The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to achieve a soft crust.

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pjaj's picture

How to achieve a soft crust.

I am trying to duplicate a commercial loaf that is virtually crustless. It is a malt fruit loaf. I have tried baking it at a lower temperature for longer and with a pan of boiling water in the bottom of the oven. This is better, but it still comes out with a light, crisp crust. Any ideas how I could keep / make the crust softer? The recipe I'm using can be found in the discussion on this site here.

Dwu3193's picture

Darker pans tend to bake thicker and darker crusts while lighter (shinier) pans tend to bake thinner and lighter crusts.

dmsnyder's picture

Hi, pjaj.

Your link doesn't work, at least for me.

Brushing the crust with milk when the loaf comes out of the oven should soften the crust. Using steam in baking probably makes the crust thicker.


pjaj's picture

OK, try the link now. Works for me.

Editor had pasted in a page relative link, I've converted it to a full URL link.

Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

Bake the loaf on a lower rack. Cover the loaf with aluminum foil for the first half of the bake and cover the loaf with a kitchen towel when you remove it from the oven. And yes, your link is broken

PaddyL's picture

Brush the tops with melted butter when you take them out of the oven.

nbicomputers's picture

the formula you are using is lean no eggs in it. A lean dough will yeald a crisp crust

take out 50ml of water and add one large egg . the butter makes it taste great but will also make a crisper crust  take out some of the butter sunflower spread replace it with shortening. I am sure you will get the crust you want

pjaj's picture

I was using a deep drawn aluninium bread pan by Tefal. It has a non-stick coating on the inside and a dark blue enamel on the outside.

Thank you all for the suggestions. I think the way to go is to try and not let the crust form in the first place. I will tweak the recipe as suggested and maximise the humidity whilst cooking and cooling.

What the recipe does not include is that it is traditional to glaze the top or the loaf with honey or sugar syrup; this would also tend to soften the crust.

executor's picture

Please, don't use the pan in the bottom of the oven. Just use some egg wash or milk, or butter for glassing the dough and bake your loaf at 160 - 170°C until it gets slightly golden. Cover it with a towel as soon as you take it out from the oven and let it rest util it is completely cool. Thats all you need!

This because the thickness and consistency of the crust you want to create is related to the temperature and humedity in your oven. The color is related to the ingredients in your dough and the wash you use.

If you bake it at 150 - 160 °C the result is a bread with practically no crust (that is just a really soft and tender crust).


Good Luck