Why Is My Bread Crumbly: 6 Common Reasons (With Solutions)
Bread is supposed to have crumbs, but if you’re new to baking yeast bread, you might notice that it creates a lot more than you’re used to. It’s a common issue, and there are a few things you may attempt to solve.
Baking bread is an art, and bakeries have mastered it. When it comes to making bread in your kitchen, though, you just need to consider all aspects.
Let’s look at some of the things you can adjust in your favorite bread recipe to help alleviate the problem of why is my bread crumbly. Try one or more of these and see if you notice a difference.
Why Is My Bread Crumbly: 6 Reasons To Remember
1. Bread doesn’t have enough gluten
Gluten has a negative reputation; however, it is necessary for the production of bread. Gluten is responsible for the “crumb” (texture) that distinguishes bread. The crumb will not come out as intended if your bread lacks an adequate amount of gluten. So if you use less gluten than usual, bread too crumbly is inevitable.
Different flours contain different quantities of gluten: white flour has the most, while whole grain flours have the least. If you’re using whole grain flours in your bread recipe, you’ll want to establish a balance between the two.
That’s not to suggest all white flour contains the same quantity of gluten. This is why a plain white loaf of bread may have a lot of crumbs. Bread flour, which is designed to have the correct quantity of gluten for bread, has less gluten than all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour, on the other hand, makes a fantastic loaf of bread.
If you favor all-purpose flour for its versatility in the kitchen, try increasing the gluten content. In your recipe, add one tablespoon of wheat gluten to one cup of all-purpose flour. It should be the ideal amount for a delicious crumb. And, of course, you won’t have a crumbly bread situation.
2. Bread has too much flour
In bread, flour is crucial, and many inexperienced bakers make the mistake of using too much. Adding more flour than necessary can result in dry bread, which will produce more breadcrumbs.
The trick is to strike a healthy balance in your recipe between flour and liquids. This can be difficult since, unlike cake and other baked goods recipes, bread recipes do not provide exact ingredient proportions. Instead, the recipe will give you an estimate of how much flour you’ll need, and it’ll be up to the baker to figure out when to stop.
When kneading your first loaves, it’s tempting to add too much flour, especially if you’re doing it by hand. The dough becomes sticky to the touch after a few minutes of kneading, so you add more flour. While this is the correct method, the amount of flour added each time is the problem.
There are a few habits on how to make bread less crumbly you can develop to keep your flour consumption in check.
- If your bread has a mixture of white and whole wheat flour, weigh out your first flour measurement. It’s considerably more precise to weigh ingredients, especially the primary liquids, than it is to eyeball it in a measuring cup.
- You don’t need to be precise when measuring the rest of the flour indicated in the recipe. This will assist you in determining the maximum amount of flour to use.
- When the dough becomes sticky, generously sprinkle just enough flour onto it to prevent it from sticking to your hands or board as you knead it. Work it in while you knead, and if it starts to get sticky, add a bit more. Continue in this manner until you’ve finished kneading.
- Keep in mind that you’ll use more flour when you initially begin kneading and less as the session progresses.
The purpose of kneading in the proper amount of flour is to make a bread dough that is supple but not too moist or too dry. Too much flour in bread dough can make bread quickly dry and crumbly. So if you wonder how to make bread more moist, It’s a delicate balance to strike, but the more loaves you make, the better you’ll get at spotting it.
3. Bread has too much yeast
Isn’t it true that more yeast is better? In principle, if you want your bread to rise quickly, this seems obvious, but it’s actually the reverse. Remember that yeast is a living organism, and too much of it in your bread might cause it to develop too quickly and out of control.
As a result, the balance of gluten, carbon dioxide, and steam required to generate a perfect bread crumb can be thrown off.
Most bread recipes call for a single-use box of active dry yeast, which contains just enough yeast for one loaf of bread. It’s about two 1/4 teaspoons in total. If you’re using bulk yeast, stick to that measurement unless the recipe specifies otherwise.
4. Bread doesn’t have enough salt or fat
To assist yeast control, some additives are added to bread. While yeast feeds on the sugar contained in many recipes, the salt and fats serve to “retard” or slow down the process.
Cutting the salt in other recipes is fine, but cutting the salt in bread is not a brilliant idea. You’ll usually just need one teaspoon per loaf so that it won’t interfere with your diet. Instead, the required amount of salt in the recipe is critical for keeping the yeast under control, so be sure you measure it correctly.
Similarly, fat such as butter, shortening, or olive oil is used in many bread recipes. These also help to keep the bread moist by inhibiting yeast growth. To improve the crumb, try adding an extra tablespoon or two of one of these fats to your recipe. However, keep in mind that too much fat will hinder a complete rise.
5. Bread was not kneaded enough
One of the most challenging aspects of learning to bake bread is kneading. It’s difficult to determine if you’ve kneaded too much or too little, which can affect the crumbiness of your bread.
It’s a good idea to brush up on appropriate kneading techniques if you’re doing it by hand. If needed, pay a visit to a bread-baking acquaintance to learn how they do it, enroll in a class, or view some videos online.
You can watch this video for further information about how to knead bread:
Kneading can also appear to be a time-consuming activity. Most recipes instruct you to knead the dough for a full 10 minutes (six minutes if using a machine), which is critical.
Kneading the dough thoroughly blends the ingredients and gives the bread a strong structure. Setting a kitchen timer and learning to appreciate the “silent time” spent kneading can go a long way toward helping you meet your deadline.
Bread needs to be kneaded again after the initial proofing to rework the gluten before shaping. This is usually best done in a much shorter amount of time (two minutes or less). If you’ve been kneading for longer than that, reduce the time, and you should notice a substantial change in the crumb.
6. Bread was baked at the wrong temperature
One of the most common bread problems you may encounter is that the bread cracks easily after baking. Why does bread fall when baking or what causes bread to fall?
If you bake bread for too long, it will become overly dry, which will contribute to a crumb problem. While your recipe may work perfectly in someone else’s oven at 350°F for 40 minutes, you may need to make some tweaks.
It’s conceivable that the thermostat in your oven is set incorrectly. This indicates that your bread may have been overbaked accidentally. Using a cheap oven thermometer is the best way to be sure. This will reveal the exact interior temperature, allowing you to alter the temperature setting to meet the recipe’s requirements.
It’s also important to preheat the oven while you’re baking. The baking times are for an oven that has already been preheated. If you put the bread inside before it reaches the correct temperature, it may not rise properly, which will impair the crumb.
Bread can readily crumble for a variety of reasons. I hope the above answers to the question “why is my bread crumbly” may assist you in avoiding a similar issue.