When I make breads with heavier flours the top sinks in a little. The bread comes out heavier on the bottom and lighter on the top. I'm using a welbuilt bread machine and I can't quite figure out why my bread seems uneven. Can anyone help me?
half heavy bread
ChefTalk.com Top Picks
I'm not a bread machine user, but in "regular" bread making that sort of problem usually indicated a problem with the amount of gluten, the degree of gluten development and/or loaf formation.
Newer bakers often have problems with loaf formation, and that's normally the first place to look when problems with oddly shaped loaves spring up. But formation is not an issue with bread machines.
Since you mention heavier flours, I guess you're not getting sufficient gluten structure from the mixing/kneading/resting cycles to compensate for the lower amount of protein in your flours. The dough on the top is getting of your loaves gets a full rise, but the dough on the bottom is pressed down by the dough on top and never completely rises.
Does your machine have settings for different types of breads which will allow more kneading/mixing or longer/shorter rise times?
A little extra mixing/kneading will almost certainly help. I think you'll get the most from removing the bread half way through the rise time, turning it over (while deflating it as little as possible), and allowing the rise to finish. If you can add a little extra rest/rise time to compensate for the handling, so much the better.