The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Soft, moist crumb

bnb's picture

Soft, moist crumb


 I am new here and fairly new to baking bread. I have had my share of failures.  I have learnt a lot throught my failures and have read a lot of bread baking literature. Anyway, I finally am able to produce pretty good loaves of bread.

One thing that is lacking in my breads is a soft, moist crumb. The crumb that I get is very dry and stiff. I read somewhere that using bleached AP flour (low protien flour) gives such a crumb, since the gluten development is lower the crumb will be softer. Is this true? Has anyone tried this? I know all about bread improvers and want to stay away from them. I have read that it is possible to get a fairly soft crumb using bleached AP flour. I use king arthur's unbleached AP flour, which is supposed to have a fairly high protien content.



nbicomputers's picture

the softness of the crust and crumb are directly related to the amount of water based on the weght of the flour

sotness is also affected be the richness of the dough. a dough with ingd that enhance the richness will contain

milk or milk powder
Fats such as shortening and butter (Not so much oil)
sugar contant
liqued sugars (glucose corn suyrp molasses honey) THESE sugars retain mousture and will absorbe moisture keeping the bread soft and will also retard stailing

 Pro Baker for over 25 years-----Ret

bnb's picture

Hi nbicomputers,

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I have heard that moisture content also contributes to softness. But isn't it true that the more the mositure the larger are the holes in the crumb?

I am looking for a soft, sandwich bread, like a regular white bread that has an even soft crumb with no large uneven holes.


nbicomputers's picture

you asked for one  heres two

the richness is different bur both will give you the results you are looking for.

use bread flour for each of these in the suppermarket try to find flour that is labled better or best for bread

white pan bread

sugar  3 oz
salt 1 oz
milk powder (skim) 2 oz
water 1 lb 8 oz
Yeast 3 Oz cake type
water 8 oz
Bread Flour 3 LB  8oz
shortening 2 oz

disolve yeast in water and set aside if using powder yeast adjust the amount down by about 1/2
put every thing inthe bowl with the flour last
add the yeast and water

knead to a nice smoth dough rise once and punch downlet reast for 20 minutes and cut into 1 lb 2 oz for a 1 pound finished loaf
shape and place into greased loaf pans
alow to rise till fuff proof
BAKE AT 380-400 light steam in the oven (just spray the oven with a mister bottle and bake till done

Richer dough

this can be used for dinner rolls as well
Sugar 6 OZ
Salt 1 Oz
Milk Powder 3 oz
Shotrening 5 OZ
eggs  4 OZ
Water 1 LB  8 Oz

Yeast  3 Oz Cake type
water 8 OZ
Bread Flour 3 LB 8 OZ

max the same as the first but add ill including the shortening at the start of mixing
for more richness you may add 2 oz of honey and take out 2 oz of sugar

beacuse of the added richness of this dough you will not need steam in the oven.  both mixes may by brushed with melted butter before and after baking.

all of my formulas are for professional use and are in professional quanity if the amount is to much for you---you can make half or a quarter on the mix---i do that all the time

Make sure when you shape them into loafs you make the dough loaf tight and havr ramoved as much air from them before but them in the greased pans.  also you may dock the brean (punch a few holes in the dough ---about 3 or 4 ---spaceing the holes about 2 or 3 inches appart and use a thin knife ot skewer. 

Happy Baking
Pro Baker for over 25 years-----Ret

bnb's picture

Oh boy! I wish I could try these recipes but I avoid shortening like the plague! Can I sub butter for shortening and sub ADY for the cake yeast?

nbicomputers's picture

YES the shortening can be replaced with any solid type fat  butter margerin whetaver you want  but do not replace the shortening with soft spreads  such as tub type products

if you cannot find cake yeast you may use

about 1/2 the amount of Active Dry--- so you would only use about 1 1/2 oz

Pro Baker for over 25 years-----Ret

bnb's picture


Can u also give me baking times? I am a stickler for measurements. Can't bake without them.

nbicomputers's picture

riseing times vary a lot due to the conditions in your home

whenthe bread is almost to the top of the pan is a good sign that their ready to bake.

baking dhould br between 30-40 minutes but the first time you bake watch the time and the oven.

 ovens are as diferent as people and you WILL have to make adjustments

Pro Baker for over 25 years-----Ret

bobkay1022's picture

Lot of info and very interesting. My question I have good luck with rolls.  I have tried a rye bread that is outstanding in flavor and  crust but the crumb is not as moist or soft as I would like. Really do not know where to start to get a nice crumb like I would get from one baked?? at a store bakery.

Have a nice Holiday to all,