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Why Is My Bread So Dense? 10+ Reasons Why

Norah Clark
Sliced bread out of the oven.

The usual reason why bread becomes too dense is due to using flour with low protein content. When your loaf is spongy and heavy, you might have also put too much flour into it or made the dough in a cooler or too warm setting.

Bread baking may seem simple. You’ll need the most common ingredients for baking bread: flour, water as well as salt, and yeast.

Even baking bread frequently and possessing advanced bread baking techniques it is impossible to know what could be wrong. The most frequently encountered bread baking issue is when the bread is too thick.

In this post, you’ll discover the reason your bread will be heavy and dense, and how could be done to help make the bread lighter and airy.

Why Is My Bread So Dense?

If your bread is too dense and similar to a brick, don’t throw it away. Inspect the bread and begin baking another one following the same recipe. It is crucial to know the root of the issue to avoid it the next time.

However, it’s not always simple to determine the reason for the bread’s dense texture. Many factors can affect the bread’s texture.

Here are a few of the most frequently cited reasons your bread isn’t as dense and weighty:

  1. The wrong type of flour
  2. Too too much flour
  3. Insufficient moisture
  4. The kitchen is hot
  5. Inaccurate measurements
  6. Kneading or under-kneading
  7. Improper molding
  8. Under-baking
  9. Over- or under-rising
  10. Incorrect activation or yeast
  11. Too deep in the scoring
  12. Don’t let the bread cool

We’ll discuss each of these errors below, as well as the ways to ensure you don’t suffer an accident in the future.

1. Different Flours

The main ingredient is flour in bread making and it’s not a surprise to find that the incorrect kind can make your bread heavy and dense.

For baking light and fluffy bread, it is necessary to choose flour that has high levels of protein. If you choose to use flour with lower protein levels, you’ll be left with the bread being dense.

The reason for this is the fact that flour varieties with low protein aren’t able to form a strong gluten network. That’s the reason dough is flexible as well as bread soft.

The amount of protein in flour varies based on the kind of flour. When you purchase flour for baking bread for yourself, be sure you know how much protein it has.

It is essential to make use of flour that has at least a protein level of 10 10%. It is best to choose flours that have a protein content as high as 13 percent.

Remember that the protein amount for the exact flour will differ from one brand to the next brand. It is always recommended to choose the brand of flour that is mentioned in the recipe you’re following.

If the name of the brand isn’t mentioned within the recipes, be sure to verify the protein content required for the bread you’re baking.

In all cases, it’s going to be a matter of trial and trial and error until you know what works best for the particular flour brand you’re using.

2. Too Much Flour

Even if you select the correct flour, if you overdo it your bread will come out heavy and dense.

The addition of too excessive flour in the dough is a common error, particularly for those who are new and don’t know how it is what bread dough ought to look like.

The dough should be soft and somewhat sticky once you’re finished making the dough by mixing dry ingredients along with your liquid ingredient.

After the ingredients have been mixed and you notice that the dough is too sticky, do not rush to make more additions of flour. Place the dough on the kneading space and begin the kneading process.

When you begin to knead your dough loses some of its stickiness. Add flour only when it’s so sticky that there’s no way to work it.

If your dough won’t stay sticky regardless of what you try take a look at our article on solutions to the stuck dough.

3. Insufficient Moisture

In certain instances, you might think that you’ve over-priced the flour. However, the actual issue may be due to the lack of moisture. Making less water available in the dough than necessary creates a dense as well as wet dough.

The issue with dry dough regardless of whether it’s because of excessive flour or much water it is that yeast isn’t able to create and produce its magic.

If you’re having trouble getting the ideal texture for the dough, remember that it will take some time and perhaps a couple of unsuccessful attempts until you understand the specifics of your recipe to achieve the ideal texture.

4. Your Kitchen Is Too Hot

If you’re new to making bread, then you might be amazed to discover that the temperature in your kitchen plays a significant part in the bread’s texture.

If it’s too hot within your home, your bread could be too dense upon the proofing. This is due to the yeast fermenting faster when it’s warmer in space. This makes the dough rise to its maximum capacity, and then collapse.

On the other hand, If it’s cold in the area in which you’ve put the dough to ferment, it won’t be fermenting or fermenting in a small amount. Lack of gas and fermentation that makes the dough aerate results in dense and heavy bread.

In these cases, it is either necessary to allow the dough to be proof longer or move it to the warmer room.

5. Inaccurate Measurements

Have you ever considered that making use of measuring cups instead of measuring might be the reason your bread is so dense and heavy? We suggest using a kitchen measurement cup instead. Scales allow you to accurately measure every ingredient.

When using measuring cups, you don’t be aware of how many of the essential ingredients are contained in the cup. For instance, when measuring flour using a cup, you don’t know if the flour contained in it is packed tightly.

You’re at risk of getting a more dense dough than you expected using the recipe you’ve been following. A scale can bring your baking process more efficient and will give you achieve consistent results when baking. We love this highly precise kitchen scale to meet all of the baking requirements.

6. Over or Under-Kneading

Some feel that it is difficult to knead the dough too is too exhausting. Yet, kneading can be one of the primary aspects of the baking process. A dough that isn’t properly kneaded bakes up into a poor-quality bread.

It is recommended to knead the dough to speed up the growth of the gluten process. Furthermore, kneading raises the temperatures of the dough which help the yeast ferment faster.

The yeast digests the sugar contained in the flour and releases gasses. These gases make the bread airier and more pliable.

It will take between 10 and 20 minutes to make the dough for your bread. If you’re new to baking bread Your hands will likely become tired after a couple of minutes when you begin the kneading.

If this occurs you need to take a break and resume kneading once you have reached your desired level of consistency.

Some professionals knead the dough using mixers and believe that you can do it at home as well. However, kneading dough successfully using a mixer can only be achieved using professional equipment.

A standard hand mixer or a stand mixer intended for use at home isn’t efficient at kneading bread dough. You may prefer to make use of a Danish dough whisk specially designed to make the hand-kneading dough and mix it simpler.

How do you tell that you’ve worked the dough enough? Easy! Bakers who have experience have devised an easy method known as “the test of the windowpane.

This involves using a small amount of dough. Then stretch it with your thumbs as well as your first two fingers. This dough must stretch out without breaking until you can see the light shining through it.

If your dough can pass this test, then it’s prepared to go through the final rise, the proofing phase.

It’s recommended to take your time to knead the dough by hand to create a soft bread however, over kneading could be a problem since it causes the dough to stiffen as well as lose its flexibility.

Do not knead your bread for enough to pass the test of the window pane.

7. Improper Molding

Do not just form your dough in a round, then bake it. Be patient and shape the dough properly, since it will produce a more dense loaf.

Make the dough into the desired shape before the final rising, ensuring that you make sure you create enough tension through folds.

When you fold the dough into the middle it creates tension in the outside of the bread. This causes the bread to expand and then become airy.

A dough that is not properly formed won’t rise and will bake into a bulky slice of bread.

8. Under-Baking

The bread could be too dense if you bake it the wrong way. it. While every bread recipe will provide the amount of time you should bake your bread, the oven is the one that determines the baking duration or your bread maker machine.

To determine whether your bread has been baked or not, check with the food thermometer. We recommend the one below to ensure instant precision. The temperature inside well-baked bread ranges from around 190 to 210 degF.

If you don’t own an oven thermometer, take the bread out of the oven, and then tap the bottom. If it makes a hollow sound then the bread is baked.

9. Over or under-rising

The dough will become fluffy and airy after it has had sufficient opportunity to rest. The proofing process that is final for the bread is vital and it is suggested to utilize the Proofing Basket to finish the rise to create a beautiful dough.

In general, bread dough is raised two times to make a perfect loaf, but you could make your bread rise three times or more.

A dough that has not been over-proofed, nor under-proofed is a light and airy dough. To verify if the dough is rising enough and is ready to go into the oven, perform the test of poke.

You can poke the dough with your fingers and see what happens. If the dough returns to its original form quickly it will require more time to get up to speed.

If it does not recover quickly If it does, then your bread is proofed well and ready to bake. If the dough does not spring back, it is because you over-proofed it.

10. Incorrect Activation or Wrong Yeast

For the bread to appear soft and fluffy, You must ensure that your yeast ferments correctly. It’s not just the temperature in your kitchen, but also the activity of the yeast.

Also, you must add the yeast to warm water to activate it. Hot water (above 110 degrees F) can kill yeast, whereas cold water is not going to make it active. The temperature of the water that you add the yeast should be in the vicinity of 100degF.

Apart from the temperatures of your tap water, you have been attentive to the date printed on the packaging of the yeast. If the yeast has expired and is not active regardless of the recipe you put it in the mix, you won’t make a fluffy slice of bread.

Also, you must ensure you’re using appropriate yeast and don’t use alcohol or Brewer’s yeast that could cause a flat, thick, and bitter loaf.

11. Scoring Too Deep

Scoring appears to be one of the easiest steps during the baking process of bread the only thing you have to do is cut a few holes in the bread before baking it. Some even believe that the sole reason to score bread is to look attractive after baking it.

The truth is that there’s more to scoring than you imagine. If you score your bread too deep or get too carried away and cut too many times across it will be cut too much and the dough will not release the gas it has collected inside it. This means that you’ll end up with dense and heavy bread.

To make the bread more fluffy make sure you score it when the proofing process is finished. Cut a few slits into the surface of the dough, and then put it in the oven.

By doing this, you can stop the dough from burning when it is baked and releases all the gasses that have been accumulated inside the dough.

12. Don’t Let The Bread Cool

If the bread that you baked is just now out of the oven you might want to cut it right away and try it. But, it is important to allow the bread to cool before cutting it. Additionally, you must be sure to cool it down properly so as so that you don’t get chewy or dense bread.

After you have taken the bread from the oven, allow it to cool completely without wrapping it in an absorbent towel. When the bread cools, the excess moisture is released from it, creating soft and airy bread.

When you cover the bread with an absorbent towel as it is cooling, you can trap the moisture within. This results in the bread becoming thick and heavy.

Making sure that the bread is properly cooled is the only way to enhance the texture of the loaf after the bread has been baked. you have baked it.

Why Is My Bread Chewy?

Apart from being extremely dense, bread can also be extremely hard and chewy. One of the major factors that make a dough chewy is the use of flour which has an extremely high quantity of protein.

In the previous article that it’s recommended to choose flour with 11 to 13 percent protein. But, using flour that has high levels of protein excessively high in the range may cause chewy dough.

Chewy bread is what our forefathers baked and enjoyed but it’s not necessarily the end of the road However since a wide range of flower types are readily available, it’s much more appealing to enjoy the light and fluffy bread when you’re able to make it yourself.

Fixing Chewy Bread

Two ways that you can reduce the amount of bread that is chewy. One is using an alternative flour that has low protein content. You can also use flour with a lower protein content to help bring the texture into the right balance.

Plain or all-purpose flour is a must-have in every kitchen, could quickly save the day, and help make bread less chewy when it is added to the dough with high protein flour.

Another way to make sure to ensure that the bread doesn’t turn out chewy is to add a sort of fat.

There are a variety of bread recipes that use eggs or milk as well as other ingredients that have fat and enhance the texture of your dough.

Profile Image Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, Editor of Boyd Hampers! Norah is a food writer with over a decade of experience in hospitality as a pastry chef, sous chef, and barista; former chef at the Savoy Hotel, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons and Plaza Hotel.

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1 comment

This is great information thank you o will put into practice but because of my arm I use a sunbeam quantum bread machine , makes lovely bread it’s true about the flour type I do wonder why some people use oil

Rachelle Kilgour

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