The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Crunchie crust

jmcbride's picture

Crunchie crust

I have a question about others experience with crust. I have made several batches of Rustic Bread (excellent recipe by the way). I have found that when my bread comes out of the oven it is nice a crunchie crust, but as it cools it often becomes soft until fully cooled at which time some cruch returns.

I have been baking on a stone in 450F oven with steam.

Anyone with a similar experience? Is this what to expect as the bread cools?


iBuch's picture

This is quite normal. :-)

When the loaf comes out of the oven the crust is hard and then, as the steam from the crumb rises up (you can't see this) and through the crust it moistens and softens it again only for it to harden up a bit when properly cooled.

In my experience it never seems to go quite as crunchy as when you take it out of the oven so if you are looking for extra crunch perhaps bake the loaf for 10-15 minutes longer than normal.

The Australian/English baker Dan Lepard told me that a loaf will actually lighten in colour after being taken out of the oven so if you cook a loaf until it is very dark with a crunchy crust it will be less dark with a less crunchy crust after it has properly cooled. I guess what he was saying is to not judge the loaf by it's cover and to let it go further than you would like to in the oven so that it gets to where you want it to be when cooled.