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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Breads & Baking / Making bread more "airy" and light?
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    Making bread more "airy" and light?

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    Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:52 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster

    I would like to make some bread that is very light, (airy) and crispy. Can anyone recommend a recipe? Or perhaps a way to change current recipes to have less dough and more crispy crust?

    Any help is appreciated.

    Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:35 am
    Forum Host
    It's important for any recipe that you use the right amount of flour - make sure you are spooning the flour into the cup - if you are dipping it, you compress the flour and end up with up to 25% more flour than you think you have. This is probably the principal reason for dense loaves.

    A wetter dough will rise more and have more air bubbles trapped - this will be the airier loaf you seek. So make sure that you are adding enough water. The dough should be tacky - slightly sticky.

    What method are you using to make your dough - by hand or with a mixer or bread machine?

    To get a greater ratio of crumb to insides, you'd have to shape it as baguettes - long thin loaves.
    Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:54 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Ah, good tips! I will try that with my next loaf! icon_smile.gif

    I usually knead by hand but had used a mixer, with a bread hook, the last couple times.
    Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:12 am
    Forum Host
    I know when I was a beginning baker I used to really get into the kneading and kept adding flour, so that I ended up with something like a brick! I now lightly oil my surface rather than flouring it, just to avoid getting any extra flour into the dough.

    Let us know how it goes.
    Billy Cooks for Passion
    Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:26 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    When I first got my bread machine, I found the loaves came out dense. I now put the machine on dough setting and then do the last rise in the bread pan and bake it in the oven. Much better results, light airy and a nice crust. I hope you try that.....Billy
    Red Apple Guy
    Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:46 am
    Forum Host
    That's all great advice. Wetter dough helps with lightness and leaner dough (flour, water, yeast and salt and not much else) makes for a crispy crust. Having steam in the oven for the first 10 to 15 minutes helps with the crust too. Look for French bread recipes for lean, crunchy loaves. There are lots of tricks for improving the flavor of lean breads.

    Here'a a recipe to play with. Can be made in a loaf pan (makes 2 lbs of dough).
    Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:21 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Thanks for all the replys!

    My last loaf I had made was more watery and turned out lighter! However, I'll have to play with it some more because it still wasn't as airy or crispy as I'd like. A great start though!

    Redappleguy: Thanks for the recipe! I'll try that out next. icon_smile.gif
    Red Apple Guy
    Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:02 pm
    Forum Host
    If you haven't worked with really wet dough much, try 1 1/2 cup of water instead of the 1 3/4 cup in the recipe. My first time with really wet dough, I wanted to shoot Rose Levy Bearanbaum. I had sticky dough from elbow to ear. Takes some practice. 1 1/2 cup should give you tacky dough vs sloppy dough.

    Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:46 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster

    I'm onto my fourth loaf using my 4-week old Black-and-Decker B2200; the third one being a disaster! Anyways, my problem with the "successful" loaves has been that they were all too dense with hard crust. It was helpful to know the advice posted above, but i wonder if you have any advice applicable to a breadmaker. thank you!
    Red Apple Guy
    Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:46 am
    Forum Host
    can you tell us about the recipe you've been using and the cycle selected on your machine?
    By that I mean, basic cycle, dark or light crust, etc.

    Red Apple Guy
    Chef #1304572
    Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:28 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    My experience is that you have to make sure that you don't put too much liquid in your attempts to make bread light or it will be just the opposite , very heavy because it will fall.That's always a dilemma for me and I still have trouble getting it right.
    Chef #1304572
    Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:30 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    I always do that, too, just rise in the machine because my loaves were so inconsistent.
    Chef #1304572
    Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:31 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    I always do that, too, just rise in the machine because my loaves were so inconsistent.
    Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:11 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    One of the two recipes is as follows:

    1 1/4 cups water (26-32 degrees centigrade)
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 1/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. garlic pepper
    2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    3 3/4 cups bread flour
    2 1/4 tsp. yeast
    1/3 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
    3 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley.

    The Program Setting says "French", with a "Description" of "Bakes bread with thin crust and light texture". I selected "medium" out of Light, Medium and Dark using Crust Color Button. Baking Time is 3:50 hours.

    I used 2 1/2 yeast a second time, but it turned out to be the same, i.e., dense bread with a hard crust.

    I really appreciate your advice. Thank you!!
    Red Apple Guy
    Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:49 pm
    Forum Host
    I don't see a problem with the recipe. Try using lighter cups of flour (fill with loose flour by pouring into the measuring cup and leveling off with a knife.

    You might also try a simplier recipe like a french bread (flour, water, salt, yeast) and the French Bread cycle.

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