The Fresh Loaf

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Crumbly Bread- Help

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HbgBill's picture
HbgBill

Crumbly Bread- Help

I'm new here as of today.. and I need some help.  I've been baking bread for awhile now in my Zorushji (sp?) bread maker.. horizontal loaf.  I mostly do whole wheat bread using their recipe.  Sometimes, I have a wet dough and other times it's about right for handmade bread.

But, my issue is..  The first day, the bread holds together quite nicely.. but after a day or two.. kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.. the bread begins to fall apart.

I've added egg's to the recipe as well as using about a T of liquid Lechithin.  I do add some wheat germ which is not in the recipe.

Any ideas???

Bill...  Healdsburg, CA

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Welcome Bill,

Could you post your recipe as that is likely the key to your problem.

Jeff

HbgBill's picture
HbgBill

Thanks Jeff,  I will.. but, first.. the bread rises and bakes beautifully.  When I pop it out of the pan, I put it on a cooling rack and cover it with a dish towel.   It doesn't seem to make any difference whether I add additional liquid other than a higher and fluffier loaf.. but it is always dry and crumbly after a couple of days wrapped and refrigerated.  I guess I'm looking for a loaf where the slices make a good sandwich that doesn't break up in my hands. :)  Incidentally, I measure my bread flour with a scale.. so, that is always consistent.

The recipe is as follows..   

 

1 7/8 C Water.. I use milk

5 C WWFlour.. I use 21 oz

3 T Sugar

2 t Salt

4 T VWGluten

2 T Butter.. I usually use Canola but sometimes use the real butter

2 t Yeast.. it's refrigerated and recent.

I'll also usually use 1 T Molasses; 1 egg; 1 T liquid Lechethin, 2 T Wheat Bran.. (I said Wheat Germ in my orig post)

If the mixture is too thin, I'll add a couple tablespoons of WWFlour until it's not sticky to the touch.

I've tried baking on the recommended WW program.  Last time I used the basic program which, I believe, is about 10 min shorter baking time.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Bill,

Refrigeration promotes and accelerates the staling process in bread.  It would be best to not put your bread in the refrigerator.

While I doubt that there is an official (agreed upon) definition of a loaf of bread, the basic ingredients and some of the finest breads are made with flour, water, salt and yeast.  Just those ingredients and nothing more.  I would find a much simpler recipe, do not refrigerate, and I think that you will find that your life with bread  will improve dramatically.  Your current recipe sounds more like cake than bread.

Jeff

HbgBill's picture
HbgBill

Thanks Jeff.. I'll try keeping the bread w/o refrigeration to see if it helps.  It does not hurt commercial bread.. just mine ;)

I don't know about cake.. but this is definitely bread.. nothing like cake... even if I leave out the bran..  A good bread with "substance"  Not heavy or uber dense.. just not fluffy / pasty like commercial "wonderbread"

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Bill, Most commercial bread is some unknown breadlike substance that would likely survive as long as a fast food burger or a twinkie! The breadlike substance that they manufacture is a mix of chemicals and additives creating a product most unlike the bread made by home bakers. Good luck with your baking, Jeff

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Your recipe looks sweet but ok. I don't think you need the gluten but you can decide that another time.

The problem you are having is that the bran bits are not being given enough time to absorb water before you bake it. I would mix this dough and let it sit for a period of time in order for the bran bits to absorb the water from the dough-maybe even an overnight refrigerated retard. If you don't, then when you bake the loaf, the bran bits will suck a lot of moisture from the baked crumb and then you have crumbliness.

 I also suggest using some of the whole wheat flour and either the water or milk as a preferment.Just mix them up and let it sit-overnight even- and then mix it with the rest of the ingredients as usual. This will help hydrate a good portion of the flour. I usually make a preferment with 1 c flour and 1 c water/milk. This recipe is a bit bigger than mine so mix up  all the liquid with about an equal amount WW flour. It should be a thick cake-batter consistency. Because you are giving the water time to be absorbed, you might find you need a little more liquid but keep notes and see waht happens.

The other very important thing to do with whole wheat is to develop the gluten. You need to allow it to hydrate so you can get the starchy gel to form and then the gluten strands to develop well. Red WW has plenty of gluten so I am not sure you need the vital wheat gluten but see where this all goes.

The sugar is a matter of taste. I prefer less sweet bread but others prefer more.

Do the search-I have talked about this often!