This sounds very similar to what happened to ours. We decided that it was likely that there was a problem with the temperature sensor, or some other heating control, that was causing problems with rising. If the bread maker was in a cold place we ended up with a well baked brick. If it was very warm then we got a reasonable rise.
We decided to replace the machine, couldn't be bothered with trying to get it repaired, it had already paid for itself, and the newer model offered some additional features. Very happy with the replacement.
Have you tried an Internet search? Other people have reported problems and solutions that range from changing the yeast/flour/paddle, cleaning the temperature sensor, through to the temperature of the water and performing a reset.
lobstaboy wrote:Ditto here. I decided this is caused by the cold water being colder at this time of year - cured by using tepid water. (The programme I use doesn't seem to warm things before mixing - just goes straight into it with whatever temperature the ingredients are at).
Thanks for that very useful tip lobstaboy. We have since done as suggested and it has solved the problem for us.
Cleaning the schyte off the paddle helps! Did you change the make of flour Rob? I used organic strong bread flour in one recipe and it produced a brick. Using Waitrose own brand organic strong flour produces a superb loaf if I put in either a little less water or a little more rye flour. I really only use the french bread recipe as it uses the fewest ingredients and I use olive oil as the fat instead of butter. You must put salt in as that helps the process by making the dough stronger and regulating the yeast activity.
CPL IMC FI (A) and registering 9 on the bolometer.
Sir Morley Steven wrote: Did you change the make of flour Rob? I used organic strong bread flour in one recipe and it produced a brick.
That is the current suspect.
We had a bread-free 2 weeks anyway so I am just now getting back to making loaves. Sunday's was perfect, but using the cheapest 'strong' flour from Waitrose (50/50 Wholemeal / white). The real brick came with some organic from down Mono's way.
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