The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sticky on the inside a bit

Zen's picture

Sticky on the inside a bit

Hi there. With the knowledge that I am new to baking. I am running into a problem that I have had with every single loaf I've ever made. The crust is wonderful. The taste is good. However, the inside is always a bit too dense and "sticky". It's not wet but I want it drier. How can I get the inside to be a bit drier?  

Here is the new bread I made today and love (which I believe came from this site). The same "sticky" thing happened with this one too. The only diference is that I used convection bake at 350 degrees instead of regular bake at 375 degrees because I read on here that many people adjust their temperature.

    1 c warm water

    1 tbsp active dry yeast

    1 c warm buttermilk

    1/3 -1/2 c honey, depending on how sweet you like

    1/4 c vegetable oil

    1 tbsp salt

    5 1/2 c ap flour

    1/2 c mashed potato

    1/2 c brown or white rice flour


Proof yeast in warm water.

Combine ingredients; knead till smooth and springy, 5-10 minutes by hand, adding a little flour only if necessary, dough will be slightly sticky.

 Let rise till doubled, 1 1/2-2 hours.

Gently deflate dough, shape into loaves, place into 2 greased loaf pans.

Leave till nicely risen but not over-proofed, 35-45 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees 45 or 50 minutes till well-browned and bottoms sound hollow when thumped.

dwcoleman's picture

Try the below individually or in combination.

Proof longer.

Bake longer.

Make a slightly smaller loaf.

Use a thermometer to check your temp on the loaf, 195-205 is done, aim for 205.  I'd leave thumping until you have more experience.  Even now after baking for 10+ years I can be surprised by the odd loaf, so I usually check larger loafs.

Zen's picture

I proofed in a warmed oven (heating for 30 secs and turning off) for a little over 2 hours for the first time as well. Normally I just set it on the counter with a towel over it. This time I left it in the oven with the towel over it. It did have a better proofing, however, I thought that the bigger the proofing would give me a larger rise in the pan. Maybe I am handling it too rough when I shape it? Or should I let it set longer on the 2nd proof? My breads are almost always at the same height as the loaf pan.

I will post photos as soon as I can get the drivers for my new phone downloaded on the computer.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

How soon are you cutting into your loaf after removing it from the oven? If it is still warm, it will be sticky.
Does the cooled down loaf have the same "problem?"

It could be that the loaf needs a little more time to bake through. At the end of the bake, when you think it's done... add 5 more minutes.

One way to reduce moisture is to remove the pan near the end of baking and quickly set the hot naked loaves back in the oven on a rack to brown and dry some more. I would especially do this if I have shiny bright pans to work with.

Zen's picture

I have consistently cut into the breads while they were still warm. Only letting them cool for like 10min. The bread devourers (husband and 4yr old son) hover over the bread saying, "Let's eat it while its warm!". I do have one loaf that was saved from the cut last night. I will check it this morning to see if it was different.


Thanks guys so much for responding. I truly appreciate it. Wish I would have come here years ago. FYI... I ordered my "Bread Baking" book by DiMuzio :)

Update: I cut into the 2nd loaf that had cooled overnight and the crumb was only slightly better. :(

dghdctr's picture

And without ever having seen your dough, or the entire proofing/baking process, I can't give a short definitive answer.

I'd agree that just waiting for your bread to cool is a great idea.  There is an excess of water in a loaf that is released as steam during the cooling of the loaf, and that part of baking is just as important to complete properly as the part that occurs in the oven.  Otherwise, the loaf isn't actually done.

Denseness may indicate insufficient proofing.  There are lots of discussions on this site about how to judge that.  Or the denseness may be from using a flour that has no gluten -- like rice flour.  I've never used rice flour in the dough itself (only for dusting), and I'm not sure why this recipe does, but it will tend to make for a bit more dense final product.  Anyway -- dense doughs don't allow for the penetration of heat from the oven as easily as doughs that are designed to be light in texture.  So the outside of the loaf may bake through before the inside is actually done.

"Stickiness" and "wetness" are sometimes used interchangeably, but they don't mean the same thing, and when applied to bread dough as descriptors, the difference can be important.  A bowl of water, for instance, is obviously wet, but not sticky.  A bowl of honey, on the other hand, is only about 20% water, but is very sticky.  Stickiness in bread doughs can have a lot to do with their sugar content.  You can make a dough less wet by subtracting water, but the stickiness may remain.  Honey isn't the only source of sugar in your dough -- the mashed potato is fairly high in sugars as well.

Still -- you say you've experienced this problem with all your breads, and you describe a baking process that may be giving you a lot of browning on the outside while not really baking the loaf through on the inside.  The honey and potato in your dough can tend to brown the outside of the loaf quickly -- maybe before the inside is done.  Try baking with convection at 325-335 degrees F for a longer time -- maybe 10 minutes longer, if that's possible without burning the loaves.  Without convection, perhaps 350 degrees would be a better oven temperature.  Your indication of "doneness" in the VERY CENTER of the loaf would be about 200-210 degrees F, measured with an instant read thermometer.  The very tip of the thermometer should be at the very center of the loaf to get an accurate reading.

I don't usually use a thermometer to judge doneness with doughs/loaves with which I am intimately familiar, but high-sugar doughs can brown before they are done, and if you're just getting acquainted with a certain recipe high in sugar, then double-checking with a thermometer can be a good idea.

--Dan DiMuzio