The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Overnight crust?

StrangeLoaf's picture

Overnight crust?

Am I doing something wrong? or just expecting too much to have a crispy crust the next morning? I have to bake the evening before, as like most people I have things to do in the morning. but I like a good crusty bread in the morning.

I live in London, and I guess my flat is on the humid side. So if this is the problem, how do I get around it?


Mebake's picture

As many TFL members would recommend, i think, you may leave your bread in your oven after baking with the oven door left ajar for 5-10 min. Doing so will harden and dry the crust.

Alternatively, though, you could buy a toster, and slice your bread for toast. Believe me, it'll bring out the taste you want.





Yumarama's picture

Are you popping it in a plastic bag once it's cooled? That's definitely going to get you a softer crust since the moisture from inside will spread to the crust.

You can try putting the bread into a paper bag instead which will help retain the crispy crust. 

And if it's sourdough bread you can eve=n leave it out on the counter. If you've sliced a bit off, just flip it up so the sliced end is flat on the counter, or wrap a bit of cling film just onto the open crumb, perhaps using an elastic band to keep it on the bread's end.

Commercial yeast bread may not fare as well with these methods since it doesn't have the same keeping properties as sourdough.

So there's a couple of possible ways to go for you.

alabubba's picture

You could try popping it back into a hot oven for a few minutes.

flourchild in lutz's picture
flourchild in lutz

I have been dissapointed in my crust as well.  When I take my loaf out of the oven and thump on it the crust is hard and the sound is hollow.  As soon as it cools the crust is soft and I can squish the loaf when I push on it.  I start my oven hot, around 500 degrees F, use steam and lower the temp to about 470 degrees F.   

So I don't even get to enjoy the crusty crust at all since by the time it has cooled it is soft. 

If anyone knows something that might help I would love to hear.

chollie's picture

How about putting that loaf in a paper bag (not sprinkled with water) and popping it in a hot over for a few minutes

Matt H's picture
Matt H

Are you following all the usual tips for creating a steamy oven?

 - Pan of boiling water in the bottom of the oven?

 - Spritz with a sprayer every minute or so for the first 5 - 10 min.?

Also, a lean formula (without fat, milk, eggs) will get and stay a lot crisper.

flourchild in lutz's picture
flourchild in lutz

I do put the pan of water in the bottom of the oven.  I have been using a large aluminum pan placed in the oven while the oven is preheating so it is really hot when I put the boiling water in it.  Noticed it gave a lot more steam than my cast iron skillet but also lots of steam seems to come out the vent at the bottom of the door.  Then I spritz.  Have to say not every minute but at least 3 times in the first 5 minutes or so.

I am baking the sourdough bread using the starter and recipe I got from the class I took at King Arther last summer.  Just flour, water and salt plus the starter. The bread has good oven spring, tastes very good and the crumb is open and creamy in color.  If I could figure out how to add pictures to this post I would show you.  And when it first comes out of the oven it is hard and crusty.  Then like a ballon with the air coming out it softens up.  It doesn't deflate at all but is just soft.