The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

why is my bread so soft

zubo's picture
zubo

why is my bread so soft

hi all

I thought i had developed a consistent approach to producing a loaf.. but not sure why this is happening..

 

any advice would be welcome...

 

let me describe my process...

I use a French flour from Wessex Mill ... lovely and soft and a Paul Hollywood recipe

I mix the flour with yeast butter and water and Morrosons yeast

The mix is stretched folded into a soft silky dough... 

I spotted a technique elsewhere - I warm my oven and switch it off then put the dough into a bowl and the bowl in an oven... 

after an hour the dough jas nicely risen

I then do about five minutes needing folding... I use butter to thoroughly grease a rectangle tin and put the dough into the tin

i put this back into the oven for a final rise...

an hour later after the final rise i use a razor on the surface .. two small slashes...

i put steam in oven and full 220 bake for 45 minutes...

i turn it out onto a wire... and then i use a brush and coat the bread with butter to stop the skin hardening...

it looks and feel gorgeous... but.... difficult to describe... when its cool and i slice its not firm and easily breaks apart...

questions - should i bake for another 15 minutes?? should i not brush butter on it?? should i not use the warm oven to rise the dough??

any advice would be gratefully received

 

thanks

 

george

clazar123's picture
clazar123

How long after it was baked do you slice into it?

Does the inside (crumb) crumble like a dry bread or does the crust crumble?

Are you using a sharp enough knife?

If you are able to post a picture-that would be VERY helpful. A pic of the loaf and a pic of the crumb and maybe of the results of trying to slice a piece. Excellent that you posted the recipe and handling!

 

zubo's picture
zubo

How long after it was baked do you slice into it?

An hour later... when it had cooled...

Does the inside (crumb) crumble like a dry bread or does the crust crumble?

the insides .. see pictures..

Are you using a sharp enough knife?

normal breadknife...

pictures are ...

 

http://geosz.com/bread/a.jpg

http://geosz.com/bread/b.jpg

http://geosz.com/bread/c.jpg

http://geosz.com/bread/d.jpg

 

 

george

 

 

albacore's picture
albacore

 Maybe your French flour is too soft and giving you a soft crumbly crumb. Try a bake with 12% protein bread flour.

Also how much butter are you using? That could also give you a weak crumb, if a large amount.

Lastly, are you kneading enough? Is the dough windowpaneing?

Lance

grind's picture
grind

Is it gummy?

zubo's picture
zubo

no its soft and gorgeous...  difficult to spread butter if its not soft butter but makes great toast...

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Your loaf looks lovely and delicious but I see what you mean about the type of crumbling. I suspect it is an ingredient issue causing the slight cakiness to the crumb but not to worry. This is the flour used for French baguettes,after all. No one complains about their texture but the baguette baker develops the dough a bit more and you will have to, also, in order to get the best texture this flour can offer.

Can you write out the recipe for us. The Paul Hollywood recipes that I have googled generally call for "strong white flour". I know your flour (if that is the correct flour in the link) says it is bread flour but it is NOT a "strong" flour like he is describing. You will get a number of suggestions to switch to a strong bread flour or add vital wheat gluten but then you will lose the soft silkiness of your bread. Please use a few simple techniques to maximize the ability of this flour before following those suggestions. The bread made with "strong" flour or VWG is much chewier.

https://www.wessexmill.co.uk/acatalog/French-Bread-Flour-1.5kg-X048S.html

If this is the flour you used, you have a lovely loaf with a soft, melt in your mouth crumb when it is developed properly.

Enter "windowpane" into the search box here or on "YouTube". That is the first thing for you to do differently. Your dough needs to be developed to a good "windowpane". In order to get a dough to windowpane development, there has to be adequate hydration (the reason I asked for the recipe), time to absorb the water, and some handling of the dough to develop the starchy gel that forms the windowpane. A French kneading technique called "frissage" is helpful. You literally smear and stretch the dough onto the counter when you knead. This flour doesn't require a long knead but it must be adequate to develop this starchy gel (others say to develop the gluten-that forms no matter what you do when the water contacts the flour). Others have used "slap and folds"-a little more aggressive than the stretch and fold. Or you can try more stretch and folds. However you accomplish it-this dough needs windowpane development.

WINDOWPANE:           

NOT WINDOWPANE: 

SO your loaf is lovely but those ingredients mean your dough needs a bit of different handling.

PICTURES:

Pictures can be uploaded right into your post. There are instructions. The upload icon is the little square with the mountain just above the text box here.

1. Save your pic on your computer and re-size using a picture editor to an "email " or "web" size.

2. Navigate/Browse to where your pics are saved (there are size restrictions),

3."upload" to The Fresh Loaf, 

4. "insert" into your post.

 

zubo's picture
zubo

in particular .. thank you clazar123 such a comprehensive reply...

 

that is the flour i use... it is gorgeous...

 

the recipe is here ... https://www.bbc.com/food/recipes/paul_hollywoods_crusty_83536

 

I love this flour... I will take on board all your suggestions for further  reworking of the dough...

 

talking of which ... can I highly recommend Dough by Richard Bertinet, my neading method is a variation of his video.... the book is EXCELLENT.... a must have....

zubo's picture
zubo

on reflection I use frissage... lots of stretch... lots of folds ... lots of pounding...

it maybe the second rise needs a little more work.... 

we will see....

 

george

zubo's picture
zubo

this is exactly what i do....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvdtUR-XTG0