The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Better The Second Day

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KP Crumbworth's picture
KP Crumbworth

Better The Second Day

Hi All.

 

I baked a pretty straight forward rustic Italian loaf yesterday-I used a biga as a preferment, and Caputo type 00 flour from Italy. The bread was good last night, but today it was much better. The crust was chewier, and it seemed the flavors were more developed.

I wonder if this was due to the 00 flour which I've previously only used for pizza, or maybe because I only let it cool about 50 min or so. Maybe the flavors just matured-I don't know.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks,

KPCrumb ShotCrumb Shot

the breadman's picture
the breadman

I find that most of the crusty loaves I bake taste better the next day. I had always kept this to myself because of the "Hot outta the oven" thinking I've become accustomed to. Flavors are more developed with subtleties I hadn't noticed with a just cooled loaf. I thought it may have been just me. I'd like to know if there is any basis to this as well.

 

breadman

bwraith's picture
bwraith

I agree that fully cooled loaves are different from hot out of the oven or only partly cooled loaves. The crumb sets as it cools, so there is good reason to think the texture will be different, and for me it's different in a good way. Maybe it's just my imagination, but I think my sourdough loaves taste better after a day or two sitting on the counter but have no idea why that would be. I think it may be especially true with miches or whole grain loaves that are mostly or entirely whole grain.

 

edh's picture
edh

In "Bread", Hamelman notes that "While really bad bread may only be palatable when eaten warm, well-made breads never possess their finest aroma or flavor until they have cooled completely." He goes on to say that rye breads may need 24 to 48 hours for their flavor to develop completely!
Of course, there is also something wonderful about bread warm from the oven, but I've noticed the same thing you have; that it all starts to taste more and better once it's cooled.
Aren't we lucky to have such considerations in our lives?

edh

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Most references I have seen also say that straight (bakers yeast) breads are best after they have cooled, while sourdoughs may take 8-24 hours to reach full flavour. This has been my experience also. The only problem is that the crispness of the crust is lost during the maturing period.

sPh

KP Crumbworth's picture
KP Crumbworth

I actually like that the crust became a bit chewy on this loaf. I really loaded the oven with lots of steam, so the crust was nice and thick.

 

KP