The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


MNBäcker's picture

No decent crust on French Bread

December 4, 2011 - 11:34am -- MNBäcker


I finished my WFO earlier this fall and am baking in it now. Breads are great and sell faster than I can bake them, but I encountered one particular issue:

I seem to have a problem gettin that nice, crispy crust on my French Bread. I am told that with my Whole Wheat or even Whole Wheat mix, the crust usually gets softer after the loaves cool off, but I'm a little disappointed that even the French Bread (Reinharts recipe, made with Sam's Club high-gluten bread flour) gets soft after it cools off.

Sheps's picture

Everything is too crusty!

November 30, 2011 - 5:54am -- Sheps

Hello all!

Having just pulled yet another crusty loaf out of the oven, I'm wondering what I might be doing wrong. You see, it seems that whatever I bake, be it cake, bread, muffins... and whichever recipe I follow, I always get a crust that is a little thicker than I would care for. This is not only the exposed part of the bread (or muffin etc), but also the part that is inside any pan I might use.

cranbo's picture

On my search for a specific type of sandwich roll. A good description of what I'm going for:

  1. chewy but light inside
  2. crust that is very thin, slightly crispy, shatters into big thin flakes then you bite in or tear off a piece, slightly leathery too with a little bit of tug
  3. crust finish is yellowish & golden.

Tried Norm's rolls sans onions, but didn't achieve the result I was looking for. The interior of the Norm's hard roll was too fluffy, too hamburger bun-esque, with insufficient chew. The crust was not bad: it had the right thin leatheriness, some of that tug, but did not have that shattering quality that I'd like to get. Will try to post photos in a bit. 

I think I might have to try the Kaiser Roll recipe. As far as crumb goes, I think I might have to try a preferment (sponge, etc) of some sort to help with the chew & flavor. Any other recommendation for recipes to try would be appreciated. 


robadar's picture

Thin vs. thick crust

November 27, 2010 - 8:20am -- robadar

I have made many artisan loaves, sourdough and bread made with with pre-ferments,  baked them on a stone in an oven with steam.  My loaves always have a thick crunchy crust, which is great most of the time.   But How do I get a thin, crisp, crackling crust, such as one would find in a tender baguette with creamy crumb and delicate, crisp crust?  What's the secret variable? 



GregS's picture

How do I get a shiny bubbly outer crust?

October 20, 2010 - 10:04pm -- GregS

I'm reasonably happy with the interiors of my recent sourdough boules, but the exteriors are depressing. They are brown to dark brown, flat, dull and smooth. No golden glow, no little bubbles under the surface. Looking at the photos on TFL makes me afraid to even photograph mine! What variables contribute to an attractive crust on a white flour, French-type boule, batard or baguette?

Thanks, as always


Mini Oven's picture

Bread Bottoms - looking at the underside

August 13, 2010 - 1:57am -- Mini Oven

Bread Bottoms   What do they tell us?  Lots of information there yet we tend not to show them.  Yet we flip over a loaf as soon as we have it in our hands, many times before it lands on the cooling rack.   Some bottoms we don't see, others we do.  Dark, they speak of a hot oven; pale, a cooler one.   The hallmark of an English muffin > two bottoms.  They also leave clues as to what surface the loaf was baked.

In a discussion on evidence of the use of baking parchment, the subject of wrinkles came up.


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