:


4/5 c water

1/3 c oil

1 1/3 Tbsp sorghum

1 1/2 c wheat flour

1/2 c white flour

1 tsp salt

1 1/3 tsp yeast

2 Tbsp gluten

5 Tbsp of grains)

Rube Goldberg's picture
Rube Goldberg

A little bit of education goes a long way. You don't have to spend a lot of money either. Try your local library. Used bread machine cook books on Ebay are cheap as well. Thrift stores are another place to look for used books. Simple is best to start with, even when using a bread machine!

AwkaMom's picture

Thank you for getting back to me! The recipe I'm using is the same one my mother in her bread machine, it rose a lot more in mine, so I cut it down to the recipe posted. (However, I did change the ratio of wheat to white.) My thoughts on using a different recipe are, I don't know if then I wouldn't be able to put the grains in and how much sorghum to sugar I would do. Also, I love the texture gluten puts in the bread ☺. Are there recipes with those things in them?

AnotherLoaf's picture

but first I'd check your yeast. Is is possible you're using too hot of water, and killing the yeast? If not, you can "prove" the yeast by mixing a small amount with a small amount of water. It should bubble/foam if it's good, after a few minutes. I'm not sure the exact amounts of each to use, but it would depend on what type of yeast you are using. A quick search on the internet should give you specific instructions. Now, about your recipe...that seems like a lot of oil for such a small loaf. I think I would try something different. Good luck,  marybeth

AwkaMom's picture

Thank you for responding! I'm using lukewarm to cold water. I bought the yeast about a month ago and refrigerated it right after, but I'll try proving it, just to be sure. So, try using less oil?

Rube Goldberg's picture
Rube Goldberg

I agree with AnotherLoaf, your recipe looks off. Instant yeast or bread machine yeast is almost "foolproof" these days as long as it is fresh. Lots of "proven" recipes on the web. Maybe one of these is similar to what you are trying to achieve...

Rube Goldberg's picture
Rube Goldberg
AwkaMom's picture

I proofed my yeast, just to be sure. It was fine. Thank you for all the recipes! I really like the recipe my mom gave me and want to make it work, too. I think you both are right about the recipe. It had too much oil, I reduced it to 1/4 c and the dough is forming better. I'm not sure if that's all I'll have to change, as it still doesn't seem to be rising right, but it hasn't finished baking yet.

kbarb's picture

So the basic problem at this point is that the bread is not rising enough ?
Or is it rising, then collapsing.

I wrote on another thread :

For myself, encountering problems with insufficient rising/proofing,

I used :

  • -- Rapid Rise/Instant (fast acting) yeast - not just Active type.
    And make sure your yeast is fresh - I had similar problems with tired yeast. Keep it refrigerated.
    Btw, I've never had to proof my yeast.

  • -- add one egg + 1/4cup flour because of the extra egg liquid
    For reasons I'm not totally clear on, the egg has solved a lot of rising problems for me.
    Apparently it is a rising agent.

  • -- warm water

A couple other things I notice :

That is a high proportion of low gluten flours : the whole wheat and sorghum.
It can be tough to get them to rise, thus the gluten called for.
Perhaps try 1-1/2 to 2 tsp yeast ? Almost all my recipes call for 1-1/2t yeast, but 1-1/3 is pretty close to that.

What about trying a more mainstream recipe with 1/2 bread flour & whole wheat, with a small amount of gluten (less than a teaspoon), and see if that works - just for comparison.
Then you'll know if your basic ingredients and procedure are correct.

(Also, the maximum oil I ever use is 1/4cup - most recipes I use call for 2-3T - but that shouldn't affect rising anyway,)

Are you sure your timings on the bread machine are correct ?
I mean, is it really not rising at all ?  or there isn't enough time for it to complete the rising ?

AwkaMom's picture

Thank you everyone for your help! The problem has been resolved --