Why is my bread heavy and crust too hard?

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by kireol, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. melaniebreadmac

    melaniebreadmac

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    Morning

    i have made all the breads, my bread comes out very nice, BUT the crust is so hard most times, i cant cut it with a knife.

    the inside is very soft that is just breaks.

    i have put water over the bread and also taken it out straight away, but still right.

    any suggestions for PLEASE.
     
  2. pallavi bhargav

    pallavi bhargav

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    firstly check temprature of your oven if its too hot then upper crust ll burn and as a result bread volume ll nt raise.preheat the oven then make bread
     
  3. minas6907

    minas6907

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    What's your bread formula and method look like?

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
     
  4. the baker

    the baker

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    Bread is suppose to be light and hollow after baking.

    Well, when your bread is heavy that is because you add too much flour, try reducing the flour by 1/2 cup.   Crust is too hard is due to the oven is too hot or you dough is dry.  Add a little more water a table spoon at a time till the dough is taggy or you could give your oven a water spray before placing your baking pans in.  Hope this help you.
     
    kimmit likes this.
  5. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    My bread making is a two step process.  At approx 2100 hrs the night before I make a preferment using 1/3'rd of the flour mixed with 1/2 of the water along with a pinch of SAF RED INSTANT YEAST.  This is your preferment.

    Eight to twelve hours later, the next morning, I mix the remaining flour, water, salt and SAF RED INSTANT YEAST into the preferment.  Knead for about 20 seconds, yes, that's 20 seconds of kneading.  Allow to rise 20-30 minutes.  French fold.  Another rise for 20-30 minutes and French fold.  Then roll into a ball to develop the outer skin.  Finally shape and proof for around half an hour and then bake.

    And so from the final mixing of the remaining ingredients into the preferment to the final BAKED loaf, only about three hours have elapsed.  A preferment speeds up the process.

    For the flour I use is 5/6th's AP flour mixed with 1/6th whole wheat or rye flour.  And I have over 11 years in home breadbaking experience as some long term member can attest.

    Toodles,

    -T

    Oh, and you might either be over hydrating or over proofing.  After first mixing the preferment with the remaining ingredients, the dough appears dry, there's some dry spots on it that'll hydrate with each successive french folding and proofing and DO NOT add anything more.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  6. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    KA's breadbaking dvd with Michael Jubinsky is still around.

    I can email to you a copy but it'll cost a dollar for the dvd along with S&H charges.  Ssshhhhhhhhh, this is on the qt.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  7. doctor young

    doctor young

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    I have just spent the last 18 years at one of the best commercial sourdough bakeries here in the SF Bay Area (125 years old). I was not in the production department, but worked very closely with them and was always involved in writing and adjusting formulas. But since we now closed and gone I have the need to perfect the sourdough at home. So far, I have not had the success that I expected. The bread has been too dense. I am not getting the bloom. And the crust is too hard. And most of all I am not getting the sour flavor out of it. Even though I am giving 18+ hour cool proof. Nor am I getting the volume increase on the proof. Typically that is in my garage at around 55 F.

    I have done both with yeast and without. After reading some of these posts I do believe I may be over kneading. And I might be little to dry on the dough mixture.

    The one major difference is the sponge. Our sponge was approximately 62% flour. 26%water. 12% yesterday's sponge. Which made a very stiff sponge.

    Now I am using the 50% method to build a sponge (starter) at room temp. It seems to be dying after the 5th day, even though I am feeding it daily. It still has good gassing (bubbling), but the sourness is almost gone.

    I am going to try another batch this weekend with the following adjustments:

    1. Reduce the mixing time. I was trying to duplicate the 12minute mixing time we had at the bakery, but I think that is too much for the small kitchen aide batch.

    2. Very little kneading after the mix. I will be trying the "windowpane" method to see when dough is ready.

    Anybody else have any suggestions? I know I have been fairly vague on some of the formula and methods, but I am tired and I be back at it tomorrow.
     
  8. kimmit

    kimmit

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    Wonderful.  I have learnt so much reading through all your comments.  Thanks! 
     
  9. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Which bakery were you at, Columbo (I really liked their bread way back in the 70's and no insult intended)?????

    You may need to purchase a small envelope of starter as it may give you the sourness that  you seek.

    And which flour are you using?  Does it have malted barley added to it because it'll give a more vigorous rise and oven spring and I don't know if it is used in conjunction with  sourdough.
     
  10. doctor young

    doctor young

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    Yes. I was at Colombo. And we were very good until Hostess bought us in 1997. Then slowly but surely the white bread guys showed they had no clue on sourdough. Along with Parisian they slowly sucked life out of us. Perhaps we can discuss that another time...

    ... But I don't want to get into that right now. I am using the King Arthur Bread Flour. It is roughly 12% protein, so it is strong enough. And yes, we used flour that had malted barley in it also. But I am thinking that since I am building my starter at room temp at the 50% water/flour, that it is dying before a little early. I have been using tap water as well which could be a factor, but it is the same source we used at the bakery. I am thinking that decreasing the water would give it a little more stability over time. Also, keeping it in slightly cooler atmosphere would help as well, but not refer. I am thinking my garage, which is mid 50's around this time. That would be in sync with our retard boxes at the bakery.

    On the other hand, there does remain one last soul down at Colombo who is still keeping the Colombo sponge alive three times a week (for prospective buyers). I could go down and get a sampling and have my own strain of it.

    Anyway, I do have some of my starter now which I will use up. I have enough for two batches. So I will probably make one dough with yeast and the other without. Just to play and take some notes.

    I'll probably do it this afternoon. I will report back when all is said and done.

    Doc

    PS: I did see your post about the 2-step method. That looks very interesting and makes all the sense in the world. Perhaps I will try that on the next go around.
     
  11. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    For your starter, are you replenishing it with rye flour.  Once I made a starter replenished with rye and at the end of a week or two, it smelled really sour and not cheesy.

    My strategy for yeast bread is 5 parts AP flour and 1 part rye or whole wheat flour.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013
  12. doctor young

    doctor young

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    Hmmm. I never considered Rye Flour. I will give it a try.

    I made one dough yesterday and through process of elimination I have decided that my dough was, and has been under-kneaded. I went to the extreme and handled it very little after a 30 minute initial rest. No Yeast. Cool proof @ approx 55 F (it has been 16 hours). And that dough is as flat as a pizza crust. Which is what I will probably use it for.

    So now I am going to make another dough. Add a little yeast. 30 minute rest in the bowl. Then knead 10 more minutes.
     
  13. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Why not try doing the two-step process that I detailed.  Once the preferment is mixed with the remaining ingredients, only 20 seconds (twenty seconds 8D) of kneading is required then a 25 minute rest - followed by one or two french folds 20 minutes apart.  Final proofing and putting into the oven.

    Again, I use 5 parts AP flour and 1 part of either bread, rye, or whole wheat flour.
     
  14. doctor young

    doctor young

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    OK. I am starting to get somewhere now. The overall product was better than previous. Not as dense. The crumb was a liitle more open. The crust was crunchy, but not too hard. The taste still needs improvement. I mean it tasted OK, but I am still trying to get more tang. My wife made some cheeseburger soup, which was new for us and very good. So the bread went well with that and made french toast with the remainder the next morning.

    As far as the bad dough that I made the previous day, all was not lost, I made mini strombollis that turned out great. Now my daughter wants me to make those on regular basis.

    I still need to get to the store to get some rye flour for my sponge. I'll make some more bread this coming weekend. Perhaps a 3 seed Bastoni.

    Doc
     
  15. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    Are you in either Hayward or SL?????
     
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  16. doctor young

    doctor young

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    Yep. San Leandro.
     
  17. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    I would start using a preferment using, let's say, for my 6C loaf recipe, 1 1/4C AP flour mixed with 1C of either WW or rye.  Allow it to set overnight but not more than twelve hours.  That amount of time will allow the WW or rye to hydrate fully.  Then mix it with the remaining 3 3/4C AP flour.  Otherwise scale the combination to your preferred size.

    But you won't get the sour flavor unless using a sour starter.  Best of luck with your efforts.

    -T
     
  18. rmellis001

    rmellis001

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    hi, u get heavy breads and light breads.

    If u use a levin " biga " your bread will be lighter due to the texture and high oxidation that happens.

    If you make soda breads, they might be heavier, because of the use of bicarb and not yeast.

    Try to use fresh yeast. Cream your yeast first with a bit water before use.

    If you proof, check your humidity.

    Regards

    Ricky
     
  19. antilope

    antilope

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    deleted.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2013
  20. kokopuffs

    kokopuffs

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    When I began adding hot water (approx 130F) to my flour and yeast mixture, I too noticed that the dough and final crumb seemed a whole lot softer and moister.