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Soft, moist homebaked bread that stays that way (especially sweet dough) - am I asking too much?

w
wayne keyser Dec 24, 2006 10:16 AM

The title says it all - sometimes you want your baked goods soft, and then you want them to stay that way for more than 15 minutes. I made a great batch of nice soft cinnamon rolls, but 6 hours later (covered, of course) they were as tough as store-bought ones three days old (still tasty, though).

So what do I have to do to give my softer baked goods a little lkonger shelf life?

  1. krissywats Dec 24, 2006 11:19 AM

    I think preservatives are what give the longer self-life.

    Try the microwave trick - ten to fifteen seconds in the microwave with all those water and fat and sugar molecules you'll have a soft, slightly warm cinnamon roll again. Works with any bread item.

    Good luck!

    1. j
      Jcooks Dec 24, 2006 03:25 PM

      are you incorporating too much flour? The dough should be moist, but not wet. Also, perhaps if you pulled them out of the oven a few minutes earlier.

      1. b
        ben61820 Dec 24, 2006 04:27 PM

        yes, first off, a lot of homebakers are quick to learn/realize that all our home-baked goods will NEVER last like what we have prolly all grown up on - store-bought, preservative-filled junk. its just nature of the beast. but, see, there in lies some of the beauty. really. these are ephemeral things. without sounding too corny, the beauty of the home-baked good is that it is fresh, made with our own hands and our own TIME. that goodness will only last so long. really, would we want it to last much longer? the value of that freshness and REALNESS (for lack of a better word) would be lost, wouldnt it?

        on a more practical note, if you are talking straight bread when you say baked goods, i would recommend perhaps overhauling your breadbaking technique to incorporate the use of something called a preferment. this is pretty much making a little bit of basic dough before actually starting the 'real' or 'main' dough, as it were. you let this basic mixture of a little, little bit of yeast, flour and water sit and begin fermenting for 12 hours, overnight, or a full 24 hours if possible. i dont know too much science, but suffice to say that your finished product (which admittedly takes a long time in the end to produce, we're talking 2-3 days of 'breadmaking') will then have a much longer shelflife. i make this kind of bread routinely and i get, with no exageration at all, probably a full 6, maybe seven, days of life out of a slice loaf. my ingredients are as simple as possible: flour, water, salt, and yeast. thats it. no fat or sweetners for extending the life at all. four basic ingredients (a little cracked black pepper might have found its way in along the way i suppose...) and it works beautifully. this is serious breadmaking, but it is SO worth the effort and time investment. amazing what one can produce.

        if, on the other hand, you are talking more dessert-y, cinnamon roll-type goodies, yeah, youll just have to toss it in the microwave for 10 secs or something to soften it up. the nice part with these type things is that there is so much fat and sugar and whatnnot that, like the above poster mentioned, a little time in the microwave (or oven for that matter) WILL re-produce a nice little reheated goodie.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ben61820
          Father Kitchen Dec 24, 2006 08:10 PM

          As ben61280 notes, straight dough method breads will stale quickly. That's why baguettes are baked four times a day in Paris, for they will stale in about three hours. Preferments, and long rise and especially sourdough breads all have better shelf life than does a straight-method bread. The reason behind this is the starches. In baking, starches in the dough turn into starch gels (like what happens when you make a gravy). With time, sometimes very little time, these gels recrystalize into a lattice structure. The result is what we call stale bread. Certain things added to dough will slow down this process. They include dairy products, lipids, and sugar. But sugar, because it is hygroscopic, competes with the yeast for moisture. So you need more yeast or an osmotolerant yeast. I would suggest that you go on-line and simply look up cinnamon rolls recipes--Cooks.com has tons of them. Or better still, get a good bread book. Look for something that has a fairly rich dough--butter or oil, eggs and/or milk, and sugar or honey. The trade off, however, will be that you will taste these "improvers" more and the wheat of the bread less. But you will get a soft bread that keeps. Still, I'm amazed that home-baked cinnamon roles lasted six hours! Merry Christmas or a blessed Hannukah and happy baking.

          1. re: ben61820
            r
            roseannepaul Jul 8, 2011 12:53 PM

            Dear Ben61820:
            sorry I do not know your name, so I have to call you your username.
            I saw your post how to avoid bread from stale. it is the only one I find useful information , which I have searched for long time . I try to follow your steps in detail to make the bread lasting long times without stale. since your description is pretty simple. I still get stale bread.
            could you please tell me detail steps for non-stale bread you made.
            (I am not sure whether you could get my email, since your posting is 4 years ago.I hope you could get my email and help me )

            thanks
            roseanne

          2. DanaB Dec 24, 2006 04:34 PM

            Storing bread in a plastic bag and cinnamon rolls in a plastic tupperware container will help to keep them soft.

            However, freshly baked bread will never stay as soft as the store-bought stuff, as others have already pointed out.

            1. l
              L987 Jul 8, 2011 03:32 PM

              use cold milk (works with fresh yeast anyway) and room temperature butter when u making the dough

              1 Reply
              1. re: L987
                r
                roseannepaul Jul 8, 2011 03:53 PM

                Dear L987:

                thanks for quick response!

                one thing I would like to know. in your answer , do you refer to the bread making methed of Ben61820? if so, is this for small starting dough which will be ued for large dough?

                and also, if the preferment takes too long for this small dough, like in summer times, is it possible that the dough will be over ferment?
                and also once the small dough preferment is ready, how to evenly create large dough?

                thanks
                roseannepaul

              2. f
                Floridagirl Jul 8, 2011 03:46 PM

                White bread 101 from King Arthur Flour Bakers Companion is right up there. I gotta agree with you on that one, sometimes you just want the soft great white bread, no whole wheat and to tell you the truth, I make that more than any other bread. I live alone and give away lots of bread but that one, when people come over, is the one they ask for. Used to be whole grain afficianado but no more. The bread is delicious. Seems to last long enough but I just tell everybody to eat up because I'm out of preservatives. No answer, sorry. Eat lots of bread.

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