The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Crusty bread

salsipuedes's picture

Crusty bread

I have been experimenting with several formulas for basic artisan bread, i already found a formula that i like but ive seen to be having problem with the crust of my breads. After i put the loaf in the oven at 450 degrees, i make sure to spray 3 times the sides of the oven with water every 30 seconds. I also put a metal pan with hot water before i put the loaf in, and the bread usually comes out with a great crunchy crust that i like. The problem comes after i let it cool for 45 minutes, after the 45 minutes the crust goes soft and i end up with great tasting but soft bread. What can i do to make my crust crunchy? heres a few problems i think might be the cause:

1.-I am not scoring the loaf so the moisture gets trapped inside and its absorbed by the crust

2.-I am cooling it in a room thats 90 degrees with a humidity of 65%

3.-I am not covering the loaf with anything


Can anybody help?


breadnerd's picture

I would just leave it in the oven a little longer. Generally when crusts soften up after coming up out of the oven it means they could go a little longer. They can be "done" on the inside, but still release a little moisture after coming out of the oven which softens them up. I've baked a lot of baguettes and just a few minutes difference in baking times can change the crust quite a bit.


This is assuming it's a lean french dough (just flour/water/salt/yeast) as fats and other ingredients can effect crust texture as well.


Try 5 more minutes or so, or even take one loaf out earlier than the other and compare.


fusebox3's picture

I am having the same problem.  I have been making the No Knead Bread in a Dutch oven Recipe that is around and the bread comes out of the oven great with a nice crispy crust but as it cools it gets softer.  I want a hard shell like the breads you get in a good italian store in Brooklyn. 

I was also thinking it was because I do not slice the top of the bread and there is still steam inside it as it is cooling. 

sometimes i use bread flour istead of all purpose flour as the recipe calls for to get a loaf with more holes in it. not sure if that matters.

 any help please.


mattrgee's picture

As above, bake longer.  For a 500g loaf I'm baking for 35 minutes at 220 degrees celsius (425 fahrenheit).  I used to spray the loaf with water as you do but I found this to make the crust go soft.  I now just put water into a hot baking tray in the bottom of the oven and leave the door shut for at least 20 minutes before turning the loaf.

SpartanArtisanWantabe's picture

I used to have this problem with my breads too, but I have been turning the oven down to 400-425 about 10-15 minutes into the bake and baking a little longer. Often times I will crack the oven door for the last 5-10 minutes of the bake to let the moisture out of the oven too. I have some magnets sitting by oven that I stick to the top of the door.