softer crust?
Posted: 30 March 2008 05:20 PM   [ Ignore ]
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k…first post here…i’ve got a question—whenever i make my plain yeast bread, it always come out with a loose crumb, but a very firm crust, making it impossible to use as sandwich bread. What can I do to correct this? I’ve heard that the loose crumb can be corrected with more kneading—is this correct? As for the crust, I’ve been told brushing the crust with butter as soon as it’s out of the oven and laying a tea towel over the loaf while it cools helps.

Does anyone know if these suggestions work? Or are there any better ways of getting there?

also, if it helps, what i’d like is something a little before store-bought sandwich breads, in terms of crust—a little bit of chewiness and crunch, but not so much that it makes it difficult to eat in sandwich form, is what i’d like to see.

It should be noted, i guess, that i’m not using a recipe from The Bread Bible here, but rather from Taste of Home’s Complete Guide to Baking.

Thanks!

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Posted: 01 April 2008 05:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Without knowing the recipe this can be difficult to diagnose. If you don’t like the bread you are getting I would say try a different recipe because you can spend a long time experimenting. Personally I like to experiment but it seems like you are looking for specific results. In general if the bread is crumbly that is because the gluten was not fully developed. This can be because the dough was too dry, the flour has low gluten content, not enough kneading, not enough rising time. I frequently brush loaves with butter directly from the oven. It does soften the crust.

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Posted: 01 April 2008 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I have a similar question re the Basic Hearth Bread (my first excursion into the BB).  I’ve made it 3 times with my new KA600, my inspiration to get back into baking, that and a husband who falls madly in love with me each time something comes out of the oven grin.  It is going great, but the crust is a little chewier than we would like.  Butter it?  Other suggestions?  Thanks!

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Posted: 01 April 2008 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I just rub lightly with a stick of butter when the loaf comes out of the oven. You might prefer a different recipe like for challah, sandwich bread, or dinner rolls. These use some oil or fat and have softer crusts.

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Posted: 01 April 2008 03:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Lizzy…

The crust for The Basic Hearth Bread is supposed to be chewy; that’s why it’s called hearth bread. If you don’t like/want crusty, chewy breads than perhaps you should bake enriched breads (breads with a bit of fat and/or eggs, and sometimes a bit of sugar) rather than the lean breads (which is just flour, water, yeast, and salt).

Roxanne

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Posted: 01 April 2008 03:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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In other words, I should be proud of my chewy crust, it is as intended!  Thanks, just what I needed (though in fact I may rub a bit of butter on next time as was also suggested).

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Posted: 01 April 2008 04:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I agree with Roxanne, but one other thing you could try is to use unbleached all-purpose in place of the bread flour.  It will make your bread a little softer and less chewy.

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