The amount of moisture in the bread can make or brake a loaf on our journey towards the perfect bite. The balance of
To reach moist bread you need to make sure your bread is not over-proofed, be sure to hydrate it enough during the bake until it developed a thick crust, ingredients wise it’s recommended to use whole grain flour, add special fruity ingredients to give your loaf more moisture and last let it cool down completely before slicing it.
So after this short introduction, how can you reach a moist , fluffy airy texture it your bread? follow these steps just
Don’t Over Proof Your Bread
what is proofing? proofing is the stage where you let your dough rise after you finished shaping the loaves and before it goes in the oven. It is the stage of fermentation. If you don’t let it rise long enough, and put it in the oven too soon, it is under proofed. in the same sense if you take your time and wait too long before getting your dough into the oven you have over proofed your dough.
What you need to remember is every minute the dough is sitting outside it is losing moisture. It doesn’t matter if you cover it up or with what you cover it up, the liquids in the bread simply evaporate. that’s the reason the dough develops skin: because the moisture comes out while baking, making the outside layer firm and strong. So, make sure you’re not over doing it. regular simple bread usually takes about 3 (?) hours to proof, but feel your dough
2 Tips on how to keep the moisture in the dough during proofing or rising :
Use oil to trap moisture
insdie the dough
Instead of covering the dough during proofing time, experienced bakers rub regular olive oil on the dough, creating a barrier between the dough and the oxygen in the air and making sure there is no contact between two and preventing the liquids in the dough from evaporating .
Same goes with Puff Pastry which must be kept in and out of the refrigerator for cooling purposes. Each time before the dough enters the refrigerator, apply oil on the dough to prevent the liquids from evaporating at this crucial stage.
Starch Can Help Your Crust Keep Moisture In Your Dough
In the middle of the proofing process, let’s say after about 90 minutes before you do your scoring, take a little bowl, pure some boiling water in it and then add a little starch, either corn or potato will do. Mix it together (don’t let it be to too thick) and cool it down a bit. then take a brush and cover the dough with the starch fluids. the water will soften the skin of the dough and then you could score the bread without ripping it. the water will keep moisture in the bread because what will evaporates will be the liquid on the outside, not the inside.
Will Adding Fats Like Oil Or Butter To Bread Make It Moist?
The short answer is no. One of the ways people say can help you achieve a moist bread is by adding fats to your mix. Fats, as you know, do not evaporate at the same rate as water. If you splash some oil on a scolding frying pan it will take a lot of time until it evaporates. Do the same with water it will evaporate in mere seconds. As it takes oils and fats longer at a much higher temperature to evaporate you would think it would give you that moistness you are looking for. This is not the case really, let me expand on it a bit more.
Adding to the recipe more fatty ingredients like milk shortening/margarine or butter can help a bit, but I have to be honest with you it ends up being a little tweak in the whole story. Fats will make your dough more fluffy with an even air distribution in your crumb — but won’t really add that “moist” texture in your mouth you are looking for. Think of a muffin or a fluffy sponge cake and how it’s crumb or texture looks. Very small bubbles spaced close together. That’s what fats will do NOT moisture.
Again, if you’re making a brioche, which let’s face it, has more butter in the recipe then flour, you will get a moist delicious bread, but it is also rich in sugars and eggs. When talking about regular whole wheat, rye, sourdough bread, a little bit of fresh milk or oil will do more for the crumb than for the moisture. So you get my drift. The answer is no on the fats.
Ingredients That Will Help Keep Your Bread M
Whenever you choose to add special ingredients to your dough be sure to know that your bread will automatically be moist.
For example, if you add raisins to your challah, consider that each raisin will release heat and create a small cell or a hole around it that will be more humid.
This goes for all fruits in bread – the fruits are rich in liquids and you should consider it when creating the dough, that is, reduce the amount of fluid in the dough because the bread will already get the moisture by adding the fruit.
Another example is the addition of feta cheese to the dough. Feta cheese has about 50% liquid in it. Although the cheese will evaporate completely and will not be visible to the eye, the fluid in the cheese will result in the formation of small cells/holes of moisture in the bread.
These kind types of breads are my favorite but they require an accurate calculation of moisture in the mix, after all, you do not want to end up with too wet and sticky bread on your hands.
Choose your flour wisely
Contrary to the myth of a certain change in ingredients that will lead to higher humidity in the bread, choosing the right flour can definitely help determine the amount of moisture content of your bread.
Whole wheat flour and mostly whole grain ones absorb more liquid than other flours such as white flour.
In whole wheat flour, the whole grain is used, the grain is rich in fiber that loves to trap water and therefore the flour will be able to retain more moisture.
The type of milling also affects the moisture content in the bread:
Needless to say,
reduced risk of some chronic diseases.
So when you are in the supermarket at your local baking supply store, pay attention to the flour you choose, look at the label and choose the right one for you.
Cooling, Slicing and Storing Your Bread
The way you cool down, slice and store your bread has a lot of influence on the degree of moisture in it and how long you can keep it in there.
Cooling and Slicing
When the bread comes out of the oven, place it on a mesh or cooling rack with plenty of space underneath and above the loaf and let it rest for at least three hours, even longer, until it has completely cooled down. If you slice it too early your bread would not have time to settle. You would notice that your bread is almost chewy at this point with a wet crumb and you lose a lot of moisture as steam very quickly which soon enough will dry our your bread.
It is a good place to note here, that although fresh bread that comes out of the oven is about the best thing you can imagine, eating hot bread is not recommended for health reasons (it sticks to our intestines and really does not digest well).
Having said that, after you waited patiently, and let the bread cool down and then
Storing bread is a balance between keeping it fresh and moist and keeping your crust crispy. The best way to store bread is to keep in a paper bag and put it in a bread box (remember these boxes from our childhood?) Or just a dry dark place. You can also put the bread in the paper bag, close the paper bag tightly and put it in a plastic bag but keep the plastic bag open so air can flow.
Do not keep bread in the refrigerator ever as it will dry out your dough very quickly. “REAL BREAD” without preservatives will stay fresh for about 3 or 4 days if stored properly. If you will not consume your bread in 3 days or so I suggest you slice it in half, put half in a plastic bag, get as much air out before closing the bag and freeze it. This way you will have half a loaf to finish in 3 days and the other for a later day. To thaw out your bread take it out of the plastic bag and place it on your counter. It won’t take that long, about 30-45 min and you will have a nice moist loaf.
NEVER MICROWAVE BREAD TO THAW IT OUT.
What you are looking for in meters of hydration is a 70-75% hydration range that will give you well-handled dough., the kind that will form its own shape and not as restricted to a pan. if you find yourself with a recipe high hydration (lm talking around 85% or higher) you will find on the hard way that this kind of dough is very difficult to handle.
The impotence of building a crust
The purpose of baking the bread is to cook it, not to dry it. When there is steam outside the crust, the steam creates a barrier and the moisture inside the loaf is preserved. The longer you steam the bread the thicker the skin. The skin becomes softer and more fluffy and the crust is built which is impotent because one of its functions is to hold moisture inside the loaf.
Between the end of the steaming process and the end of the baking, the crust stabilizes. If you baked the bread for too long without a proper crust you would dehydrate it, also if you do not have enough steam in the oven your crust will not be thick enough and all the moisture in your bread and gasses will burst out of your bread and in turn, will dehydrate your precious loa fand you are doomed for all of