Flat or Sunken Top
Here are some helpful solutions for the common causes:
Outdated, insufficient or inactive leavening
- Outdated leavening can cause a sunken or flat top. Most brands of leavening carry expiration dates. Be sure to check the date at the grocery store as well as each time you bake. After purchasing new leavening, date the container. Then, use within 6 months of opening. Also, keep baking powder cans tightly covered. If baking powder absorbs moisture from the air, it will be ineffective as a leavening agent.
- An incorrect amount of leavening may have been used in proportion to other ingredients, causing sunken tops. To measure leavening, spoon leavening into measuring spoon and level even with the top of the spoon with the metal edge of the can (baking powder), the top of the box (baking soda) or with a metal spatula. Learn more about leaveners.
- Quick bread was underbaked and cell structure wasn’t set. When the cell structure doesn’t set, the air spaces created by the leavening in the recipe collapses, causing the bread to sink.
- Oven temperatures vary over time. To insure the correct temperature each time you bake, always use an oven thermometer. Check the oven temperature to see that it matches the temperature set on the oven dial. Adjust the oven dial up or down to correct the oven temperature.
- The best test to determine doneness is to insert a wooden pick into the center of the quick bread before removing the pan from the oven. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs clinging to the pick, the quick bread is done.