I would like to make the dense&soft bread like the bottom one and the taste is plain not sweet. What techniques will make bread closer to the one I want? I also want it to be chewy, not just soft.

Comparison between normal bread and the dense bread

  • Requests for recipe recommendations are off-topic; everyone has their own favorites. However, if you have a recipe already you can ask for help improving it - just be specific about what you want.
    – razumny
    Mar 17, 2014 at 8:22
  • I have no experience before, just want to know where to start for chewing and dense bread.
    – user23839
    Mar 17, 2014 at 8:34
  • 1
    Opposite question of interest cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/1731/…
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Mar 17, 2014 at 10:11
  • 2
    Swapping recipes is off topic here. But asking what technique to use to achieve a certain result is very much on topic. So I edited your question to not contain the red flag word "recipe". I also put the "chewy" requirement from your comment into the question body.
    – rumtscho
    Mar 17, 2014 at 13:10
  • 1
    @Optionparty whole wheat does improve density, but makes a very different type of dense bread. It is neither soft nor chewy, and doesn't look like the picture.
    – rumtscho
    Mar 17, 2014 at 13:10

3 Answers 3


It is hard to say without seeing the whole loaf, but the crust and crumb of that bread look like a pullman loaf.

A pullman loaf

Pullman bread (usually called pan de mie in Europe) involves baking the bread in a pan with a tight fitting lid. As the bread proofs, it comes in contact with the lid. This restriction causes the bread to retain a very fine crumb since it can't expand too much. This fine crumb, and the soft crust caused by being completely surrounded by a pan, make pullman loaves ideal for sandwiches.

Sometimes mass-produced proof-and-bake breads for grocery chains will have a similar texture, but it is usually a combination of making the bread with shortening and a bit of sugar for tenderness, and a lot of dough relaxers and oxidizers to control the texture.


It is hard to achieve what you want. Starch makes bread soft, gluten makes it chewy. Normally, you would want flour low in protein for soft bread and flour high in protein for chewy bread. The protein in the bread combines to form gluten during kneading, which is chewy. The chewy bread is also less dense, as the rising process is a bit like filling tiny baloons with gas, and the gluten "baloon walls" stretch better and make larger holes.

What you can do is to opt for AP flour, which has a medium protein content. It will be softer than bread made with bread flour. You have to use a finely milled flour, whole wheats won't work at all (they will make the bread dense but not soft). I am a bit puzzled as to what amount of kneading to suggest. For bread like on your picture, I would say that you should underknead a bit, to make it soft. But the more you knead, the chewyer your bread gets.

To make the bread softer, I would use milk instead of water. Breads made with (full fat) milk normally look like the one in your picture.

Adding an egg yolk (or pure lecithine, if you have it) will make it a bit softer too, and give it a smooth quality. Don't add whole eggs, as the egg white makes it more dry/tender, less supple/soft. A little bit of fat is also a filler which makes for softer, denser bread. These are not as important as the milk though. You will have to try around a bit and see what you prefer.

The optimal hydration is probably 60%. I have seen (and made) bread of roughly your style with 60% and AP flour. More will give you larger holes; less will make the bread denser, but also less soft.

To make it dense, you want a short rise. Skip the punching altogether; rise once, then shape, proof in the pan, and bake. Don't use a pizza stone or a preheated pan, these will give you large holes.

  • Adding potato (either mashed or dried flakes) also can help achieve a soft, tightly crumbed loaf.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Mar 17, 2014 at 13:12
  • @SAJ14SAJ maybe you overlooked what the OP posted in a comment: he/she also wants a chewy bread. The starch added from the potato will reduce chewiness. Still, it is one more option to try out while aiming at the desired balance.
    – rumtscho
    Mar 17, 2014 at 13:16
  • @rumtscho Thank you so much rumtscho. The hydration is the %of water (or milk) compared to the rest of the recipe, am I understand correctly? and when you say skip the punching altogether you mean that you suggest not to knead? just mix and let it rise 1 time? you are really cool ^^
    – user23839
    Mar 17, 2014 at 14:08
  • does the straight dough process or sponge dough process make differences which one is suitable for my project?
    – user23839
    Mar 17, 2014 at 14:27
  • Hydration is usually measured against bakers percentage, where the flour is 100% by weight, and each other ingredient is in a ratio to that, so a recipe with 1000g flour and 600g water would have 60& hydration. I understand that some European traditions use the water as the 100% ingredient.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Mar 17, 2014 at 16:17

Reducing the amount of yeast, in my experience, will make a denser bread. Below is a photo of a French style white loaf made with 50% the amount of yeast I would normally use. The bubbles are noticeably smaller, and the texture is different.

Does reducing the amount of yeast give the desired effect, or get any closer to it, for you?

Bread made with 50% yeast

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.