The Fresh Loaf

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Need Help...bread falls apart

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hsingmommy's picture
hsingmommy

Need Help...bread falls apart

Hello everyone.  I'm new to this forum, and relatively new to bread baking.  I have been using a basic traditional white bread recipe (found on the back of the Bob's Red Mill Unbleached Bread Flour bag), and I typically prepare it in the bread machine.  Once it's done, I take it out, knead it a bit, and shape it to fit into the loaf pan (no fancy rolling, logs, etc), and then let it rise until it's about 1 inch above the loaf pan.  I bake it at 350 for about 45 minutes.  


The bread usually gets darker than I'd like (now know that I can tent it once it's reached desired crust color).  I do rub butter on the top once I take it out so that the crust remains soft (just too hard if this step is omitted).


My main problem is that the bread falls apart once I slice it.  The thickness of the slice doesn't really seem to make a difference...it just crumbles and falls apart.  This makes a huge crumb mess, and it's difficult to make a sandwich with pieces that are falling apart like this.


Any tips/ideas on how I can correct this problem?  Here's the recipe I use.


1 1/8 cups water
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp ground flaxmeal
3 tsp active dry yeast
3 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tbsp dry milk powder
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt


Thanks!
Sherrie


 


 

jcking's picture
jcking

Is the crumbly crumb wet or dry? Did you wait at least one hour before you sliced it?


Jim

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

did it go thru a bulk rise before shaping it? 

BeekeeperJ's picture
BeekeeperJ

That might be it. Totally different texture.

hsingmommy's picture
hsingmommy

It's a dry crumb, and yes, I waited until it's completely cooled before slicing (even waiting until the next day).


I'm not sure on the rising...it mixes/rises in the bread pan for 1.5 hours (total process time).  I then knead it, shape it, and let it rise again (about 45mins-1hr).


No, it's regular unbleached white bread flour from Bob's Red Mill.  I'm assuming it has gluten b/c it doesn't say gluten-free.  Thanks!


Sherrie


 

jcking's picture
jcking

Since you said it gets darker than you like, the oven temp my be off. My old oven was +50 degrees. Or try shortening your bake time. A probe thermometer to test the finished temp would help. Aim for 195F.


Jim

hsingmommy's picture
hsingmommy

The sides/bottom are never as dark as the top.  I use a Pampered Chef Stoneware loaf pan, and I didn't know about the hot water thrown into a 2nd pan (under the loaf pan) at baking either.  


I'm still learning.  I much prefer baking in the oven as opposed to using the bread machine, but I can't figure out the crumb/falling apart issue.


 


Thanks,


Sherrie

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Have you tried other recipes? If so, how did they(it) turn out?

hsingmommy's picture
hsingmommy

I tried the French bread recipe, and it worked fine from what I remember.  I'm wanting to find an easy, simple sandwich loaf that will work for everyday sandwiches since we're now making our bread as opposed to buying it.


 


Thanks!


Sherrie

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Starting to suspect your dough may be too dry(using too much flour). Are you getting a nice, soft and bouncy dough ball?


How do you measure your flour? Do you use a measuring cup to scoop  the flour. If so, you may be using too much. Best to lightly spoon the flour into the cup, then sweep to level. but then again, it depends on how the author of the recipe measured.


However measured, you typically want a somewhat softer dough, as opposed to a firmer dough. Since you are kneading with the bread machine, just open the lid after 10 minutes of mixing and check the dough consistency. You may need to dribble in a little water if things look a little too stiff and dry(or flour if too wet).

jcking's picture
jcking

I think the stoneware pan is ment for quickbreads.

williampp's picture
williampp

I have put your figures through my spreadsheet, and it looks OK. hydration 67%, salt 1.8%. The only amount I may question is the amount of yeast. I do not know what yeast you are using, but the instructions on my yeast packet say to use 2 teaspoons for 500 grams of flour. This means just a tad over one and a half teaspoons for your amount of flour (just over half what you are using). When i look at a recipe on the net i use the instruction on my yeast packet to decide how much to put in.


This may be worth a look


Bill

hsingmommy's picture
hsingmommy

I use active dry yeast...from a jar. Isn't the ratio for yeast to flour 1 tsp yeast for every cup of flour?

jcking's picture
jcking

If your recp came from a bread machine recp they always, for some reason, boost the yeast

GAPOMA's picture
GAPOMA

It may or may not be over yeasted, but that doesn't directly explain why it's so dry.  I agree with Bill that the hydration seems reasonable.  And with the butter in there you should have a nice smooth moist crumb.


Could it be that the bread is simply over cooked?  The baking time isn't far off, depending on oven temperature.  Jim has a good point; your oven temperature may be off.  I typically bake similar loaves for 35-40 minutes in a 350'F oven and they come out nicely browned (never too brown).  Using an oven at 400-450'F for 45 minutes could result in a very brown top and a dry crumb.  Your best friend here is probably an inexpensive instant thermometer.  Test your loaf and make sure the interior temperature is 195-205'F.  If it's higher than this, you're simply over cooking it.


- Greg

CraigFromNewcastle's picture
CraigFromNewcastle (not verified)

I'd take out the milk powder and the flaxmeal


make sure it rises nicely in the warm, and then give it a good old knead, let it rise well again and cook it in a nice hot oven.


Bang in some olive oil in the mix too for good luck :)

CraigFromNewcastle's picture
CraigFromNewcastle (not verified)

I'd take out the milk powder and the flaxmeal


make sure it rises nicely in the warm, and then give it a good old knead, let it rise well again and cook it in a nice hot oven.


Bang in some olive oil in the mix too for good luck :)

rayel's picture
rayel

Hi hsingmommy, is the flax meal part of the original recipe? Perhaps leaving it and powdered milk out might be a good idea for a couple of bakes, leaving the basic ingredients to lessen problems. I agree too much yeast for 3 cups flour.  Also use less flour or more water. You might be adding excess  flour while handling the dough. The stoneware pan might be causing the paler sides browner top. I think stoneware simply takes longer to heat up. I would go with glass or metal pans. Shaping is important even for a loaf pan, and there are many ways besides rolling into a log. Too much flour here and it could prevent the loaf from becoming cohesive. I hope some of this will help.  Ray