Is Your Dough Too Chewy? Here's What You Did Wrong

When everyone's favorite pandemic activity became baking bread, a startling realization came upon many: It's really easy to mess up the dough. While this issue isn't exclusive to starchy loaves, it's usually abundantly clear when you struggle to chew the end product.

Dough is used in plenty of situations outside just bread, so it is important that you make it correctly. One big issue many amateur bakers discover after pulling their creations out of the oven is that the end product is way too chewy. It doesn't matter how good the flavor is if it's just plain difficult to eat.

The good news is that this problem can easily be rectified. Just a couple of little tweaks in the preparation process, and your baked goods should be as good as new — as long as "new" means they taste like they came out of a professional bakery.

If you're struggling to get your baked goods just right, keep reading to learn how to get your dough perfect every single time.

You probably need to mix your dough a little less

If your dough is consistently coming out too chewy, there's probably one main culprit to blame: the gluten in the flour. "When the gluten within your dough or batter has been over-activated, it can lead to tough, dense dough that will result in unpleasantly chewy baked goods," according to Food & Wine.

"Over-activated gluten" might sound like a science experiment so complicated you can't imagine how you'd accomplish that yourself, but it usually just stems from mixing or kneading the dough a little too much. And since the mistake is so easy to make, you'll be pleased to know the solution is just as simple.

"To correct this, mix your dough on a slower level until your batter or dough has just been combined, rather than mixing on high," the Food & Wine article suggests.

Alternatively, you can mix all of your wet and ingredients separately, and then combine them together all at once. Do this in place of adding your wet ingredients one at a time and mixing between each new addition. If you combine just one group of wet ingredients, you'll end up mixing the dough a lot less, keeping your gluten from becoming over-activated.

If the solution for chewy baked good is actually just doing less work, it seems like a perfect excuse to make an extra batch of your favorite treats.