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Why is My Homemade Bread Crust So Hard

Why is My Homemade Bread Crust So Hard? Resolved (2023)

Last Updated on January 31, 2023 by Lori Walker

Homemade bread is a delicious and satisfying treat, but sometimes the crust can come out too hard and unappealing. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering why your homemade bread crust is so hard, you’re not alone.

Let’s see some of the common causes of a hard bread crust and find tips on how to prevent it.

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or new to the art of bread-making, our team will help you to create soft, flavorful bread with a perfect crust every time. 

8 Reasons Why Your Homemade Bread Crust Is Hard

1. Excessive Temperature

bread in an oven

Baking at an excessive temperature could make your bread as hard as a rock. Remember: an excessively hot oven is unsuitable for all kinds of bread [1]. 

This cooks your bread so fast, which means it is not cooked thoroughly. 

Therefore, the right temperature must be observed to achieve the perfect loaf.

Read: How Many Sandwiches Can You Make From A Loaf Of Bread?

2. Overbaking

Overbaking happens when you put the bread at an excessively high oven temperature, which could result in a thick and hard crust. 

Before starting the baking process, ensure you know the exact temperature your pastry needs.

3. It Lacks Moisture

Adding too much flour can result in moisture loss. Hence, try adding milk, butter, or any oils needed and properly measure the ingredients being used.

Also, use the right water ratio in your dough. 

4. Under or Over Kneading

kneading a bread dough

Knead the dough enough or use kneading machines to incorporate all the ingredients properly.

Under kneading makes it break easily while overdoing it makes it hard to stretch. 

You can use a windowpane test to determine whether your recipe has achieved the right consistency.

5. You Didn’t Knock Down The Dough

Bread making involves knocking down the dough to burst out all the air bubbles. 

This creates a hollow sound but results in a smoother texture, depending on your recipe. 

6. Excessive Rising

Excessive rising time may cause your crust to become too hard. 

For instance, putting it in the refrigerator should not take more than an hour, or a soft crust won’t be achieved. 

Remember, the higher the rising time, the harder the dough becomes.  

7. High Humidity

Highly humid weather tends to make your bread dough stickier and softer than normal, which might prompt you to add more flour to your dough.

To avoid this, reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe when you bake bread. 

8. Wrong Type of Flour

flour on a glass bowl

Using the wrong flour could affect your pastry’s texture, resulting in a harder crust. Choose the right flour for making bread to ensure good taste and texture.

But is it okay to use bread flour for pie crust?

Tips & Tricks To Make Your Crust Softer 

Create a soft dough with enough moisture (depending on your recipe), but avoid putting too much oil, like olive oil, sunflower oil, and melted butter. 

“If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.” 

Robert Browning, Poet

Then, set the oven temperature right to bake the bread thoroughly, and don’t forget to check your dough in the oven. 

To soften the crust and prevent hard bread, use a damp towel or cloth, plastic bag, lighter-colored baking pan, or bread baking stones.

Find out if you can bake premade graham cracker crust here.

FAQs

How do you keep bread crust from getting hard? 

To avoid getting a hard crust, ensure your dough does not lack moisture and the oven is not set too high. You may also use a plastic bag to store your dough. 

Why is my homemade bread hard as a rock?

It may be due to factors such as lacking moisture, wrong kneading technique, excessive rising, and baking in too hot temperatures [2]. 

Other factors may include adding more water than it should have, using too much oil, or overbaking it.

How do I get a good crust on home-baked bread?

Measure all the ingredients in your mixture and avoid putting too much. Also, do not forget to set your oven right and check it from time to time until the bread bakes. 

Additionally, do not set the oven to a high temperature when cooking your loaf of bread as it may result in a harder crust.    

Find out why there is a crust on top of your lemon bars here.

Why does homemade bread go hard quickly?

Too much moisture may be the reason, and sitting it in the refrigerator for too long. 

Kneading can also affect its texture, so only knead until the dough rises and avoid using dark tins.

Why is my bread hard on the bottom?

It is hard in the bottom because it is closer to the tin or pan.  Additionally, heat is coming beneath it, and excessive heat can cause contribute to its hardness. 

In A Nutshell

Now you know why you failed to achieve the slightly crispy texture you wish to have and what you can do to achieve the perfect crunch.

Take note that different pastries have varying needs, so it is best to figure out first exactly what your recipes require.

References:

  1. https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/best-oven-temperature
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6801284/
Lori Walker

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