But first, thank you for all the comments, ideas and suggestions about how my bread turns out! You all agree that it has to do with the yeast...and I am sure you are correct. There is a really good chance that it has to do with the temperature of my water affecting the yeast- I doubt the issue is the yeast itself, because it came out of the same package for both loaves. It could also be how I measure the salt. I will be more careful about that as well.
I was originally thinking that it may be because I occasionally omit ingredients. I am allergic to milk, so I don't add dry milk, and I substitute water or rice milk for buttermilk and regular milk. But the 2nd loaf (Spicy Gingerbread) was supposed to have dry milk, and it was fine. The first loaf (Whole Wheat Sesame) I had all the ingredients for. But that loaf consistently turns out like that. It rises fine, but when it starts cooking, the top falls in. It's not a brick- it's not thick and doughy, really, it is nice and fluffy and yumm (the best toast! I really want to make vegan French Toast with it!), but it's a bowl-top.
I will try to measure my salt more carefully and be more consistent in the water temperature. I'll let you know what I did if I get a WWSesame loaf with a nice round top.
This is my bread machine.
I LOVE it. I use it constantly. At least 3 times a week. Joel uses homemade bread for his work lunch sandwiches now; and we use it for snacks, I make our hamburger buns, desserts, even dinners (Stromboli, mmmmm) with it. It is fantastic. It also saves us a great deal of money. I used to spend in two weeks on bread what I now spend for 3 months of flour/yeast/etc. And I did not purchase the machine.
On November 11, 2010, I posted on Plurk (look me up as Lobug) that I wanted a bread machine for my birthday in December. I was trying to figure out how I could convince my Mom or Joel to buy one for me. ;) And I thought that was it. Something nice, but whatever, whenever, you know?
On November 17th, these came in the mail:
(the Post-It notes were not included. I use these constantly; just in case you wondered....) And the receipt had 2 names on it. 2 names of my Plurk buddies. So naturally, I very excitedly posted a thank you- thinking all the time, "wow, now I really have to talk Mom or Joel into the machine!!"- only to find out that that was not the extent of my birthday present. A few days later, my machine showed up at my door. 9 of the most amazing people blessed me with an early birthday present (I got to use it for Thanksgiving dinner!!!). Only 1 of those 9 have I ever met in person. (I love that I get to meet and know so many wonderful people because of the internet!)So KarenGMT, AlliCat, Strem3kids, Trillium, Elvisneedsboats, RozinPDX, KelticKarma, Mishya75, and Painty, this is my (very late, I'm sorry) public thank you to you amazing, wonderful women. Thank you. I think of you every day. ;D