The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread not soft enough

satimis's picture

Bread not soft enough

Hi all,

Baked a wholemeal bread according to following recipe in the Kenwood breadmaker BM450

Loaf size    750g
Egg    1
Lemon juice     1 tbsp
Honey         2 tbsp
Wholemeal bread flour    450g
Unbleached white bread flour    50g
Salt    2 tsp
Active dried yeast    1 tsp
Water    Put the egg in the measuring cup and add sufficient water up to 310 mls

Factory preset Program 3 selected
Total cycle time 4:30 hrs
Preheat time 0:30 hrs (very low temp almost without feeling)
Kneading time 1:30 hrs
Rise time (fermentation) 1:50 hrs
Baking time 0:40 hrs

Quality of the loaf    Not soft.  How to make the bread soft?

Comment and suggestion will be appreciated.  TIA


raqk8's picture

Is it the crust of the bread as a whole that is not soft enough? If it is the crust, then try adding some fat (i.e. butter or oil) and some milk in place of some of the water. If it is the crumb that you don't like, adding fat will also help. If the crumb is too dense, then increase your hydration.

Raquel @ Ovenmitts

satimis's picture


Thanks for your advice.

I think I have to make some clarification to my original posting

The wholemeal bread is soft while eating it hot, not inferior to those purchased in the bakery.  However after cooling down it becomes stiff not so soft as before.

I just did an experience by steaming the bread.  It became soft again.

I think some additive is necessary to keep the bread soft after getting cool.

I found following thread on Internet;

EZ Bread (tastes just like store bought bread): Whole Wheat Food Storage Recipes

The lady in the video adding dry milk, butter/margarine/oil and vinegar in her recipe.   Are they the ingredients to retain softness after the bread getting cool?




Chuck's picture

In addition to the necessary basic ingredients -flour, water, yeast, and salt- many breads also include other ingredients. You can simplify what may seem a bewildering variety by separating all these additional ingredients into just a few categories: 

  • Fats (olive oil, salad oil, butter, margarine, lecithin, etc.) may considerably affect flavor, will have some effect on texture -perhaps mainly by keeping the dough from forming really big bubbles and hence rising quite as high, and will extend storage time.
  • Very mild acids (vinegar, sour salt, etc.) will mainly extend storage time, and may also impart a subtle flavor change.
  • Other enrichments (milk, etc.) can impact flavor quite a bit, and often have some effect on texture too.
  • Sweeteners (honey, sugar, molasses, etc.) mainly impact flavor.

Some ingredients span more than one of these categories. One example: "eggs" could be considered partially a fat and partially another enrichment. Another example: plain "yogurt" made from whole milk may contain significant fat, also be very mildly acidic, and also act as another enrichment.

One of many effects of many enrichment ingredients is being "softer", which usually means "retaining softness" too. None of them have "retaining softness" as their main purpose. My guess is searching for the phrase "retaining softness" won't be very helpful - try searching for "enrichments" or "shelf life" or "sandwich loaf" or maybe "fluffiness".


Chuck's picture

Duh, dope slap myself for overlooking the obvious. oops sorry...

...bread is soft while eating it hot...

Let the bread cool before you slice it. You can take it out of the bread machine pan, remove the paddle, and put it on a wire rack. But don't cut it yet. If you cut hot bread, the opening in the crust allows lots of moisture to escape, and when it cools off the remainder will likely be dry and hard.

Freshly baked bread smells great and it's tasty and so it's rather hard to resist the impulse to eat a bit as soon as possible. But there's a price to pay for that yummy bite, which is the remainder of the bread will be dry and hard (which sounds to me  like what you're reporting:-). It's not really done yet as soon as the heat turns off; it's only done after it cools too.

(If you really can't wait for your loaf to cool fully, try waiting just 20 minutes. It's not great, but it's a whole lot better for the rest of the loaf than not waiting at all.)

jcking's picture

After removing loaf from pan, wrap it in a kitchen towel for 15 ~ 20 mins.