The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help me get fluffy

johannesenbergur's picture

Help me get fluffy

Alright, I'm as much of a newbie as one can be. Only baked a few breads so far, and only for a week or two, but I'm getting the hang of it - at least according to my wife, who just had the best buns of her life.

So far I've baked a few interesting things:


  • Regular bread (flour, water, yeast and salt) + sugar and walnuts
  • Regular bread with honey instead of sugar
  • And a regular one with rosemary and I replaced half the water with red wine. (Interesting and good)


Well, my main issue is, I need to get my breads lighter and fluffier, they seem a little heavy to me, not enough airholes. Which is something I can get help with acquiring.

So far I've used this exact recipe as a base:


  • 400g flour
  • 25g active yeast
  • 250ml water
  • 10g sugar
  • 10g salt


I've let the dough rise for 6 hours, then I've kneaded back down, shaped the breads and let them rise for another 3 hours.
I simply don't know how to get them light, fluffy and perfect. Tell me what I'm doing wrong. 

mrfrost's picture


BeekeeperJ's picture

Those rise times are they in the fridge? Or is that room temp?  6 hours of room temp rise may be your problem unless the amount of yeast is really really minimal.  Maybe your over proofing your product. What type of mixing do you do?

Ford's picture

 From your ingredients The bakers percentages are:

  • 400g flour           100%
  • 25g active yeast     6.25%
  • 250ml water         62.5%
  • 10g sugar               2.5%
  • 10g salt                  2.5%

I would say that more water would give you larger holes.  Adding some shortening would give you a softer crumb.


pmccool's picture

I'd also cut the yeast back to maybe 1.5%.  The 6-hour rise, unless it is at low temperatures (say 5-10ºC), is very long, too.  You could just wait until the dough has doubled in volume, then proceed with shaping, final rise, and baking.


johannesenbergur's picture

Oh, you are excellent.


I'll cut down the yeast a little, they're rising in room temp or a little higher. I've just thought: Warmth + time + yeast = huge bread with plenty of air. I actually did a bread with double tasted more like a beer in bread-shape.


I'll cut back the yeast a little %-wise and add some water and give it a go.

The long rise works really well for me, as I usually make the dough late at night, let it rise in peace, get up again in the middle of the night, shape it and bake it half an hour before the wife wakes up.

Regarding the "mixing" and "shortening"...well.. I have no idea what you're talking about.

BeekeeperJ's picture

What im saying is that if the long rise time is working for you let it rise overnight in the fridge and then  take it out shape it cold , let it rise 1 hour or so and then bake it. I think your over proofng the dough which seems like it would make it super light after the bake but it actually ends up collapsing on itself and making for a dense crumb.  Just some thoughts.

Ford's picture

1. A fat, such as butter or lard, used to make cake or pastry light or flaky.

clazar123's picture

A couple ingredients that can fluff up the crumb:


milk in some form (milk,milk powder,yogurt,buttermilk,kefir,almondmilk or soymilk)

Potatoes (cooked and mashed,flakes,sweet or regular)

Fat in some form (oil,lard,shortening,butter,liquid lecithin)

Water Roux (try the search box-this adds an interesting soft texture)

Gluten/bread flour-use cautiously or it can make the crumb chewy

I concur with the suggestion to decrease the yeast.It starts to overpower the flavor you want and tastes like beer-as you said. A very small amount of yeast can actually rise 400g flour into a loaf-it's a matter of how long will it take. If you want to do this all in 4-6 hours, use 5-10g (1-2 tsp) instant yeast (estimation only-depends on temp of environment and dough handling). If you want a flavorful bread, use about 2-5g instant yeast but plan on a longer rise time-even overnight.

OR...A simple way to add flavor to the basic recipe you are using is to use a pre-ferment.

The night before a planned bake,take about 100 g flour and anywhere from 50-100 g water and a pinch of yeast. Mix and let set overnight at room temp.In essence, you are taking about 1/3 of the flour and water in the recipe. Use the pre-ferment the next day to add to the remaining amount of ingredients and proceed from there. 

ALternatively,mix the dough as written but use only 5-7g instant yeast. Put dough in an oiled, large container and refrigerate overnight.It will have risen somewhat overnight or even doubled.Warm it up for 1-2 hours,shape,proof,bake.

Many ways to make a loaf!

HAve delicious fun!



johannesenbergur's picture


  • Added 50ml water
  • Reduced the amount of yeast to 10g
  • Swiched 100g of the regular flour with durum/semolina.
  • Kneaded more than usual.
  • Let it rise in a cool place during the first rise.
  • Handled it very carefully after the first rise.
  • Reduced the time of the second rise,


All in all:

The dough was more difficult to handle with the extra water, and the buns were very soft, so they came out rather flat instead of round.

The taste was mindblowing, the crust and crumb were much better.

But it was very much alike a ciabatta bread, chewy. I like that, but I'd also like to know how to make it less chewy and still as light.

Thanks a lot everybody!

johannesenbergur's picture

ehanner's picture

Good looking rolls! You are off to a great start.