How to Create Airy Bread: A Beginner's Guide (2024)

Looking to try your hand at bread baking? Or maybe you've mastered creating a delicious loaf of bread and are now searching for ways to make it a bit airier? Making a light and airy bread is easy! With the right balance of ingredients, you can make an airy loaf of bread that will give your local bakery a run for its money. To help you get started, our Bob's Red Mill Bread Experts have put together this bread making guide, which outlines how you can create an airy bread recipe that everyone will be raving about.

Start With the Right Mix

Creating the perfect loaf of bread begins with using quality ingredients, which you can get with our easy bread mixes. Each mix has been created with a natural blend of quality flours to achieve the perfect ratio of ingredients. This ratio results in a light and airy dough that will satisfy your bread cravings with just one bite. Not sure which bread mix to try out first? Here are a few of our favorites.

Artisan Bread Flour

If you're searching for an ideal, go-to bread flour, then we've found it. Our Artisan Bread Flour is a premium high-protein flour, derived from the highest quality wheat, which makes it ideal for making baguettes, pizza crusts, dinner rolls and sandwich loaves. It's a favorite of artisan bakers and is designed to give you a fluffier bread loaf than other flours.

10 Grain Bread Mix

When baking a loaf of bread, we like to make sure that the result is as great for you as it tastes. For healthy and tasty bread, we recommend making your next loaf with our 10 Grain Bread Mix. Easily the best multi-grain bread you'll have ever baked, it is simple to make and doesn't require much time. The several different grains used in this mix create a deliciously nutty flavor that tastes great when used to make sandwiches, french toast and many other recipes. We love the character of this bread so much, our favorite way to enjoy it is straight from the oven and spread with butter.

Gluten Free Homemade Wonderful Bread

Gluten free baking can be tricky, especially if you're new to it. Whether you struggle with a gluten allergy, someone in your household does, or your cooking for a large group, with the right recipe making gluten free bread can be a breeze. One of the most simple bread mixes around, our Gluten Free Homemade Wonderful Bread Mix, is a gluten free blend that can easily be made by hand. Designed for those sensitive to gluten, it's entirely gluten free. And while the ingredients do vary slightly from traditional bread, it can be enjoyed by just about anyone. It's moist and airy texture is ideal for toast, sandwiches and croutons. To make this mix gluten free, traditional flour is swapped with gluten free flours like whole-grain sorghum flour and tapioca flour.

Perfect Your Yeast Levels

How to Create Airy Bread: A Beginner's Guide (1)

The texture of the bread is mainly dependent on how much gas is in the dough. Carbon dioxide is responsible for all the bubbles that make holes in bread, making it lighter and fluffier. Because gas is created as a result of yeast growth, the more the yeast grows, the more gas in the dough and the more light and airy your bread loaf will be.

So, how do you make a bread dough with healthy levels of yeast? Simply put, you have to control the temperature of the bread. Allowing ample time for your bread dough to rise and the yeast to form will create the holes in the bread that give it a lighter texture. Letting your dough get puffy and grow before it goes into the oven is critical. However, be sure not to let it rise too much. If the yeast in your dough creates too much gas, your mixture may start to blister. If you notice blistering, poke the blisters with a toothpick and get your bread to the oven quick. Once you have a handle on how long it takes your favorite light bread recipe to fully rise, creating a light and airy loaf of bread will be a piece of cake.

Manage the Hydration Levels of Your Bread

Properly hydrating your bread plays an essential part in achieving the right texture. The amount of water you add to your dough directly affects how the crumb in your baked loaf. A more open crumb results in bigger holes and a softer texture, whereas a closed crumb results in a more robust textured bread. Simply put, the more water in your dough, the more open the crumb will be. However, be careful not to overdo it as a watery dough is usually harder to handle and can flop more easily.

The best way to manage the hydration levels of your bread is to start slowly. Begin by increasing the water, or decreasing the amount of flour, in your loaf by a tiny amount. Next, see how you're able to handle the dough. If your dough is very easily shaped, you may be able to increase the hydration slightly. To achieve a more airy loaf, you'll want the dough slightly more watery than you are used to, yet still manageable.

Use a Dough Enhancer

How to Create Airy Bread: A Beginner's Guide (2)

Boost the fluffiness of your bread by using a dough enhancer like Vital Wheat Gluten. All it takes is a small amount of dough enhancer per loaf to create a much lighter and fluffier result. Using a dough enhancer like Vital Wheat Gluten works to improve the texture and elasticity of the dough and elongate the strands of gluten. Doing so allows more room for the gas in the dough to develop and rise. Dough enhancer also improves the growth of the yeast in the bread. By the time your bread is fully baked, you'll end up with a much lighter, fluffier and taller loaf.

Knead Your Dough Properly

One of the most common reasons for dense bread is over or under-kneaded dough. Kneading your dough directly affects gas production, as it increases the rate that fermentation occurs. Without kneading, bread dough will take much longer to ferment fully. Kneading your dough develops the gluten, which in return, forms a more reliable gluten network that accelerates the rate of the yeast fermentation. The structure of gluten plays a massive part in how your bread is formed and the gas production it creates is what develops the air pockets in bread, allowing it to rise. If your dough is not kneaded enough, the right amount of gas will not be released and it will result in a very dense bread with little moisture.

Measure All Ingredients Accurately

How to Create Airy Bread: A Beginner's Guide (3)

There are many reasons that your bread recipe could result in a dry and dense loaf. With all the different steps in bread making, you are probably looking for a simple way to create the perfect dough without adding another step. Making sure all of your ingredients are correctly measured is one of the best ways to avoid creating a loaf that is too dry. While using measuring cups and spoons, might be the method listed out on the recipe, using these tools often results in inaccurate measurements. The biggest problem with measuring cups and spoons is that they measure the ingredients' volume and not its weight. Using these measuring tools may give you a small amount of consistency. However, many professional bakers prefer to weigh their ingredients to create unified results every time.

For a light and airy bread, you'll be proud to say is homemade, we recommend weighing your ingredients in grams. You'll need to invest in a kitchen scale if you haven't already. Kitchen scales can be found for reasonable prices and are the best way to ensure that you're following the recipe precisely as intended.

Shaping Your Bread

Last but not least, you want to make sure that you shape your bread correctly. Before your bread is ready for its final proof, the dough must be molded into its desired shape. When developing the dough, you're knocking the gas out of it, which works to create tension in the crust. The pressure that is created is what supports the dough's shape when rising and forms a crust in the oven. If the shaping is not strong enough, the mixture will begin to spread outwards and not grow properly, resulting in a dense and dry loaf. If you prefer a lighter crust with more bubbles throughout, you'll want to make sure you have a light hand when shaping your dough and not remove all of the gas from it. Though creating tension is still needed, the lighter you are when shaping the dough, the more fluffy your loaf will be.

When it comes to making homemade bread, don't get discouraged if you don't end up with the perfect loaf on your first try. While making light and airy bread may take some practice, we're confident that once you master the process, you will never want to purchase store-bought bread again!

How to Create Airy Bread: A Beginner's Guide (2024)

FAQs

How to Create Airy Bread: A Beginner's Guide? ›

Add Sugar

Sugar acts as a liquifying agent in the dough. Adding sugar weakens the gluten structure, absorbs water, and eventually makes the bread lighter and softer.

What is the secret to light airy bread? ›

Add Sugar

Sugar acts as a liquifying agent in the dough. Adding sugar weakens the gluten structure, absorbs water, and eventually makes the bread lighter and softer.

Why is my homemade bread not airy? ›

If the yeast has expired and is not active regardless of the recipe you put it in the mix, you won't make a fluffy slice of bread. Also, you must ensure you're using appropriate yeast and don't use alcohol or Brewer's yeast that could cause a flat, thick, and bitter loaf.

How to make breadmaker bread less dense? ›

- Use bread flour, not regular all-purpose flour for all bread machine recipes. Bread flour contains a higher percentage of gluten than regular all-purpose flour. Using bread flour will produce taller, less dense loaves.

How do you make bread with lots of air holes? ›

The five things you need to get holes in your bread include:
  1. You need a wet dough to get holes. ...
  2. You need to do the stretch and fold throughout the first rise of the dough. ...
  3. You need to do the final shape of your dough gently so that you don't squish out all the wonderful air holes that have been forming.

What makes bread lighter and fluffier? ›

Well it's simple, bread flour has an increased amount of protein or more gluten which results in a lighter, fluffier dough which produces a less dense finished product. All-purpose flour can be used for bread but bread flour is always better if your goal is a “fluffier” bread.

Does baking soda make bread airy? ›

Baking soda or baking powder are essential for your baked goods to come out light, airy, and with the right texture. Every home needs at least one box of ARM & HAMMER baking soda at all times, for your baking and household needs.

How do you keep homemade bread light and fluffy? ›

Bread boxes, if you have one, work great, but you can also use wax paper, a beeswax and linen bag, or even a dishcloth. A clean dish towel is one of Hartzheim's favorite options. "Plastic bags help keep the crumb (the interior of the loaf) soft but also make the crust soft.

Does letting bread rise longer make it fluffier? ›

Does Rising Bread Affect Its Texture? For a fluffy bread texture, the key is to let the bread rise long enough.

What is the best flour for bread? ›

While bread flour is the best option, it can sometimes be used if you don't have bread flour. “Check the protein content,” advises Chef Jürgen, since it can vary from brand to brand, and an all-purpose flour that contains protein on the higher end of the range, 12 to 13 percent, will produce a better outcome.

How do you make homemade bread fluffier? ›

Dense or heavy bread can be caused by not kneading the dough enough, not letting the dough rise enough, or using too much flour. To fix this issue: try kneading the dough for longer or allowing it to rise for a longer period. You can also try adding a little more liquid to the dough or using a higher protein flour.

Why is my breadmaker bread so heavy? ›

Too much heat or humidity might lead to a too-quick rise and a crevice near the center of your bread. Conditions that are too cold might delay proofing or rising, resulting in a super-dense loaf.

What is the best yeast for a bread machine? ›

The Very Best: Instant Yeast

Instant yeast is the only yeast I ever use in my baking. Always have and always will. The yeast of choice in most restaurant kitchens and commercial bakeries, it's easy and convenient.

How to make homemade bread more airy? ›

How to Create Airy Bread: A Beginner's Guide
  1. Start With the Right Mix.
  2. Perfect Your Yeast Levels.
  3. Manage the Hydration Levels of Your Bread.
  4. Use a Dough Enhancer.
  5. Knead Your Dough Properly.
  6. Measure All Ingredients Accurately.
  7. Shaping Your Bread.
Sep 7, 2020

What is the secret to a soft and fluffy bread? ›

Here's How To Make Soft And Fluffy Bread:

Bread Flour Over All Purpose Flour. Do The Windowpane Test. Proofing At The Right Temperature. Use Weights Instead Of Measuring Cups.

How do I get more air in my dough? ›

This involves gently stretching the dough to elongate the emerging air bubbles, then neatly folding the dough upon itself to keep the dough shape compact. Between stretches and folds you probably need to leave the dough a minimum of an hour, to allow time for the bubbles to grow bigger and new ones to emerge.

How does the bread dough get the tiny air bubbles? ›

The big thing to know here is that in a dough, there are two pathways for bubbles to form: Larger ones of atmospheric air (mostly nitrogen and oxygen) that are incorporated mechanically when the dough is mixed and kneaded, and miniscule ones of CO2 that are forming at nucleation sites throughout the dough.

How to make sourdough bread lighter and fluffier? ›

#1 — Use a lighter flour.

Whole wheat flour (hard red) is the heaviest flour I know. Now, the hard white variety of whole wheat is lighter and sweeter, so that one thing could improve your bread. If you go with spelt or even einkorn, you will get even lighter results, in my experience.

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