The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question about doneness - ie internal temps

doublelift08's picture

Question about doneness - ie internal temps

hey all ...

from those on the forum armed with instant read dgital thermometers...i'd love to gather some opinions/info on internal temps to measure doneness of breads.....

I baked some baguettes (well attempted to anyway but thats a whole other story) and took the initiative to temp them b4 pulling from the 450 degree oven. each temped at over 210 degrees. I then placed the bread into a different oven set to 350 and turned it off and left the door open as many people suggest this will keep moisture from condensing on the loaf creating a soft crust... i couldn't just turn off my main oven cuz i'd more stuff  to bake.


despite all this they're still not crisp!?!?they're kinda crackle-y but i doubt thay'll stay that way. The outside is already turning soft and its been less than one hour.

so my question is... what is the proper internal temp to pull out bread? Assuming a basic lean loaf here such as a baguette or ciabatta that you want a crisp exterior.


Any help is greatly appreciated and thanx in advance

MichaelH's picture

I'm not sure your problem with the crust is related to internal did not say what the crumb was like after it cooled;was it done? dry? moist? I struggled with internal temp for a while before I realized that at 6000' above sea level, where water boils at 201*F, my lean breads are done at 195*F.

Also, how sure are you about the accuracy of you thermometer? I use a thermopan, which I tested myself, and it is dead on.

dghdctr's picture

You can read lots about TFL'ers opinions on Internal Temp vs. Doneness by using the search box up on the left.

Your bread can be "cooked" inside (starches have gelled, proteins have coagulated), but there can still be too much moisture in the loaf when it comes out of the oven.  When just the right temperature and baking time have been combined, the loaf is baked completely inside (at dead center), the crust is as brown as you like it, AND all excess moisture has evaporated.

What's excess moisture?  Any amount you decide it is.  You are getting a softening effect in the crust because too much moisture is left in the loaf after it was pulled from the oven.  That moisture will continue to evaporate from the hot insides of your loaf as it cools, and the crust then softens.  If you lower the oven temp a bit -- maybe 10-20 degrees less -- and extend the baking time by 5-10 minutes or more, the loaf will have more opportunity to lose that excess moisture in the oven.

Published baking times and temperatures are ballpark estimates.  All ovens are different, flours are different, and levels of humidity or dough hydration itself can vary somewhat.  Be willing to tweak things here or there if the suggested directions don't produce what you're looking for.

--Dan DiMuzio

hilo_kawika's picture


I think you've offered some very simple, sensible and understandable advice which I'm going to move forward on myself.  Thanks for this.


Dave Hurd, Hilo, Hawaii

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I found my thermometer at Lowe's in the barbecue accessory aisle. $20, NSF approved, waterproof, and it has clip for putting it a pocket or on your apron. It's easy to use and has an auto-shutoff function. If you don't have one, you can't go wrong buying one of these.