Do you love to bake bread but find your loaf sometimes turns out more dense than you’d like? Or perhaps you just love sweeter, fluffy breads like brioche? Whatever the reason, it’s a common question from members of Bake Bread at Home (my free group for home bread bakers) – how can I bake a softer, more fluffy loaf?

The Epsom Bakehouse citrus brioche

Baking a loaf that’s a bit dense could happen for a number of reasons – for example not adding enough water, not leaving the dough to rise long enough or not baking at a high enough temperature. You can read more about solving these issue on my other blog post here. #

A quick tip on how to bake a softer loaf

But today I wanted to discuss one easy and simple tip you can use to make your loaf softer – something you can do with any loaf that you bake.

The tip is to add one more ingredient to the basic bread recipe of flour, water, salt and yeast. That ingredient is a hard fat of some kind, such as butter.

Why this tip works

Adding any fat will have an effect on your final loaf. Liquid fats such as olive oil will mainly contribute to flavour. But hard fats such as butter will not only add to flavour but will also have an effect on the volume and softness of the finished loaf.

Inside your bread, the gluten protein network (you can read more about gluten in my post here) a ‘scaffold’ that supports your dough as it rises and bakes. This scaffold forms pockets that trap the gas produced by the yeast as the dough rises. A hard fat helps the dough structure to retain gas and volume and softens the overall crumb (inside) of the loaf.

Will you use this tip? Let me know in the comments

So why not try adding a hard fat to the next loaf you make? You could start small – say 30g in 500g of flour – and work up. See what the difference is!
Will you be trying this out? Let me know in the comments below ?.

Watch me demonstrate how to bake a softer loaf

You can also watch more on this tip in the following video, and see how I add in fat to a basic recipe.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog, or have any further breadmaking questions, do let me know in the comments! Or why not check out more breadmaking recipes, hints and tips on the blog.

You can also join my supportive community of home bread bakers over on Facebook. From sharing great bakes and recipes to asking and answering key breadmaking questions, there’s plenty to learn and join in with.