The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What causes the crust to crackle after baking?

Ria's picture

What causes the crust to crackle after baking?

I just baked two sourdough boules, and they began to make lovely crackling noises after I took them out of the oven. My son wants to know what causes this, and I figured someone here would know. Thanks!

rdphillip's picture

I'm no expert, but the way I understand it is that the bread contracts as it cools. For lean breads with a harder crust, the contraction process causes "cracks" in the outer surface and the crackly sound.


AnnieT's picture

Most of us jump up and down and rejoice if we get the crackling or singing crust! Even a tiny amount of crackling makes my day, A.

qahtan's picture

Tell your son that the loaves are "singing" because they are so gorgeous. and they are happy they came out right..... ;-))) qahtan

KansasGirlStuckInMaryland's picture

I was watching an old episode of Good Eats with Alton Brown the other day.  He was cooking/baking in his cast iron dutchoven using coals.  He made a loaf of bread in it.  When the loaf was removed from the oven he got so excited about the crackling that he had the microphone brought in close so we could all hear the crackling.

I love that sound when I make my french bread.

z3r01's picture

ressurecting this old thread just because today (out of all my attempts at bread making) I finally got to hear it and jumped for joy like a little girl lmao

dfurlong's picture

Congratulations on the crackling. I made a boule and some bagettes out of Peter Reinhart's Pain a l'Ancienne today and for the first time, I had a lot of crackling. I was positively giddy.

Davidkatz's picture

Had to run out today while my Tartine loaf was baking in my dutch oven.

The extra time in the oven made that loaf sing for quite some time!

FiMu's picture

So this happened last night...