Gummy bread is when it’s not fully baked. This occurs in breads made with yeast or a chemical leavener, like baking powder or baking soda. It looks wet, moist, spongy, and not fully cooked. This is a very common baking mistake by beginner and veteran bakers. Learn and understand what happens what causes gummy bread and how to fix it.
What Causes Gummy Bread?
There are two main causes:
- Underbaking: The baking time is too short. This could be a recipe error or timer error. This is the most common cause.
- Too much wet or liquid ingredients: The recipe contains too much water, milk, eggs, or yogurt. Additionally, pumpkin puree, banana, shredded zucchini, and oils can cause the batter to become too wet and make gummy bread. Simply, the ratio of wet ingredients are off.
Other common causes to gummy bread:
- Batter is not mixed enough: Batter needs to be fully combined with both the dry and wet ingredients to make a fully cooked bread.
- Gluten free baking: If you’re baking with gluten free flours and starches, there is a good chance the ratio is off. Gluten-free flours need to be properly measured. Additionally, too much almond flour, or any nut flour, can cause gummy bread. Tip: sometimes it is best to buy gluten free baking mixes because the ratios are correct and it’s normally cheaper.
- Baked too soon: If you’re making a yeasted dough, the bread was baked too soon after shaping. Thus, it was under-proofed.
- Oven heat is off: The oven temperature is simply too cold. This is common in older or brand new ovens.
- Not cooled enough: After any bread is baked, it needs to cool completely to seal in the moisture.
What Does Gummy Bread Look Like?
It looks super moist and wet on the inside. The exterior may have a full crust and be golden brown. However, once you open the bread, it looks underbaked and soggy. Look at the photo below of gummy pumpkin coffee cake.
The crust is fully baked. Yet the inside is super moist and underdone. This occurred when I added too many wet ingredients to the batter: mashed banana, eggs, milk, and pumpkin puree. Additionally, I was using some almond flour and tapioca starch. The ratio between the two were off and it caused gummy bread.
You know it is gummy bread when you eat it. It will not taste fully baked, it will taste like batter and soggy bread.
What to Do with Gummy Bread
Gummy bread is simply underbaked bread or bread with too much moisture. When this happens are a few options for you:
- Toss it. If you don’t have the time to problem solve, you can always throw it out and start over with a new recipe.
- Baking it again: Slice the bread into 1 inch pieces. Place on a parchment lined cookie tray and bake again for 150-25 minutes in a 350 degree F oven. The goal is to dry out the bread. After the second baking, it will become more golden in color. The bread may not turn out fully baked, but most of the moisture will be dried out. See photo below. Keep in mind: baking it again won’t always “cure” gummy bread, but it is worth a shot!
- Make croutons: If you have a plain or savory bread, cut the bread up into small pieces and make homemade croutons for your salad and soup. Here is an easy recipe from the Food Network.
- Make bread pudding: If you have sweet bread, cut the bread up and make homemade bread pudding for a delicious dessert. Here is an easy recipe from the Food Network.
- For the future: look at the recipe and decide what went wrong. Was there an accident when measuring wet ingredients? The oven was older and not hot enough? The baking time was off in the recipe? Sometime it is best to start over with a brand new recipe if the baking problem cannot be solve.
Looking for basic breads, muffins, and biscuit recipes to bake? Check out my recipe list for ’em, here.
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