Baked bread can either crumble because it is hard and mealy or it can crumble when it is very soft and doesn't stick together. The texture of the bread is determined by the tenderness of the dough. Coating flour or eggs with fats, such as butter or oil, tenderises the bread making it soft and easy to chew. Too much tenderizer will keep it from sticking together. Achieving the desired consistency is a matter of combining the right amounts of tenderising ingredients in the dough and brushing the outside with softening agents before and after the bread is baked. To find your favourite texture, you may need to use a little trial and error. Adjust your recipe using the following steps to make bread that doesn't crumble easily.
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Things you need
- 1 Egg yolk (beaten)
Use cold ingredients. Warmth activates the yeast and may cause the bread to rise too quickly and fall apart. Starting with refrigerated ingredients extends the time available to work with the dough. Even with cold ingredients, you need to mix the ingredients and knead the dough quickly before allowing it to rise.
Use milk in the bread dough. Bread recipes call for some type of liquid to add to flour, usually water, milk or buttermilk. Water gives a crisp outer crust on the bread; milk will yield a softer outer crust.
Use butter instead of shortening or lard. If your recipe calls for shortening or lard, substitute half the amount of shortening with butter. Shortening coats the flour better than butter, creating a moist texture that falls apart easily. Butter keeps the dough from becoming too soft. Don't overdo it. Too much butter may make the bread too hard.
Avoid adding too much tenderizer in dough. Tenderizers make the bread softer, but excessive amounts will cause it to fall apart easily. Examples of tenderizers include sugar, syrup, fat, and leavening agents like yeast. Reducing the amount of these ingredients will keep the bread from crumbling.
Knead with care. Kneading dough combines the dry ingredients with the fat. Evenly distributed fat creates softer bread. Over kneading makes the dough tough.
Brush with softeners before baking. Combine one beaten egg yolk, three tablespoons of milk and two tablespoons of sugar. Brush the loaf with the mixture before baking. After baking the loaf will be brown with a soft crust.
Rub butter over baked bread. While the bread is still warm from the oven, rub with butter. The butter softens the outer crust and seeps through to moisten the inside.
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