The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

crust softens during cooling

tc's picture

crust softens during cooling

Hey guys. I've made the rustic bread 3 times now, and I'm having a problem with the crust softing a lot during cooling. I like a crispy crust. Is this recipe supposed to have a soft crust? I do all the things you should for good crust: preheat oven with steam pan, using tiles as baking stone. Is it possible I'm not baking it for long enough? The whole thing gets very dark brown after the recommended baking time. In fact the first time I made this recipe, I burned it and it had a very crispy crust. Still tasted good after hacking off the black parts. I'm shaping my loaves as batards BTW. I don't have this problem when I bake baguettes (different recipe, however).

The crumb is very moist and slightly dense. Is it supposed to be like that?

jcking's picture

After the loaf in the oven looks satisfactory; turn off oven, leave the loaf inside, prop oven door open with a spoon or something non-flamable, and leave the loaf inside for 5 to 10 minutes. Too much steam could also cause a damp/soft crumb loaf.


Floydm's picture

Jim's suggestion is a good one.  Another option is to split it into smaller or thinner loaves so it bakes through more thoroughly before the crust gets too dark.  It shouldn't come out moist inside.

Bread Breaddington's picture
Bread Breaddington

I find that my crusty breads tend to soften up a little shortly after coming out of the oven too, but by the time they reach room temperature the crust has re-solidified and seems fine.

littlelisa's picture

Where are you leaving the bread to cool? Next to a window with humid air coming in won't help - I find that placing the rack in a still-warm-and-dry spot in the kitchen is the best way to keep breads (and cookies etc) keep their crisp crust. Putting on a rack also better than leaving on the pan, as moisture doesn't get trapped between pan and bread.