"From: "Pat Stewart" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"Subject: Lop-Sided Horizontal Loaf
"Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2001 20:55:42 -0500
"I used a Zo upright for years (model discontinued but still going
strong). I acquired a horizontal loaf Zo a couple of years ago as my
"Problem: if I don't watch the horizontal loaf and "rearrange" the dough,
I wind up with a lop-sided loaf. It seems stupid to have a programmable
bread machine that I have to watch..."
Pat, a possible clue to lop-sided bread mixed/baked in your
2-pound horizontal-loaf Zojirushi bread machine:
I suspect it is a result of dough that is too stiff (dry). When
dough is too stiff it can't "flow" properly, left to right, (from the pull
of gravity) in the machine's basket during the rising stage(s).
The water-to-flour ratio controls this happening; whatever you're
using, try adding a bit more liquid next time, then a bit more in the next
If you're using the traditional "cup-volume" measurement method
you might get brash an jump to an extra 1/4 cup or so... and see what happens!
If you were using scales (something I - highly - recommend) and
mixing dough by "percentages," the water-component change might be going
from say, 58% to 64% (or higher). Once tried, you'll find that scales are a
godsend, very simple, less dirty utensils result, plus it's very easy to
adjust recipes both in wetness and total recipe size. Better yet, use
"grams" ...and life will get even easier!
(When using percentages, regardless of recipe size, the flour's
total weight is always considered 100%, the amount of water added... a
percentage of the flour's weight.)
Soft dough (typically called "slack" or wet) generally is better
for all bread making, machine or oven... but if working slack dough by hand
- the resulting stickiness can be a challenge (and that's being kind with
But in a bread machine (where dough is untouched by human hands)
stickiness is a non-issue.
Slack dough will generally give you a better rise, more open
and/or uniform texture. You may have to bake a bit longer to evaporate the
extra liquid, but that's not a serious issue, only for the perfectionists.
Final note: don't be afraid to experiment, even toss out a few
mistakes; the ingredient-cost for bread truly is token. And along the way
you might even learn something!
Or have fun trying.
- Ed Okie