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Why does my bread brown on the outside but remain "wet" on the inside?

I have recently restarted baking bread but I noticed even after changing the temperature, the crumb inside remain dense, and wet, sometimes even raw. Any ideas how I can change this for a basic wheat loaf and/or a white loaf (with sun-dried tomatoes?) Thanks!

asked by Lizziebird over 2 years ago
6 answers 7539 views
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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 2 years ago

My first thought is that you're underbaking it, but many factors contribute to dense bread. If it is underkneaded, the protein structure can't develop properly, so it can't trap pockets of carbon dioxide and then rise. If the top isn't adequately slashed, air can't escape in the heat of the oven. If you could give us your recipe and method you're using, we could probably help you a bit more. The important thing is to persevere!

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added over 2 years ago

Thank you for the help! I have been slashing the top but I wonder if I am baking it at too high a temperature for too short a period or time rather than slow and long. Do you know if 180 C for 30 minutes is too short for a 1/2 lb loaf of traditional whole wheat bread?

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added 2 months ago

Hello, I have been facing the same issue with the two loaves that I baked recently. Let me admit, that this is my first attempt at baking a bread and I followed this recipe: http://www.thekitchn.com...

The first time I used regular flour and the second time I tried whole wheat.

Would be grateful if you could help.

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boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 2 years ago

I take the temperature of breads, especially those made with whole grain. You want to reach an internal temp of at least 85 degrees C (185 F), and I suspect your baking temp is a bit on the low side. Try 190-200 and see if that give you better results.

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AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 2 years ago

I've found that both milk/dairy and sugars in a dough can make the crust brown rather quickly, as can certain dark metal baking pans. My convection oven, even when showing exactly the temperature I want, tends to brown all of my breads rather more quickly than other ovens I've used. I often tent the top of my Pullman loaves with foil after about 20 minutes to reduce over-browning on top. Also, are you taking care not to let the outside of the dough dry out while proofing? That can also prevent the dough from rising, resulting in a more dense crumb. And thirty minutes doesn't sound long enough, even for a 1/2 pound loaf. But as Cynthia said, the internal temperature is what matters, and any number of factors could be at play here. ;o)

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added 24 days ago

It could be that your oven temperature is too high, or it could be that the recipe isn't good. I'd get a cheap oven thermometer (this one from Amazon is good: Cooper-Atkins 24HP-01-1 Stainless Steel Bi-Metal Oven Thermometer, 100 to 600 degrees F Temperature Range) and make sure it's accurate; you also should preheat the oven for at least 30 minutes to get it evenly heated. It's possible that you're measuring flour differently than the cookbook or blog author did when they developed the recipe; I find that it's worth tracking down how they measure flour and making sure I use the same method when I follow their recipe, because you can end up with a 25% difference it seems like, which will definitely completely change your results. It's usually in the cookbook intro or blog FAQ and you can email any cookbook author and they've always emailed me back :) Finally, some recipes just aren't well-written or well-tested; I'm spoiled because I use recipes from King Arthur Flour or America's Test Kitchen which are tested to death, but occasionally I'll use a blog recipe and sometimes they're hit or miss, so it's worth considering that it could be the recipe. Finally, some breads just brown faster on top, so keep a piece of foil handy, and check your bread after the first 15 minutes, and if it seems like it's heading in that same old-familiar direction of over-browning before it's done cooking, pop that foil on top until it's done. Also, grab yourself one of the remote thermometers like this one (http://www.thermoworks... I didn't look closely because the one they made that I have is discontinued, but there might be a cheaper one). It will have a "probe" that you poke into the top of the bread (sometimes I wait ten minutes so it sticks in their better), set the "alert" temperature to 200 degrees, and your thermometer will beep when the bread is done! (Some breads are done at 190 degrees, so if your cookbook says that, do that instead). Works great; you won't ever get doughy bread again, especially if you check it after 15 minutes (and maybe in another 10 minutes) and pop the foil on top if it's browning too quick.

Happy baking!!