Why Is My Previous Awesome Bread Suddenly Not Rising?

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Q: For months now I have been baking bread. All of a sudden, no matter where I buy yeast, in what quantity or jarred or packets or vacuumed brick type, it doesn’t work. One last week proofed well, but the bread came out wet, solid, and collapsed. OK, so maybe I did something wrong. I do another with new yeast, same. Help!

I do ANOTHER with yeast from another store, packets this time....another bomb...did NOT proof, brande new from the packet...NOT expired by a long shot... I DO ONE MORE, cross my fingers, it proofed, Bazookie! NO GOOD! Here are my ingredients, using a bread machine:

3 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups reg flour
2 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tablespoons of butter
1 egg
1 1/4 cups water
handful of almonds, whole, shelled
handful of raisins
handful of chocolate bits

I set machine for 80 min cook time and mix. I add the liquid items first, then the dry with the yeast. I turn on the unit and help get the mix started because it sticks to the side at first. I wait the pre-set time and Vwlaaaaaaa...Garbage! ahahhahaa... Musta spent 23 thousand on yeast alone. Million nuts, chocolate, raisins...SOOOOOooooo Wah am I doing wrong? Is it the refrigeration of the yeast? Is it the NUTS? NO SALT in the nuts. Chocolate bits? The Raisins? I give...UNCLE!

Sent by NY Nicky

Editor: Assuming your bread machine is still in good, working order, I'm actually wondering if it might be the water. A change in water chemistry in your area — more chlorine or chloramine — can have a negative affect on how well the yeast works. Try using filtered or spring water and see if that helps.

Readers, any other suggestions?

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(Image: Emma Christensen)