The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Problem: moist tasteful bread but fragile structure

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The Whole Grain's picture
The Whole Grain

Problem: moist tasteful bread but fragile structure

Hi,


It has been a while since I have visited the site.


I would like some advice please.


The last few loafs I made have been tasteful and moist and have a good looking structure. The problem though is that the bread falls apart easily or tears easily for example when spreading butter on it.


Recently I have been using a random mix of plain white flour -supermarket- and wholegrain spelt -Doves-, quick yeast, salt, veg oil, and honey. Now my diagnostic skills are not that great, but I thought the problem could be due to two or three things: old or wrong amount of yeast, poor kneading or flour related. What do you think?


I have been a bit nonchalant in baking the loafs lately, trying to cut corners I guess. The quick yeast is now 3/4 year old but has always been in its very tightly sealed original packaging. I know yeast can loose its strength so I have been using 2 teaspoons in stead of one. Could that be a cause?


The white strong flour is Tesco home brand, the wholegrain spelt is Dove. I use between 250 and 400 grams white, adding spelt to make a 500g loaf. Anyone have bad experiences with the Tesco brand? Could that be the cause?


And kneading: I have not been kneading till its very nice and silky. I knead it till it is chewy but I can't pull a nice thin window. I thought: if you can make no-knead bread, then why knead for 10-15 min? Could that be the cause?


What do you think is the most likely cause of the poor structure? Where did I go wrong?


Thanks for your help!


The Whole Grain.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and more stretching of the dough is occuring than what you desire.  I would still use spelt flour but suggest cutting the final proofing times, not letting the dough rise so high before baking.  This will give a tighter crumb.  Dropping or reducing the oil may also help. 


I think the combination of two tenderizers and passing a normal poke test on the loaf (as compared to all wheat) is too much for the crumb.  Spelt can sure stretch but you have to control the rise and bake sooner.   Spelt can give you a false "not ready to bake" poke test.  (Sneaky flour!)  :)


Mini

The Whole Grain's picture
The Whole Grain

Ofcourse: the spelt gives a crumb like that like you said! I should have known that!


I might have mixed in more oil than usual aswell since I now oil my work surface in stead of sprinkling flour for the first kneading. So you might be spot on there aswell. 


Thank you Mini for sharing your knowledge, I'll follow your advice with the next loaf.


I'll let you know how it went.