>From the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book I learned that one of the causes
of sunken loaves is insufficient salt. Apparently salt acts to
moderate the yeast, so the amount can be tricky: too much and the bread
won't rise enough, too little and it rises too fast, then collapses.
So, try slightly increasing the salt. I use about a teaspoon with
about 3 cups flour.
Also, as previously mentioned, the amount of water is critical. In my
opinion it is the single greatest weakness of current automatic
breadmakers. They do not sense the moisture content of the dough, as a
person does when making bread by hand. Accurate measurement isn't
enough, as moisture content of different flours varys considerably,
even by season. And humidity has an effect.
It seems to me a qualitative improvement in breadmaker design would be
to figure out how to sense moisture. Another possibility is to just
sense physical resistance to kneeding; if it is too tough, squirt in a
bit more water, but this strategy might be too simplistic.
PS I make all our bread in a DAK turbo II machine. Our original DAK
machine wore out after a couple years.
PPS I heartily recommend the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book. It says
essentially nothing about automatic bread makers, but has lots of basic
information about the bread making process, especially when dealing
with whole grain flours. I have found the recipes easy to adapt (just
divide down to about the 3 cup range for the flour).