The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Soft and light sourdough?

thegrindre's picture

Soft and light sourdough?

Hi all,

Got a question or two but first let me explain.

I've gotten older in life and at 62, I've lost most all my teeth. I once enjoyed San Fransisco's hard crusts and chewy crumb sourdough bread but now I can't eat it. I do miss it so.

Questions are, can a crust be made like the store bought sandwich breads? Nice and soft without loosing the flavor?

Can the crumb be softened without loosing the flavor as well?

Is there a recipe for sourdough bread that's light and soft for old folks?




wally's picture

If you wrap regular sourdough bread in plastic wrap the crust will soften and remain soft if you keep it wrapped.  That's a buzz kill for those of us who love hard crusts, but just the ticket for you given your circumstances.


clazar123's picture

My husband likes soft bread,also. I just adapted my recipes to include either egg, liquid lecithin (which is what is in egg yolks that softens cake and bread crumb),oil or butter and some form of milk. Add any or all to your favorite recipe,adjust the water and enjoy a soft crumb.

Also,using a high gluten flour or adding vital wheat gluten can make bread more chewy and tough.Use AP or whole wheat flour without added gluten. I also add about 25%pastry flour if I want a really soft crumb. So, if you use 4 cups flour in a recipe,substitute 1 cup pastry flour for a cup of the other flour.

To soften the crust, brush the dough top with oil or butter before baking or immediately upon removing from the oven and cool it under a clean,cotton dish towel. All of these things will soften a crust. I find wrapping a crisp-crusted loaf in plastic sometimes softens it but the crust isn't tender but chewy. After it's cool, then wrap in plastic.

Good bread tstes good in any of these states.Time for some delicioius experimentation.

thegrindre's picture

I have read something like this quite awhile ago and have removed all water from my bread recipes to use only milk instead. I also coat my bread pan with lots of butter, very thick, and use butter in all my recipes instead of oil, too. I don't spray my crusts or place any pans of water in the oven when I bake either. I cover the top of my dough with lots of butter there, too.

I've been using KA Bread Flour. I'll change to KA AP instead.

I do believe it has helped quite a bit and was asking everyone if there was anything else I could do as well.

I'll start covering the baked loaf with butter, also.

Thank you for confirming the milk and butter theory.

This raises another question, would whole milk or canned milk, such as Pet or Carnation be better then 2% milk?



PaddyL's picture

I make this about every 10 days for my sister, who also had major teeth problems and could only eat soft bread.  I will post the recipe for the starter and bread in the next couple of days, I promise.  Right now, my sister is facing cancer treatments and I'll be going to the hospital with her.  I hope she won't lose her appetite completely.

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

I agree with enriching the bread with oils, milk, eggs to soften and to oil or butter the crust to soften it. 

By the way, we're the same age and I hail from Arkansas myself (and the rest of the ArkLaTex).  I baked a soft whole wheat fruit and nut bread by request for the owner of my favorite cigar shop this weekend.  Some of us seasoned dudes like the softer breads.

clazar123's picture

Any milk will work just fine-even skim milk.I like using buttermmilk, kefir ( a fermented milk) or yogurt. I use oil rather than butter as cholesterol/saturated fat is not healthful for me. Powdered milk also works.

Adding egg can make a significant difference-1 egg per 3-5 cups of flour.If you want it a little richer-add 2 eggs. That is 1-2 eggs per loaf.

Cover the hot, baked loaf with a cotton dishtowel immediately after taking it out of the oven. That will make a big difference.


Good wishes for you and your sister,PaddyL.