The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Crusty Bread

Nadene's picture

Crusty Bread

Hi    I have just bought a new Tefal bread machine and every time I bake a loaf of any kind of bread the crusts are too hard.  Does anyone have a suggestion as to how to adjust my recipes to make the crusts softer.



RFMonaco's picture
JoeV's picture

even on the light setting. So I took the machine back and started baking bread with my KitchenAid stand mixer. I have no regrets for doing so. Plus, most bread recipes are for two loaves, so I get two loaves in the time it takes to make one loaf.

Machines have their place, especially for people with physical challenges to bread making and those who don't have the time to bake bread the traditional way. You can still get a good loaf of bread from a machine, but it's in the same shape every time, regardless of what kind of bread it is.

Bread machines are the #1 appliance I see when cruising Thrift Stores. I have seen as many as 10 machines in one store, and usually no less than 2-3 in every store. I'm not sure why they get rid of them, but they certainly do get rid of them in large numbers.

Janknitz's picture

I don't use mine anymore, but when I did, I always considered the bread machine a "dough machine".  It made the dough, I baked the bread.  That way I had control over shaping and crust, but the machine was a true timesaver in that I could dump the ingredients in and go to work or do other things, and then come back to dough ready to  be shaped by hand, proofed, and baked in the oven.  I could have fresh, hot bread 1 hour after I walked in the door.  (I get the same from AB in 5 doughs now, for when I need "hurry up" bread--no machine required).

You still are limited in the types and amounts of doughs that can be made, but the machine kept me happily supplied with pretty good bread for many years back in the day. 

It's probably not possible to get that particular crust you are seeking in the machine, but you can certainly get it in the oven.

cake diva's picture
cake diva


I do as JanKnitz says.  The breadmachine is a very handy tool for combining and kneading dough.  You just dump everything in with no regard for order of addition and it's good to go.  It also takes a lot of the guesswork out on speed settings and timings that you would have to watch out for when using a stand mixer.  My machine-prepped dough always comes out with good gluten formation. 

If you want a softer crust, I lightly mist my dough with water just before I place it in the oven.  When the bread comes out, the crust is hard but softens in about 5 minutes.

moreyello's picture

Hello from Montreal to all bread makers. I 've been testing my new starter for the last couple of weeks and wanted to thank everyone for their advice on how to obtain those big wholes and crusty loaves I've sample many times in Italy.  I have had my best loaf so far and it is thanks to all your wonderful suggestions, and let us not forget this site which I've been able to do much of my bread making research on. We ate the bread in two days and regret not being able to share a picture with you all. I promise that if I can replicate this wonderfully achievement I will share not only the photo but the recipe to.