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Why is my bread not fluffy?

Bread making from scratch is as exciting as satisfying, but a lot of people say they can't make bread at home. Even if they take flour, water and yeast with proper measurement, it doesn't rise. Needless to say how frustrating experience it is. However, avoid making bread-blunders further knowing a few reasons why bread doesn't get spongy as much as you expected.


1.    Dead and old yeast: Inactive yeast can be kept for years under the right temperature. But if you find some refrigerated yeast that has once been used 3-4 years back, then probably it is the dead one. Moreover, yeast stored in a warm warehouse or in a place with fluctuating temperature may get damaged. However, don't forget to proof yeast before adding it to the dough.

2.    Use of too hot water for proofing: Recipes that need active yeast needs proofing of the yeast in warm water. If excess hot liquid is mixed with the yeast, it can kill the yeast cell. According to experts, the ideal temperature should be between 105 and 1150F. Yeast is a quite picky material, too hot or too cold mixture can kill it. It would be better if you bring a kitchen thermometer to check the water temperature next time.

3.    Lower storage temperature: Whether you know it or not, yeast prefers 75-90 degree temperature. If the dough sits too long in the cold room, the yeast will no longer be active. Especially in winter, it becomes too difficult to keep the kitchen temperature 75 degrees. A warm place is ideal for rising dough, and you could keep on top of the refrigerator or in the gas oven with always-on pilot light. Or, adjust the thermostat and set your dough near heating a heating vent.

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4.    The incorrect pan size: Sometimes, it is not the recipe that you follow is wrong, rather the pan size cause the blunder. Sometimes the pan size is too large for the amount of the dough. For example, it is perfect to choose 8 ½” x 4 ½” pan size for 3 cups of flour, whereas 9 x 5-inch pan is ideal for dough with 4 cup flour.          

5.    Too much use of flour: Excess use of any ingredient doesn’t work well to get fluffy bread.  The dough becomes stiff if you use too much flour. And, lack of moisture in the dough cause lack of food for the yeast. So, be cautious while measuring each ingredient and when it comes to flour, make sure the dough has constant elasticity and stickiness. 

6.    Spare adding too much of salt and sugar: Whereas excess salt kills the yeast, sugar in high amount prevent dough from rising. Sugar is the reason your bread dough may lack moisture which feeds the yeast. On the other hand, too much of salt makes the yeast inactive. So take proper measures for each.

Lastly, Crust developed on the dough also creates difficulty in riding the bread. So, make sure you are not making bread crust too dry. While proofing bread, keep it moisten and cover it until you put it in the oven.

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