The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Sandwiches fall apart in my hands

grampa777's picture

Sandwiches fall apart in my hands

A dozen years ago, my bread would crumble when I sliced it and made a sandwich. I asked everyone I could find. (Full disclosure, I’d been making bread for 40 years by then and have always had this problem.) I tried adding gluten. I tried using bread flour. I tried expensive flour. I tried to educate myself about flour. T55, Semolina, Durham, et al. I asked commercial bakers of wonderfully delicious and great tooth baguettes. I asked the best chef I know and we signed up for a class. (let it be said: Two different such classes each provided nothing but a weekly night out for a month while people came and made their already successful bread recipes and chatted and drank coffee and bought expensive pastries from the baker whose outlet we met in. I asked for help getting my bread NOT to crumble after a night in the fridge. NADA!)
So, 50 years down the road, a dozen years of really trying hard to learn, and my bread still crumbles after a night in the fridge. Why does MY bread crumble and bakery breads (really good bakery bread NOT just wonder bread) stay chewy?

DanAyo's picture

Gramps, please reply with your formula and method. This should be an easy fix, no idea why you’ve experienced this for so many years. Posting images is often helpful, also.

 after a night in the fridge”. I never store bread in the fridge, everything I’ve read tells me not to. I do however slice and store bread in the freezer. The results are excellent. See THIS LINK.

We should be able to help with this...


phaz's picture

Along with ingredients, what it the method? And 2 questions

  1. Crumbly - like with the texture of cake?
  2. Is it like that before going on the fridge?


gerhard's picture

really a good idea, try leaving it at room temperature and see if it ages better.

mariana's picture


what you are seeing is the effect of cold on bread staling. Bread becomes stale and crumbly when it is refrigerated the fastest. 

Why do breads from bakeries not crumble even when refrigerated? There are four answers. 

1) They have antistaling agents added to them. Special ingredients that block staling, hardening of crumb. They keep their crumb soft and pliable for days and weeks. 

2) They knead and ferment their bread dough better than we do at home. The more you knead and develop your gluten, the slower your bread will stale. It will stay soft and elastic even if refrigerated. 

3) Homemade breads usually have much more fat added to them than bakery breads, especially shortening and butter. Fat becomes hard when refrigerated and crumb crumbles. 

4) Finally, bakeries use a different kind of milk - high heat treated, which blocks staling and makes supersoft elastic crumb which stays fresh and soft for a long time. Homemade breads are baked with regular milk, dry or liquid, that affects crumb negatively, making it stale super quickly, that is why it crumbles when refrigerated. 

best wishes,


semolina_man's picture

Yes, the formula (recipe) is needed to understand what you are doing. 


It sounds like too little water (hydration is too low).  Or baking time is too long.  The bread is too dry, and possibly has too little gluten development.   The dough needs to be kneaded mechanically.