The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Butter vs Oil and Dry Bread

DarkNova's picture

Butter vs Oil and Dry Bread

The two whole-wheat breads I've made recently, both from Reinhart's Whole Grains book, were his Whole Wheat Anadama bread and Transitional Cinnamon Raisin Bread. Both breads had crumbs that were much dryer than I would like. I'm trying to figure out what I should have done differently. I make Reinhart's Oat Broom Bread frequently, with the same whole wheat flour, and that bread always turns out moist. Comparing the recipes I am wondering how much butter vs oil affects the moisture of bread. The Oat Broom bread calls for olive oil, which I use, but the other two breads call for either melted butter or oil. When I made them, I used melted butter both times. Could using butter make the bread more dry than using oil? I thought I would try using oil next time I make a whole wheat bread, but I figured I'd ask here first to see if anyone already knows. Thanks.

humblehovel's picture

I've always switched between butter and oil without adversly affecting the moisture.  You may want to check your other liquid measurements vs flour amounts instead.  My Anadama bread uses both bread flour (white) and whole wheat flour in addition to the oats and cornmeal and it turns out great!  Just made a loaf on Sunday and it was my best effort to date.  I use the receipe from my old Breadman II receipe book and it never fails.  (I use the bread machine to mix the dough and knead it, but bake the bread on a tile in the oven).

pmccool's picture

take a look at the fat quantity of each of the recipes, expressed as bakers percentages.  It may be that the Oat Broom bread has a higher fat content, which affects its moistness more than the type of fat.  Just a thought.


diverpro94's picture

Have you tried butter flavored vegetable shortening?

DarkNova's picture

No, I haven't tried vegetable shortening.

hanseata's picture

I baked the Cinnamon Raisin Bread with butter and the Oat Bran Broom Bread with canola oil and didn't notice any difference. Both were nice and moist. Are you weighing your ingredients? The volume measures are not very precise - that could probably account for it.

DarkNova's picture

Yes, I definitely weigh everything precisely. Maybe I'll just have to try one of the recipes again to see how it goes.

dsoleil's picture

The hydration % will affect the moistness of the crumb.  Are they all the same hydration %?  Also, things like oatmeal retain a lot of moisture and make the crumb moister than average.

Just some things to look into...