The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tight exterior with loose middle

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koren's picture

Tight exterior with loose middle


I have been baking bread off and on for a few years with much success. I tend to keep having this problem in loaf pan breads where the crumb is pretty tight near the edges of the slice and looser towards the center. I have tried to do some research and thought the problem was related to poor forming of the loaf. I have worked on my technique and think I am going a better job now, I made this loaf yesterday from the following king arthur recipe. It tastes very good but the middle of the slices is awfully loose. I would appreciate any ideas as to what I am doing wrong.





FueledByCoffee's picture

it's not unusual to have a slightly denser crumb around the outside of a pan bread than in the middle.  After all the pan is restricting/directing expansion...You could probably get a little less of this by reducing the yeast slightly and allowing for a longer proof or putting a little less dough into the pan...It looks like you sliced it while it was warm still?  Hard to tell from just a picture sometimes but it looks like another minute or two of bake might be in order as well.

Xenophon's picture

It's perfectly normal for the sides to be a bit denser, as was noted  above due to the constraints on expansion + quicker setting in of thermal death for the yeast due to contact with the very conductive metal sides of the tin.  The loaf looks ok to me but I agree that either you sliced it while still too warm or it could use an extra couple of minutes in the oven.  If you really feel it's too loose in the middle then reduce yeast or fermentation time/temperature but visually it appears ok to me.

rcoplen's picture

Sounds like the compression of the loaf at the pan is just a result of the rise being contained by the pan. Very normal and a beautiful slice of bread, looks delicious!