The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Optimum Wait Time Before Slicing?

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Julie McLeod's picture
Julie McLeod

Optimum Wait Time Before Slicing?

I've heard it said that the flavor of artisan type loaves is improved by letting them sit quite a long time before slicing.  Some even say you shouldn't cut them until the next day.  Can anyone comment on the optimum wait time before slicing?  Particularly, I'm interested in naturally leavened sourdough boules .

Thank you!

davidg618's picture
davidg618

We do wait until the next day before cutting lean sourdough loaves and ryes, and it does make a difference especially in the mouthfeel of the crumb and rye flavor intensifies.

But neither of us has enough self-discipline to not cut into--and devour--a still warm baguette. Actually, we freeze baguettes immediately after they reach room temperature, then thaw them as needed, refresh them in a 375°F oven for 5 minutes and cut them still warm. So I guess I have to say we prefer baguettes slightly oven-warm.

David G

tchism's picture
tchism

Absolutely gets better a day after if you can wait.

Julie McLeod's picture
Julie McLeod

Thanks, davidg618 and tchism.  I'm trying hard to wait at least a few hours, hard as it is.  ;)

varda's picture
varda

It would be criminal to wait a day for a baguette - just until cool - it is freshest first day.   I think the same thing for just about any lean sourdough.   The only breads I wait a whole day on are very high percent ryes.  But really my most important rule is that breads should be eaten when needed.   Sometimes I don't wait the optimum amount of time because I know the bread will only be eaten if it is eaten RIGHT NOW.    My 2c of course.  -Varda

Julie McLeod's picture
Julie McLeod

Thanks, Varda!  That seems a very sensible approach. :)

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I wouldn't dream of waiting to cut into a freshly baked bread. No matter which kind of bread! A regular sized loaf can't be consumed within one day by us two people anyway, and the longer you wait, the less crusty and drier it gets.

I love the taste and feel of bread that is baked the same day, so why would I deny myself that pleasure? You can have the rest of the bread ( with the supposedly superior taste - a claim I can't confirm) over the next days, anyway.

Karin (unabashedly un-puristic)

Am I crazy not to have a slice of this when it's still a bit warm from the oven? With Irish butter!

varda's picture
varda

but if you did that with one of Hamelman's 80% ryes or a borodinsky you'd have a mouthful of gummy mess.   Perhaps not as delicious as you were anticipating!  -Varda

hanseata's picture
hanseata

No, those are the exeptions, Varda, there I wait until they are completely cooled, and have some in the evening, when I baked them in the morning.

Karin