How do I get the inside of my homemade bread softer? The outside crust is great, but I wish my bread would be much softer. Thanks!
Linda from Eustis, FL
Are you using a bread machine or doing it by hand? Are you using white flour or whole wheat? Too much kneading can toughen bread so that could be the cause. If you're using ww flour you can't expect the texture to be that of white flour bread. I use part ww and part bread flour and sometimes add vital gluten and/or dough enhancer. Lots of trial and error will give better results. Ask me how I know!
if you are kneading by hand try not using as much flour, kneading too much flour into the bread will make it firmer and less delicate. You could try adding an egg. That will keep the bread lighter as well. You need to knead until the dough is elastic and smooth, but it should still be soft. Letting it rise twice before placing in a pan and rising again can also help. I place my bread dough on a large board to knead. Keeps the mess off the counter and is easy to bring to the sink after I'm finished to clean. If it is in a breadmaker, try taking the loaf out about 5 minutes before it beeps the finish. I find that the loaf overcooks if I leave it in for the full time.
I have a few suggestions, tried and true--I get blue ribbons on my breads every year at the county fair. I could not make decent bread until my grandmother passed, something she left to me which is priceless is the abilty to bake bread her way.
I use FRESH milk, no powdered and if possible, no water in the recipes. Also, do not use regular oils, butter, margarines, etc except when it is a recipe that is based on the butter (MMMMM GOOD). I use a very light olive oil. These both will guarentee soft breads---I use all sorts of grain flours and no changes are apparent. Oh, I ADD 2 TB extra GLUTEN per 3 cups flour used to my recipes--no matter the flour. It helps build the structure of the bread, helping to make this softer too.
By Kinga 03/11/2009
Save your potato water after you boiled potato's and use it as your liquid. You can also microwave a potatoe and mash it well and add it to your dough makes the bread soft and tasty. Hope it works for you. I really like the results.
T&T Grandma's got it right- milk is the key. Mashed spuds help, but milk is the magic ingredient! :o) Good luck!
Maybe you can put a pan of water in the oven while baking the bread,that's what my grand mother use to do when baking cakes & etc, makes it moist, good luck.
I wonder if you are expecting bread a day or two old to still be soft? Store-bought bread usually is soft and "fresh" for a long time because of the preservatives they use, but homemade bread gets firm and dry within about 24-48 hours. If I make more than I'm going to use right away I put it in the freezer. When I take it out it's as nice as when it was fresh, minus the crunchy crust.
1) Use milk, not water. 2) Could you reduce the baking time? 3) Put in moisture-retaining ingredients (up to 1/2 cup per loaf) such as potatoes, mashed winter squash or leftover cooked cereal. Making bread is such a lovely adventure!
Thanks to everyone who wrote with tips! I make bread by hand and use my Kitchen Aid to knead it. I'm going to try milk and dough enhancer....where do I get dough enhancer? I've never heard of it. I use Gluten, but I'll also try using ww with regular flour now too. THANKS!
I buy bread mixes from www.preparedpantry.com they have lots of recipes and tips about cooking and baking and they sell ingredients as well. I bet there will be an article there to help you.
Oils will give it a softer crumb (lard when I grew up). I use sour cream from time to time (fat and milk together). Cooked oatmeal helps retain moisture as does a potato (or potato starch or potato flakes, I use butter milk some times, I like the flavor). Steam is good to help. If you have a dutch oven or heat proof dish with a lid that will fit your bread pan, give it a try (I use a turkey roaster, get it hot and add a few tablespoons of water with the bread pans) take the lid off for the last 10 min. to get a harder crust. To have the softest crumb you need to hydrate the flours as much as possible. Take all the liquid, half the flour (if using flour other than white make sure that are the first to go in, whole wheat, rye, etc take longer to hydrate) and a quarter teaspoon of the yeast the day before, cover and let set on the counter for 12 - 18 hrs. You will get a slight sour dough taste, if you don't want that put it in the frig. for up to 3 days.
Freezing what bread is not used immediately will help retain freshness.