The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Spraying water on baked loaves

Breadhouse's picture

Spraying water on baked loaves

I recently saw a professional artisan baker spraying water on baked sourdough's as they come out of the oven. This guy is an award winning baker so there must be a good reason for it. Any ideas on why this is done?

Yerffej's picture

You would have to know a lot more about the baker's entire process to understand exactly why he is spraying the loaves.  Crust texture is what he is affecting but the exact reason why is hard to tell.  The factors involved are the type of oven, loaf storage after baking, the specific type bread, the making/baking process, the humidity in the building, etc. etc. etc.


Ford's picture

I brush my loaf sandwich bread with melted butter then place damp towels over the hot loaves to  keep the crust soft.  Perhaps that is what you observed..

hanseata's picture

My dark German rye ("Rheinisches Schwarzbrot") requires spraying the breads fresh from the oven with water from all sides. Even though, the crust is perfectly crisp when the water is dried off. I have no good explanation, maybe the water mist prevents the crust from hardening too quickly.


nbicomputers's picture

a just baked bread does two things

it removes any burnt flour that was left in the bread's crust

it will cause the crust to get a little shine to it  not as much as a cornstarch wash but a shine just the same

I allways brushed the breads with water or cornstarch wash unless it was plain white bread which in that case it was washed with melted butter


hanseata's picture

You are right - my Schwarzbrot has a little shine. I have some German bread recipes that require a starch wash, before and after baking.


kolobezka's picture

Another effect I have heard about is to prevent the crumb from drying out rapidly. As the loaf comes out of the oven, there is a big difference between the very hot and dry crust and the crumb inside. At that point the crumb looses lots of moisture by evaporation. By spraying water on the surface of the loaf the crumbs cools faster and togetherwith enhanced moisture it makes the evaporation from inside slower.

Some people like brushing with water to make the crust more shiny, but i have not observed such an effect


hanseata's picture

That was what I had figured, too. But I think spraying also makes my German Schwarzbrot bread somewhat shinier, compared to the Vollkornbrot that I don't spray. So you probably kill two birds with one stone.