The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


dmsnyder's picture

I made another batch of the baguettes described previously in

The only significant changes in the procedure were:1) I did not add the salt until after a 50 minute autolyse, 2) I was more meticulous in gently pre-shaping and shaping and 3) I let the loaves proof more fully. 4) I also poured about twice as much water over the pre-heated lava rocks to steam the oven.

Well, there's good news and bad news: The bad news is that I seem to have over-proofed the baguettes a bit, resulting in my scoring not opening up real well. The good news is, first, the flavor of this batch is equal to the first. I'm ready to conclude this recipe is reproducible in my hands. Second, the crumb is significantly more open. And third, I have finally achieved the crackley (rather than crunchy) crust I have been seeking on my baguettes! I am really delighted.

The crust is thin and it sang loudly for a long time while cooling. Cracks developed in the crust. It breaks off in thin, sharp-edged flakes when you bite it! Woo Hoo! I am pretty sure the cause was the extra steam created by the combination of lava rocks and extra water.

Now, I have to test the steaming enhancement with other baguette formulas.


Pablo's picture

crispiest crust yet

April 25, 2009 - 10:20am -- Pablo

Thinking about baking with a cover and steam injection, but I don't have that equipment.  I put my baking stone on the top shelf of the oven, slightly over 3" down from the top element of the oven.  My pan o' rocks for steam was on a middle rack.  I misted the baguettes before they went in the oven and then baked with steam at 515 for 10 minutes and another 12 after removing the rock pan.  Far and away the crispiest crust I've gotten yet.

niagaragirl's picture

Would like a softer pizza crust

March 16, 2009 - 7:58pm -- niagaragirl

Yes I know it sounds like a stupid request. I finally found a dough recipe I really like, but are there any tricks to getting the end crust a little softer? It's just our preference. The dough has standard ingredients - flour, sugar, oil, water, salt. I bake usually at 425-450 depending on how much stuff is on it.

I don't use a stone (we bought one years ago but can't find it ha ha). If I did use a stone, would that good expanse of heat help me get the middle cooked faster and get it out of the oven quicker? Sorry if this sounds stupid.

rowejd's picture

Sourdough too Wet ?

February 28, 2009 - 4:47pm -- rowejd

Hello, I'm brand new to these forums, so sorry if I mess up on any form-etiquette.  I've just used Richard Bertinet's sourdough recipe from CRUST.  Unfortunately with his recipes, I've found that almost all of them require 15 to 20% more water than he calls for.  I emailed him directly to be sure I wasn't crazy and he confirmed that American flours are often "stronger" and absorb more water.

cake diva's picture

How to soften hard crust

January 19, 2009 - 1:23pm -- cake diva

I have 5 SD breads, with a good representation of levain premix and straight no-knead, created after realizing I have made way too much starter. While they look marvelous, they suffer from a hard crust that I don't really like.  1) Is there anything I can do now to soften my breads? 2) At the point of use, how may I warm the bread so that it comes close to post-baking conditions? 

Thanks to oldcampcook for tips on the prophylactic treatment.

Dwu3193's picture

Asian bread crust

January 8, 2009 - 7:36pm -- Dwu3193

While I appreciate the crispy, GBD crust on more rustic breads, I am occasionally jonesing for an asian style bread. The kind that is light, airy and tender, with a soft and shiny crust. I've tried a few times, but so far I've failed. Any ideas on how to get this kind of crust? 


Subscribe to RSS - crust