The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

how to make bread more chewy?

katyajini's picture

how to make bread more chewy?

Wondering, is there a way to add, remove, decrease, increase some ing(s) in a bread recipe to give the crumb (and crust, if possible) more chew?  Everything I am making is tasting nice, but so, so soft. So far I have been making only pan loaves  but I am open to all breads and experiences.


adri's picture

Do you want to just modify your recipe to one with more chewyness to it or do you also want new recipes?
Can you post an example of a recipe and the temperatures.

On wheat breads you can usually say that the more (developed) gluten you have, the more chewy it will get. More gluten (stronger flour), higher hydration and better development of the gluten (autolyse, s&f,...) might help.
If you add pure gluten to the flour it can very easily get too chewy.

Durum flour also gives a good chew.

For pan loaves, especially with rye breads, coarsely cut groats are the way to go. You can search for "Schrotbrot" (german for groat bread) and find a lot of recipes.
My favourite recipe has 500g berries on 60g oatmeal, 100g sunflower seeds and 340g milled flour. It is best eaten form the 3rd day on. Before that it is even too chewy. At 90% hydration it will stay fresh for more than a weak so this is ok. If you want I can post the recipe.

For the crust you can in general say: Hotter and steamier in the beginning gives a thinner chewier crust. Longer and cooler baking in the end gives a thicker crust (which you may also consider chewy as crust in general is considered more chewy than the crumb).


katyajini's picture

Adrian, I just re-read your post more carefully on my computer and not on  my phone.  I missed some information.  

I will pay more attention to the effects of baking, temp and time.  Lot to play with and have fun.  

I would love it if you shared your favorite recipe with the seeds and berries before I went wading through tens of recipes. If you have time, please do post.

And as for adding durum flour, do you think replacing 10% or 20% of the flour in the recipe with durum is a good place to start?  Then just knead and proceed as usual?

Thank you so much!


adri's picture

@durum flour: Yes, just play with a view percent. In my experience it will soak more water -> you might need a bit more.

Recipe: (Adopted from Pöt's recipe):
All berries are very coarsly groated

Leaven: (15 to 18 hours before baking)
170g (maybe even but not necessarily whole) Rye Flour
270g Water
enough rye starter depending on the activeness of your starter. It should peak at about 8 to 10 hours, then you can use the the leaven at about 15 to 18 hours

Scald (at least 4 hours before preparing final dough, I prepare it together with the leaven):
170g mixed berries (I take a mix of 6 types you can buy here)
220g boiling water
20g salt
Mix it with a spoon quickly after pouring the boiling water that the still boiling water reaches all berries.

Soaker (4 to 5 hours before final dough):
100g sunflower seeds
130g rye berries
250g water (warm)

Final dough
Leaven, scald, soaker
170g rye flour
200g rye berries
60g porridge flakes (oat flakes)
Bread spices (fennel, caraway seeds, anise, trigonella caerulea / blue fenugreek)

Mix the dough well. No kneading necessary/possible.
Bake in loaf pans at preferably 100% prove.

Don't cut it until the day after tomorrow. The berries still need to soak. You could make the sourdough with the berries instead of the flour and add the flour to the final dough. But with berries I cannot estimate when they are really fully fermented.


katyajini's picture

Thank you so much for that Adrian.  Sure to try it soon.  :)

katyajini's picture

Thanks Adrian.  I have been really focused on the gluten developed at this stage of my learning, like you have described. And it definitely has helped some.  I was thinking about ings actually.  I will try a little bit of gluten and the durum flour to start. Next berries :)

WoodenSpoon's picture

If by pan loaves ya also mean sandwich type loaves then soft soft soft is the desired result, I bet something with less enrichments, baked at a hotter temp on a stone with steam as opposed to in pans might possibly be more to your fancy.  

katyajini's picture

WoodenSpoon, you are right.  I think that's where I am trying to go.  And by less enrichments do you mean leave out any fat, sweetner and dairy? 


yancypup's picture

This is going to sound crazy, but I stumbled upon some Anna typo 00 Italian flour a while back.  It is extremely soft, around 9.5% protein, and extremely finely ground.  It bakes really chewy pizza crusts with yeast and chewy sandwich loafs with sourdough.  Prior to this, I would bake with the hardest flour I could get and it surprised me to get such fine bread from such soft flour.  I have a hunch that not all soft flours in the US would do this.  I suppose the Anna flour is grown from a wheat not available here in the USA and is milled in a different way.  You can check out as they are the company that makes it.  They have a recipe for ciabatta that I tried (minus the oil) and they were as chewy as all get out.  It's expensive though.

katyajini's picture

Hi!  Thank you for the link and letting me know about the flour.  I didn't even know of that website though I see that product line often.  By the ciabtta did you mean the chef Cento Simple Italian Bread?  Seems like a good recipe to try.  But I could not find the Anna  flour on the site.  I am not so sophisticated yet to fully understand and appreciate the quality of different flours, but I am getting there!  I will try it out at some point soon.   Can you help me find the page where the four is?  Thank you! 

yancypup's picture

Yes, the simple Italian bread is what I called ciabatta.  It came out like ciabattas you buy in bakeries.  I'm not sure you can get flour from them but Amazon sells it.  Search for Anna Tipo 00.  Its really expensive, about $4.00/kilo.  I bought it from a store that had it for $1.50/kilo so I stocked up.

yancypup's picture

I should qualify my answers by stating that I probably don't know what I'm talking about.  I'm pretty much self taught on home baking although I do understand protein levels in wheat from lab work.  The Anna Tipo 00 is a flour made specifically for Naples type pizza crust.  I got good results using it in ciabatta type bread but that might be for other reasons.  In my limited experience, I believe oil makes bread more tender.  I never use oil or butter in bread.  I only use flour, yeast or sourdough starter, water and salt.  Lots of salt.  All the bread I bake has crunchy crust and is chewy.  The crust on bread isn't crunchy right out of the oven, I let it sit on a wire rack overnight.  I have also been using high hydration dough lately and that seems to help.  I generally use unbleached all purpose flour with a protein level of about 10% lately which seems to give bigger bubbles.  Formerly I used bread flour of about 12-13% protein or high glut, about 14% protein.  The higher protein seemed to give me a very fine crumb like you see in store bought sandwich bread.  I wouldn't use the Anna to feed a sourdough starter because it is bleached and probably brominated.  So my advice:  No oil, lots of salt and let the bread sit out for a while to get a crunchier and chewier bread.

katyajini's picture

Thank you for that!  I had no idea that higher gluten flour gives smaller bubbles, tighter crumb.  So much to experiment with.  :)

yancypup's picture

Well, that's my experience.  You might want the opinion of an expert baker.

bestbreadmakerst's picture

I've been experimenting with ways to make my bread more chewy, and I've learned that several adjustments can help achieve that desired texture. Here’s what I’ve discovered:

First, gluten development is key. The more developed the gluten, the chewier the bread will be. Using a stronger flour with higher protein content can help. Bread flour, for instance, has more gluten-forming proteins compared to all-purpose flour. Increasing the hydration level of the dough also aids in gluten development. Techniques like autolyse (letting the flour and water sit before adding other ingredients) and stretch and fold during the rise can further enhance the gluten structure.

Adding pure gluten to the flour can increase chewiness, but be careful not to add too much, as it can make the bread overly chewy. Durum flour is another excellent option; it’s known for giving bread a good chew.

For pan loaves, especially those containing rye, incorporating coarsely cut groats can significantly impact texture. I’ve found that using a recipe with ingredients like whole berries, oatmeal, and sunflower seeds adds both chew and complexity to the bread. A recipe I enjoy includes 500g of berries, 60g of oatmeal, 100g of sunflower seeds, and 340g of milled flour, with a hydration level of 90%. This bread improves in texture after a few days and stays fresh for over a week.

For the crust, starting with a hotter and steamier oven creates a thinner, chewier crust. Baking at a lower temperature towards the end can result in a thicker, chewier crust. Both methods can contribute to the overall chewiness of the bread.

Here’s a basic recipe example you can modify:

Chewy Bread Recipe


  • 500g bread flour (or a mix with durum flour)
  • 350g water (70% hydration)
  • 10g salt
  • 10g sugar
  • 2g instant yeast


  1. Mix the flour and water, and let it sit for 30 minutes (autolyse).
  2. Add salt, sugar, and yeast. Mix until combined.
  3. Knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic.
  4. Let the dough rise for about an hour, doing stretch and folds every 20 minutes.
  5. Shape the dough into a loaf and place it in a greased pan.
  6. Let it rise until doubled in size.
  7. Preheat the oven to 475°F (245°C) with a steam tray or cast iron pan for steaming.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes with steam, then reduce the temperature to 400°F (205°C) and bake for another 20-25 minutes until the crust is deep golden brown.

By tweaking these elements, you can achieve a chewier bread both in crumb and crust. If you’re open to trying new recipes or need more specific modifications, feel free to share your current recipe and temperatures, and I’d be happy to provide more tailored advice.