The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts
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Hippytea's picture

crispy crust softens on cooling :-(

November 27, 2014 - 12:34am -- Hippytea

There is a sadness in my life.

I bake loaves of lovely bread which come out of the oven with a crisp crackling crust, but by the time they've cooled down, it's gone soft. They still look picture perfect, but not a whisper of crunch remains.

I bake at the max temperature for my oven, about 270C with fan for the first 20min, then turn it down to about 180-200C until it sounds hollow. I use a preheated cast iron griddle (flat) as a baking stone and I put water in a tray on the bottom to make steam.

mpfoskin's picture

Just trying to come to grips with the site for a moment...thanks, and nice to meet you all

sings2high's picture

Hello from rural southern New Jersey

November 26, 2014 - 5:03pm -- sings2high

Yes, there is "rural" in New Jersey.  Don't ask "which exit" because the turnpike bypasses the rural parts of the state.  We have farms, county fairs and rodeo (Google for "Cowtown NJ").

I just found this website today.  I so hope it will help me get my bread-baking mojo back.  I've been making my own whole grain bread since the 70's.  My mom's recipe is so good it won a blue ribbon at the county fair.  There were teachers at my high school who would pay top dollar for a loaf of my bread anytime I brought one in.

Hippytea's picture

Long Time Lurker Gets Account

November 26, 2014 - 12:40pm -- Hippytea

Hello all!

I've loved this site for a long time, I've read many of the articles and forum threads, and finally decided that if I like it that much, I should get an account of my own. I habitually take pictures of my bread anyway, if I post them on here it will mean I am an Enthusiast, rather than just being... well... slightly strange.

ladle24's picture

oatmeal bread troubleshooting

November 26, 2014 - 12:22pm -- ladle24


I have read several of of the threads on here about oatmeal bread after having trouble with 2 batches in a row. The standard bread I make for our family is a whole wheat loaf.  I typically make it in batches of 8 loaves mixed and stored in a rubbermaid underbed storage bin (shallow and wide), using stretch and fold method.

joebobjim's picture

How to get a smooth surface where the bread is scored during baking?

November 26, 2014 - 12:06pm -- joebobjim

My rough scoring lines

Smooth scoring lines

Hi all,

I've been doing SD bread for a few months now with some good results. I've finally started honing in on a recipe/schedule that suits me but I'm having a consistent issue that I can't seem to resolve. It's not big problem in terms of flavour/texture, more of an issue of aesthetics really.

dabrownman's picture

Every year we bake up a simple bread for Thanksgiving stuffing.  Sometimes it is a poolish, sometimes it is yeast water or a YW and SD combination and sometimes, like this year, it is a simple SD near white bread.


The near 100% hydration levain was built in (3) 4 hour stages to 105 g from 5 g of rye 66% hydration starter that had been retarded for 12 weeks.  Each stage was progressively larger and none was tossed.  The added flour and water was 50 g each and half the flour used for the levain was whole wheat and half was whole rye - 25 g each.  The levain was then retarded for 12 hours after it had doubled.


The whole grains in the levain were 15% of the flour and the dough flour was half LaFama AP and half KA bread flour.  The dough hydration was 67% and the overall hydration was 71%.  The dough flour was autolysed for 1 hour with the slat sprinkled on top.


Yes, this is the basic 1:2, 3 recipe for sourdough and one of my favorites and fabul;ous if retarded.  This ended up being a pretty slack dough for some reason.but it did finally come together after 3 sets of slap and folds of 8, 1 and 1 minute and 3 sets of stretch and folds from the compass points only - all on 20 minute intervals.


After a 10 minute rest it was pre-shaped into a longish batard and then final shaped to fit into the rice floured, cloth lined basket.  Before it when in seam side up I did lightly flour the top of the dough knowing, since it was so wet, that it would stick otherwise.


I put the bagged basket on a heating pas and proofed it at 82 F for 6 hours.  The oven was preheated to 550 F with Mega Steam placed on the bottom rack.   Once the dough was un-molded onto parchment on a peel, It was so warm and wet it immediately started to spread. The batard was slashed 3 times and slid onto the bottom stone for 12 minutes of steam. 


2 minutes later the oven was turned down to 450 F for the final 10 minutes of steam.  Once the steam came out, we turned the oven down to 425 F - convection and baked the bread for another 10 minutes until it read 210 F on the inside when it was removed to a cooling rack.


It sprang, bloomed and browned nicely for being so spread out.  It smelled great when it came out of the oven too.  The crust came out thin and crisp but it did go soft by the next morning  The crumb was nicely open, moist, glossy and soft. The taste was lnot quite medium sour and more so the next morning.  This bread is better if retarded from a taste point of view and very close the old style SFSD of yore.


This bread is perfect for this year’s Thanksgiving stuffing.  After having a couple of slices toasted with butter and jam for breakfast this morning, my wife pinched half it for gifting at work.  This is her kind of bread!.  Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!




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