The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Internal Temp or Crisp Crust?

tgrayson's picture

Internal Temp or Crisp Crust?

I made one of the white breads from the Bread Baker's Apprentice and removed it from the oven when the internal temp exceeded the recommended 190 degrees.  The crust was only a medium brown and rather soft.  Should I have let it bake longer to crisp the crust, even if the internal temperature exceeded the recommended?





nbicomputers's picture

every oven is different. some have high top heat some have low top heat but heavy bottom heat.

my oven runs high bottom so i have about 14 half size sheet trays because i have to use two pans when i bake anything or i will burn the bottom while the top is perfict.

you will have to play with shelf placment to get the results you want

bake closer to the top of the oven and see what happens.

deblacksmith's picture

When baking my standard white bread (has eggs, milk, brown sugar in it) I actually shoot for a little higher internal temperature 195 to 200.  If I pull at 190 with my thermometer the bread is just a bit on the doughy side in the center.

On my lean breads, such a French or Italian I shoot for 205.  As noted above you have to see how the bread turns out and go from there with your oven and your thermometer.


typo of 2005 fixed

tgrayson's picture

As added information, I'm placing the loaf pans on a thick sheet of hot cast-iron; they reach the proper internal temperature in only 18 minutes, instead of the 35-45 minutes the book says.  I'm wondering if I should use a hotter oven to compensate so that the exterior crisps faster with respect to the internal temp.


tananaBrian's picture

Wow!  I'll bet 2005 F bread is REALLY crunchy, eh?  :)

I recommend measuring oven temperatures, both high and low.  My oven was a bit of a surprise.  If I left the thermometer in it for 10 minutes, the oven would measure the right temperature within a very close tolerance, e.g. 500 F setting giving 502 F on the thermometer.  But I found out that I must have been lucky in the timing and that if I left the thermometer in the oven longer and checked it every 5 minutes, my oven (at 500 F again) measured from 500 F to 550 F for an average of about 525 F during a 30 minute period of time.  That explained why breads that should've taken around 25 minutes to bake were only taking around 17 minutes or so.



tgrayson's picture

I'm pretty sure I was right on 350, athough I did start off at a higher temperature and shot the oven interior with a garden sprayer.

mrfrost's picture

How have other previous(different) projects turned out?

First time using the "stone"? How do your loaves bake on a pan?

Is it just this particular recipe that didn't brown right? Was this your first try with this recipe?

Are you sure you preheated the stone and oven adequately, this particular time?

tgrayson's picture

<<How have other previous(different) projects turned out?>>

I've certainly turned out browner and crisper loaves.  I have trouble associating it with the stone because I haven't used it every time and I'm always changing other variables (not always intentionally.)  I've made this recipe a number of times and it's sometimes been very good.  There were several things I did differently, though:

1)  I used buttermilk powder, rather than buttermilk.

2)  I forgot to throw in the 1 oz of whole wheat that I usually do.

3)  I started off with too much liquid, requring the addition of more flour during the kneading process, reducing the relative quantity of the other components of the formula.

4)  I made sure to pull the loaf out at the proper internal temperature.

I preheated for over an hour.  I'm really wondering if the loaf cooks so fast from the cast-iron that the exterior doesn't have time to brown.  Perhaps a real stone stores enough energy to produce a good oven spring, but not enough to accelerate the cooking so much.