Be it making French toast or making sandwiches; bread is important for every kitchen. With this being said, some people buy bread from the supermarket while some people prefer to bake the bread themselves. If you are the latter one and struggling with homemade bread crust too hard issues, we have outlined the probable reasons and tips to fix this issue!
Homemade Bread Crust Too Hard
1) Temperature & Time
When it comes down to baking bread, time, and temperature play an important role in the outcome. For instance, if you are baking the bread for too long or at a too warm temperature, it’s going to lead to a harder crust. When it comes down to the time, we are talking about the rise time because a higher rise time will lead to a harder crust. In addition, if you are using the refrigerator for letting the bread rise, keep it around one hour.
If you are using the right temperature and time, you need to keep in mind that flour might lead to the issue as well. This is because when people use all-purpose flour for baking the bread, it might lead to hard crust issues. It’s better that you use the bread flour for baking bread.
Okay, so you are already using the bread flour, but if you are kneading the flour incorrectly, it’s going to adversely impact the texture and appearance of the bread. This usually happens with the kneading machines because they over-knead the flour. On the other hand, if you are kneading by hand, there might be an under-kneading issue. It is better to use the windowpane test for ensuring bread is kneaded properly.
While baking bread, you will know that degassing is essential, and improper degassing will lead to hard crust issues. This is because improper punching of bread will destroy the cells that are responsible for holding air in the dough. As a result, the bread crust will become too hard. So, make sure that you are degassing the bread properly.
5) Steam Bath
Well, if you are using the steam bath methods with lean bread dough, keep in mind that it can lead to a chewy and harder crust. The prime reason people use a steam bath is that it helps with proper oven springing, promising a flexible crust. However, the hard crust issue will be persistent.
6) Incorrect Dough
To begin with, if you are baking lean bread, it is supposed to have a hard and crisp crust. As a result, you could be using the right temperature, time, and gassing technique, but it will still lead to such crust. So, it’s better to go with other bread styles. For instance, the bread with eggs, butter, and milk will have a soft curst. In addition, you can brush the melted button on the crush to ensure it doesn’t harden up.
7) Olive Oil
The hard crust with bread is such an issue for some people, but there are always some solutions available. With this being said, you can add a bit of olive oil (one tablespoon is enough), and it will help soften the crust. You should add olive oil while kneading dough for the bread.