The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


jennyloh's picture

Thick or Thin/Crispy Crust

May 16, 2010 - 7:16pm -- jennyloh

I notice that the crust on most of my breads are thick and chewy.  It develops nicely, but I want to achieve a think and crispy crust,  this is my biggest complaint in the house.  Quite tough to chew.  Crumbs are developed well,  now I just need to work on getting the crust in the right texture.  Help?

Urchina's picture

Lack of browning in crust --- why?

May 7, 2010 - 11:24pm -- Urchina

Today I made Eric's Fav. Rye (from TFL) and all appeared to go well --- until I pulled the loaves out of the oven and sighed at the pasty-looking, not-at-all-brown crust. It was steamed for the first 10 minutes at 370, then 30 additional minutes at 370 (per the recipe). 


A couple of weeks ago I had the same result with an experimental sourdough I made (Eric's is also sourdough-based with a yeast kicker). 


I very rarely have this happen with a sandwich loaf, but maybe once or twice in several years. 


dsoleil's picture

How To Taste Bread

February 22, 2010 - 11:27am -- dsoleil

Hi All,

I love all the discussions on TFL.  One I haven't seen yet is a primer on how to taste bread in the same vein as how people learn to taste wine.  Not sure if there are any competition judges that want to weigh in here, but here are a couple things I came up with that contribute to the overall bread experience.

First smell

Overall color of crust and crumb

Holes and airiness



Taste and complexity



alabubba's picture

Wanted: Thin, Crispy, Cracker like crust.

November 1, 2009 - 12:21pm -- alabubba

We do pizza about once a week at my house, I usually use a crust that is really tasty and comes out quite nice, slightly crisp and chewy.

However, a couple weeks ago my daughter said she wanted hers thinner, crisp and crunchy, Cracker like.

I have tried rolling/stretching the dough, Pre-baking, oiling. These didn't do it, so in my never ending quest to win father of the century I am turning to my friends and peers here in TFL for help.


I need a recipe for the ultimate crispy, crunchy, cracker like pizza crust.


blackhorse16a's picture

Undone Crumb

October 25, 2009 - 3:17pm -- blackhorse16a

I’m having a problem with undone inside with very done crust. I’ve been baking PR’s basic sourdough formula and using dmsnyder’s steaming method. For my last and best effort, I pre-heated for and hour up to 515º (by thermometer), pre steamed, then inserted dough and lowered temp to 450º. I used convection bake. The crust was quite brown at about 30 minutes, but the internal temp was only 165º. I went another 3 min., as more would have totally ruined the crust. Got it up to about 185. My sense is to use an even lower temp. What do you think?


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.



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