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soft non-crusty white bread?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
What is the secret in making a soft white bread. I've tried lots of recipes out of english cookbooks and I still end up with a crusty loaf. But my hubby likes his bread soft and "squidgy" like sandwich bread from the shops. I suspect the trick is in the tin or the way they are baked, maybe a special oven? :confused:

Please help. We do get sandwich bread in Germany but it is much dryer.
post #2 of 23
Well tell him to keep a stiff upper lip of course. That bread crust will give him big muscles. That is how I learnt to like it. Now I only eat the crust and throw that squidgy part to the Rotty.
bigwheel
post #3 of 23
a pullman pan might help. A lot of german breads are soft when worked leading to a denser loaf.
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post #4 of 23
You need a good old Middle America potato bread recipe! Next time you boil potatoes boil them without salt and use the water for the bread. :)
post #5 of 23
Use a lower temperature for most of the cooking. You can set the oven to 450 to get your oven spring, then turn it down to 375 until it's done. About 200 degrees in the middle. That's often around 45-50minutes.

After it comes out you can spray or rub it with oil to get a very soft crust, but this will make the bread go bad much faster. I think some people use water to soften the crust, but I haven't tried it.

If you're spraying water into the oven to keep it moist, take care not to spray the bread or it can make it crustier.
post #6 of 23
You should also keep making some good crusty bread, because he'll eventually come around to liking it more than squishy wonderbread.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
The pullman pan looks like it's just what I need. I've been searching some English bakery sites and one of them said they bake their square bread with lids on. (I'd actually tried that but my mould is too big with a lid on). now I've got to find one that doesn't cost me an arm and a leg for postage. I will have to send mother-in-law on a hunt for me. Surely you must get them in the UK as well.

I spray water on my german rye bread during and after baking to make it nice and shine and crusty :) Especially for rolls and baguettes.
And I've got experience with baking at low temperatures. I learnt the hard way when trying to make crusty bread :D
And I will never stop making crusty bread, I love it and luckily so do the kids.

I've got a few potato bread recipes but they use leftover potatoes. I will try the water though.

Thanks for all your help, this forum is great!
post #8 of 23
Far as I remember, the squidgy-ness of sandwich bread from the shops is a byproduct of the manufacturing process, in which preservatives and other junk is added to increase shelf life.
post #9 of 23
Look here.

"In lieu of a Pullman pan, place a loaf pan on a baking sheet, grease a second baking sheet, and invert it over the top of the bread. Place in the oven and lay a heavy ovenproof weight or a brick on top. Do not proof."

But I believe you need to be steered toward the proper type of bread which will yield a soft crust to begin with before looking for a recipe. Try a Parker House Roll recipe. You can make them in a loaf or numerous other forms of rolls and the crust should not be hard.
post #10 of 23
Auntie Vi's Bread! It doesn't have much of a crust. We make 10 loaves fresh every day, and can have more out in just over an hour if we need it.

This is quite fool proof, decent flavor. This makes 2 loaves, you can cut recipe in half without a problem.

Dump into your mixer bowl:
4 cups of warm water
2 tablespoons of yeast
2 tablespoons of sugar
let set 5 min or so, till you see the yeast softening, starting to work.

then add:
1 heaping tablespoon of salt
10 cups of flour

Beat with a bread hook attachment for 3-5 mins. Put in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, let raise 5 to 10 minutes, 15 at most.
Punch down, and shape into a tight loaf on a greased cookie sheet. Let raise 10 minutes and put in to a 350 oven for 25-40 minutes. We sometimes, turn the oven on as it goes in, it still works. This loaf barely browns, so not much crust. Just tap to see if it's hollow sounding.
It's great the first day, on the second toast, etc.
post #11 of 23
NOWIAMONE:
Good morning. I read your bread recipe with interest. I must ask you however, is there a possibility that the amount of water you stated is a mis-print????. Maybe your recipe may read 3 1/4 to 3 1/2 cups of water.
The reason I ask is that amount of hydration equats to approx. 33% hydration. In yeasted lean bread dough it should variy from 58% to 65% as an average. Awaiting your answer. Thank-you & have a nice day.

~Z~ BESTUS.:chef:
post #12 of 23
Mudbug is marching down the right path. It's fat that will soften things up. Butter, oil, eggs, milk, all of the above, some of the above...

I also agree with z~Bestus about nowIamone's recipe. It seems a tad dry :)
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post #13 of 23
I agree with KyleW, you need to add what are known as "enriching agents" to the dough, the most common are fat and sugar, the addition to your dough should be around 2 - 2.5% of the flour weight, this will give a softer crumb and finer structure, but be aware they have an effect on gluten development and fermentation, so you will need to adjust the mixing time and maybe look at a slight increase in your yeast levels or bulk fermentation time. With milk, drop the oven temp slightly, the lactose will cause the bread to color quickly..

Regards,
Felixe.
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post #14 of 23
I think it's one thing to want to reproduce as best you can in the home a recipe from a good restaurant or just really good food in general. I must say though I've never quite understood why anybody wants to try to replicate mass produced supermarket or fast food items. I'd think it would be easier to go to the store and just buy it with all its preservatives and hydrogenated fat and all.

Jock
post #15 of 23
Z............
You are correct! I'll go back and edit it into correctness, right away.
Back on the produce farm if the bread man/milk man was late in the morning, this bread was made in the short time before lunch, which was when they fed the farm hands.
post #16 of 23
My experience is that eggs make bread dry unless you use egg yolks (the whites dry the bread or cake) ... but....
MILK softens everything, from meatloaf to cake to bread. substitute water with warm milk.
BUTTERMILK works even better
cold butter in slices, kneaded in AFTER the bread is kneaded, will make it high and soft
a bit of honey makes bread soft - if you don;t mind the sweetness - one or two tbsp
finally, i cover the bread with a cloth when it comes out of the oven (and out of the pan) when i want a soft crust. the steam in the bread keeps the crust soft.
I also like certain kinds of breads soft (I live in italy where all the bread is crusty, and i do miss a soft loaf). It doesn;t mean wanting it to taste and feel like the characterless stuff that's mass produced in the US, but it can be a very good soft and crustless bread.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #17 of 23
dear ms.fawkes,

i use the following recipe for soft rolls and bread and its a hit !

Flour 1000 gms
Yeast fresh 30 gms
Salt 25 gms
Eggs 4 nos
Milk powder 75 gm
Butter 100 gm
Water (to form a soft dough generallly anywhere between 400-500 ml)
Sugar 40 gms

Bake it at high temp around 230-240 Deg C for 5-7 mts for rolls and 200 Deg C for 35-40 mts for loaves(brush the bread with butter after baking to make them soft)

hope it works for you...
post #18 of 23
Just to put in my 2 cents.
I am noticing that in some of the posts that "milk" is being proposed as an enriching agent to "soften" the bread.
Be aware that if you add milk or milk products that they should be denatured to ensure that the dough develops properly.
Milk proteins will interfere with gluten development, this is why bakers milk powder has been heat treated.
You can do this yourself, warm the milk - raising the temperature to around 85 degrees celcius and holding the "core temperature (use a probe) of the milk at this temperature for 30 minutes.
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post #19 of 23
thnks , that was quite an information....
post #20 of 23
Yeah, they call it "scalding" the milk. I know that's the purpose of it, but wondered if that's necessary when you have pasteurized milk. Some books say it's not. I never wanted to take the chance.
However buttermilk or yoghurt doesn;t have this problem. In fact, you shouldn't heat them, but you can make them warm by using half and half hot water and one of these fermented milks. They make for a very good rise and soft bread, and very good taste.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #21 of 23
"Scalding" the milk, is a misleading term.:( If all you had to do was scald it then pasteurization would be sufficient - but it isn't.
As I posted before it requires the milk to be held at a sufficient temperature for an adequate time period to ensure the milk protiens are denatured. There are numerous theory books on baking that will give a "food science" logic to what I mentioned.
You can still go ahead and just add milk from the carton but you would have to vary your percentages of yeast, gluten, yeast foods (sugars) and bread improvers to compensate and still have to contend with a temperamental dough and most likely a so so product.:mad:
This is from a commercial baking perspective, if all you do is bake at home or make small batches in a kitchen then how you approach this is entirely at your discretion.:rolleyes:
Good luck!
( I decided that today I like to use smileys!!:smiles:
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post #22 of 23
No doubt baking for a bakery is a different business, you don't want to take chances and can lose entire batches and lots of money for a small mistake but i've been baking bread for many many years (maybe at least 35) and i'd say that for the last 15 i have never made a bread that didn't come high and fully raised and soft, even using 100% whole wheat flour with no white flour added, except when i make white bread of course. While cake baking is very much chemistry, bread baking is mainly mechanics. Develop the gluten with good kneading, treat the gluten strands well, make sure they turn around the loaf and don't break with "punching down" the dough, fold over when you rest it, and when you form the loaf. I learned the technique from Laurel's kitchen bread book, (15 years ago, when my bread became foolproof) and i have to say her technique is amazing. Most (all) cookbooks i have except that one say you can't make bread with 100% whole wheat flour, if you want a decent rise and not a brick, but using the laurel's kitchen technique has brought me no fail bread every time. Every time. Another good advice she gives for making high rise, soft, whole wheat bread is to knead in the cool slices of butter AFTER having kneaded the bread and produced the gluten, because it greases the gluten strands and you can actually incorporate a large quantity of butter and produce an even higher and lighter bread! against all advice from other cookbooks.
I notice lots of professional bakers stand by their precise measurements and temperature guides, but i hardly even measure ingredients to make bread any more, and never use any kind of a thermometer. For many years my gas oven thermostat was broken and the repair man putb in an on off switch, so that there was no regulating the temp at all and it just kept getting hotter. The bread was fine anyway, i used something in the door to keep it just a little open and the temp was ROUGHLY ok, but it worked.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #23 of 23
Giddyup!!:D
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