The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Looking for advise on making a chewy loaf

  • Pin It
Seeking Chewy Loaves's picture
Seeking Chewy Loaves

Looking for advise on making a chewy loaf

I have some bread recipes that I am trying to "fix".  Whole wheat, multigrain and white sandwich loaf recipes specifically.  They currently yield very airy, light loaves.  This may please some but I am interested in chewy, relatively dense loaves with buttery crusts.  The current recipies produce crusts that are light and tear easily.. I am looking for more "chew" than "tear".  Any suggestions?  Do I need to type the recipe or does something jump to mind that I need to adjust, ie more sugar, more oil, more proofing time?


Many thanks!


 

Comments

davidg618's picture
davidg618

You describe your breads as airy, light loaves. Possibly, that's due to overproofing. I sometimes underproof my loaves, less than doubling on first proof, and no more than doubling after shaping. I do this for two reasons. (1) I get good to very good oven spring, and (2) relatively dense, and chewy loaves. Here are two breads I recently baked. The first is a sourdough whole-wheat (not 100%, more like only 40%). It's initial proof was 2x, and its final proof was approximately 1.5x. The oven spring is obvious in the picture, and too its denseness. The crust is also chewy, even though I used steam during the first 10 mins. Hydration was 65%, which also contributes to the denseness.



The second group of loaves, shown below are my first attempt with a new sourdough starter whose purveyor instructs activating at 200% hydration! Frankly, I was skeptical, but I'm satisfied (not elated) with the results. I particulary wanted good oven-spring from the recipe provided in the instructions, but to be fair I allowed the dough to proof 2x, and the shaped loaves approximately 2x as instructed, but I watched them like a hawk, and baked them immediately. Also, I can't remember when I last used egg wash on any bread other than sweet breads, however, the instructions called for it, and again for fairness, I used one. This bread is especially chewy: crumb and crust. I also used steam for the first tem minutes baking. I think the crust's chewiness is due, in part, to the egg wash. Hydration was 70%.


 



As I've been writing, a lot of other factors kept nagging me. Maybe sourdough lends itself better to realizing a chewy loaf. Maybe its oven temperature (450°F on the whole wheat, 480°F (dropped to 400°F after 10 mins.) on the baguettes.). And maybe its something else I'm not expert enough to understand. However, maybe trying an experiment, i.e., slightly underproof one of your recipes, may be worth trying.


 

Pjacobs's picture
Pjacobs

My advise is this: buy a high-gluten flour (14 percent or higher) and your bread will rise higher and be more chewy.


Phil Jacobs

Susan's picture
Susan

High-gluten flour is key to my chewy and stretchy sourdough loaves.  If Seeking  cannot find H-G flour, imho he should use KA Bread Flour.  Bake the loaves well-done.


Susan from San Diego

Pjacobs's picture
Pjacobs

Thanks for the nod, Susan. I have been using All Trumps Pro Baker's Flour for a couple of years, but recently I found Wheat Montana'a Natural White All-Purpose flour does as well. The AP is a little bit of a misnomer. The gluten ratio in the flour is 14 percent which makes a great loaf and you can buy it from them on line.


I write for the Milling Journal and WM sent me some of the flour recently and I'm hooked. I recenly found a supplier and bought a 50 pound bag.


Best of luck in your baking efforts.


Phil

Susan's picture
Susan

I've hooked up (can one use that term nowadays in polite conversation?) with a distributor who is kind enough to sell me 50# bags of either All Trumps or Bouncer at a decent price.  I'll keep my eye open for Wheat Montana's Natural White A-P, tho, on your recommendation.  It's good to have an alternative.  I like WM's WW flour, which is easy for me to find.  Thanks for sharing. 


Here's a recent Bouncer loaf:



Susan from San Diego

Pjacobs's picture
Pjacobs

Susan, Great looking loaf of bread. Glad to hear you have a source for All Trumps. I have nothing but good words for the flour having used it for a couple of years now. It's my flour of choice all though the AP white flour from WM did exceptionally well. I was surprised. As far as taste goes, I think the flours are very similar. Meanwhile, Happy Baking and please stay in touch. I'd particularly like to hear your thoughts on the All Trumps when you get a chance to try it. I might tell you that the USDA station at the University of Nebraska will be sending me some bread flour made from white wheat that they want me to give them a report on. I did this for them last season and I guess they liked the results. I liked the flour but it's a bit low in gluten--12 pecent. Hope that particular variety does a little better this year. I'll let you know.


Phil

MommaT's picture
MommaT

Hi,


Sourdough has been the magic bullet for me in terms of getting that loaf with a bit of springy resistance to the bite.  If you play your cards right, a sourdough doesn't have to taste "sour".  The other bonus is that it lasts a lot longer, too.  Well, technically....sometimes the great taste and texture means it disappears faster!


Good luck!


MommaT

Seeking Chewy Loaves's picture
Seeking Chewy Loaves

Many thanks for the suggestions!  We will try a few of the suggestions above.  Last night we tried under proofing and adding a bit more egg wash... the result had much more "chew".  ... especially in our Multigrain loaf.  Our sourdough certainly has the texture that I am looking for.  Now the whole wheat loaf needs a bit more work... still needs more chew and less tear.  Keep the suggestions coming!  This is so very helpful!


Thanks again!