The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Loaf Consistency - Not "Glued" Enough!

caxtin's picture

Loaf Consistency - Not "Glued" Enough!

Hello folks,  new here and hope someone would help me out on the outcome of my bread.

I have finally achieved the 'right' ingredient for my loaves, however, I have an issue on the consistency of the loafs.  Once I achieved what I was looking for but don't remember what I did.  This is my current recipe for a three-load-white-bread:  No salt, sometimes some bakers dry milk, two tablespoons vegetable oil, water and flower to the right consistency, and only two teaspoon of active dry yeast (yes only two teaspoons), all for the three loaves.  The first rising rises within an hour and half, the second rising (in the baking pans) about one hour and baking in a 350 degrees oven for 24 minutes.

The issue I am having is that the loaf does not come out "gluey" enough.   Though a little after the baking, (which I love very fresh bread), the bread is "together".   What I am trying to say here is when I grab a piece of the loaf, it creates lots of crumbles and not "glued" together enough.  Or in other words,  when I slice the bread, I would like to hold the slice about an inch into the slice without it falling, just the way the store-bought slice would hold.

I thought it was because I had left it in the oven for too long and it got too dry, but the recent bake was baked for about 25 minutes, done and really tasty.

Any help will really be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Adding salt will improve the texture of the bread and control fermentation as salt tightens the gluten bonds in the dough.  Often the "glue" or gluten in the dough needs to be developed further.  Letting the dough rest 20-30 min. after all the flour has been moistened when first mixing up the dough.  Then knead with little or no flour.  :)    

caxtin's picture

Mimi, thanks for your quick reply.

First of all, I sure will use salt next time.  I completely removed the salt since I am not a salt kind guy.  But I will use enough salt for the dough next time.

You mentioned "letting the dough rest for 20-30 min".  When?  After the first or the second kneading.

I use the KitchenAid mixer to knead, I leave the dough in the bowl, seal off the top and put in the oven to rise.   After rising, I knead it again (shorter kneading this time around), split it up and put in the pans.  So when you mentioned "letting the dough rest" what /when exactly do you mean?

Thanks for your time.


pmccool's picture

is actually too dry.  Try a batch made with more liquid for the same amount of flour.  And if you are winging the amounts, start measuring so that you know what you are working with.  As you have probably noticed in other threads here, weight measurements make it much easier to achieve consistent results than do volume measurements.

You may also want to experiment with adding a small amount of fat (butter or lard or oil or whatever).  This will help tenderize the bread and reduce its tendency to crumble.

The 24-minute bake time seems very short for the temperature that you are using.  If this bread is baked in loaf pans, one might expect to see baking times in the range of 40-50 minutes at 350F.  

You could even ditch the formula entirely in favor of one that is known to produce reliably good bread.

Just some ideas to play with.


caxtin's picture

Good thoughts though.  I never thought of using weight instead of volume.  I have made a handful of loaves in the past two months that I have come to gauge my quantities by feel.  For what I end up with, I can’t put more liquid in it.  I add in as much liquid as will be manageable dough.  So for my dough, it is moist quite enough.

In my prelude post, I mentioned I use two tablespoons of vegetable oil (so that will take place of the fat).  Maybe more than two tablespoons of oil would be better since I make three loaves in one batch.

For baking time, the first one I made was for thirty-five minutes and the loaf was almost burnt at 350 degrees.  Maybe my oven is “faultily” technically hotter than most (don’t think it would be my Alaskan geographical location).  For what I have been making, twenty-six minutes was just too long.  All the recipes I have been finding asks for about 40-45 minutes.

I have used some ‘reliable’ recipes but trying to have something to my taste and if possible, no or very low salt.  I was advised to use salt.  I think I would continue with salt or just use gluten powder instead.

Paul, thanks for your thoughts.

gary.turner's picture

For a sandwich loaf, you generally want about 60–62.5% hydration; that is, the water/milk weighs that percentage of the flour weight. For sandwich bread, you want small, regular holes. More water encourages larger holes with irregular spacing, and the mayo drip down your shirt front. Using lard, butter, or olive oil at 5–10% of flour weight will increase loaf volume while letting the alveoli remain small. Don't use vegetable oil, as poly-unsaturated oils reduce loaf volume.

Next, you want well developed gluten. AP or bread flour will be OK if you knead enough. Try 15–18 minutes at speed two on the KA. The rest time mentioned above, means to mix the liquid and flour to a rough mass for about 3 minutes, the cover and let sit for 20–30 minutes.  That lets the flour absorb the water, and starts the development of gluten.

Do get an oven thermometer. At 350℉, baking time will be in the 30 or 40 minute range for panned loaves.



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

you could reduce the salt content to 1% (very low) instead of the more common 2 to 3% amounts.  I go for about 1.6% or 1.8% 

The easiest way to weigh and calculate is to use grams.  Weight the amount of flour you plan to use and then type into a calculator.  Hit the + and then type in  1.2 and then press the % sign and immediately you get the amount of grams needed for salt.  So 500g of flour would use 5g of salt or one level teaspoon for 1% or very low salt.  (6g of salt for 1.2%)  

If not accustomed to weights. Try putting the empty bowl on the scales and see what it weighs (I got it written under some of my bowls) and then tare the scales to 00.  Then add what you like checking the weight and writing down the various amounts, tare back to 00 with each ingredient.  The first time  seems like a lot of bother but it does give a direction to go and talk about the dough.  Pretty soon you find you are using certain "feel" parameters and they can actually be written down!  Then we can compare and go from there.  :)

Hydration of the dough can be calculated and all kinds of interesting things happen...  great "aha" moments to come!



All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

... Dough is soft enough without being sticky -

that rings slight alarm bells for me. If your dough isn't sticky - at least to begin with - it's too dry. And even after you've worked the dough, it should still be a little tacky, if you want a better "glued" crumb. I think Paul is on the right track here.

You also say ...

"For what I end up with, I can’t put more liquid in it.  I add in as much liquid as will be manageable dough.  So for my dough, it is moist quite enough."

But moist is a relative term. One man's "moist" is another man's "too dry". :0) Which also makes me think you probably need to learn to work with a wetter, slacker dough. Because wetter doughs that feel very sticky to begin with - are completely manageable if you know the right technique. Cue Richard Bertinet! If you type his name into the search box at the top left of this page, you'll discover the wonderful world of making wet, sticky dough very, very manageable and learning how to turn it into beautiful,  moist, "glued" together crumb!

As Mini says, there's an "Aha!" moment just around the corner ... ;^)

All at Sea




caxtin's picture


I think I found (or got the feel) on making the type of bread (and consistency) I like.

The last two times, I eliminated salt and used some gluten flower and voila, it came out great both times.  I still like to just add the flower as I go to feel the ‘right’ dough consistency, and when baking, I only bake for twenty seven minutes only.  Maybe there could be something ‘wrong’ with my oven (which is only five years old), but once I tried a thirty minute bake and the bread came out over cooked.

Both times were at 375 degrees.  All the recipes I have asks for about forty-five to fifty minutes.  For that time, my oven with char the bread.

I sliced the bread thin, held it and it held on good.  It got ‘glued’ well.

I sure appreciate all the help and inputs you all gave me on this forum on my bread baking issues.  I am attaching an image of the bread.  My wife is sure happy obout the outcome.

Thanks again.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think you are right that your oven runs hot.  Very nice looking white bread!  

I'll have to remember that if one eliminates the salt, vital wheat gluten would be a good substitution for a stronger gluten structure.  

I'm not a big salt advocate but do keep in mind that salt has an important role and it helps you control fermentation for predictable outcomes.  If you find the dough fermenting too fast, you can reduce the yeast, include some salt or use ice water in the dough in summer heat.  Raising the vital gluten might give you a gummy loaf if there's too much.  Also if you further develop the gluten in the dough (technique)  you may not need the added wheat gluten.  

If you are reducing salt for health reasons, consider reducing wheat gluten as well.