The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Maitaining crusts in humidity

Larrybro's picture
Larrybro

Maitaining crusts in humidity

Hi

I live in the Tropics where it is very humid and I am struggling to keep a nice crust on my breads...I comes out of the oven with a great crust on it but as soon as I leave it out for longer than 10 minuts it becomes soft again.I use steam in the oven,I have tried to dry it out in the oven but nothing works

Is there a way to keep the crust or is the moisture in the air always gonna kill it?

Thanks

Dragonbones's picture
Dragonbones

To some extent I think it's just a problem that those of us in the humid subtropics and tropics have to live with, but do you have a room in which you run a dehumidifier or air con? You could let the bread cool there instead of in the humid kitchen, then once completely cool, seal it in an airtight bag.

Larrybro's picture
Larrybro

That sounds like it could work...hmm!!

Thanks for that...

will try it and let you know how it turns out

PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

You might want to try poking a few holes in your loaves as they leave the oven to allow some inner steam to escape. While you're at it, bake them a little longer.

jcking's picture
jcking

Salt is hygroscopic; it attracts water. Try a little less.

Jim

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Some ways to get a crispier crust (at least before serving:-)

  • Bake the bread a little longer so more moisture comes out in the oven and there's less moisture left to come out during cooling. (If you bake too long, the crumb will suffer. But I think you'll find you have quite a bit of latitude.)
  • Bake at a higher temperature for a shorter time. The goal is to produce a thicker crust, which even if not sufficiently "crunchy" will at least be "more chewy".
  • When the baking is done, turn the oven off and crack open the oven door, but leave the bread in the cooling oven for another ten minutes.
  • When you're about to serve a whole uncut loaf that has "too soft" crust, stick the whole loaf back in the oven at baking temperature for ten minutes first, and only then slice/serve it.
Dragonbones's picture
Dragonbones

  • Bake at a higher temperature for a shorter time. The goal is to produce a thicker crust, which even if not sufficiently "crunchy" will at least be "more chewy".

The problem is that it can become quite hard to chew through, whereas a brittle crust of the same thickness will at least crack apart as you bite. All the other suggestions are good, though! :)

Larrybro's picture
Larrybro

Thanks guys...

I tried all of the above (thats why it took me so long to reply) but nothing gave me a long lasting crust

I think this is just mother nature having the upper hand

Thanks again guys

Dragonbones's picture
Dragonbones

Yup.  She wins again. Well, look on the bright side: at least our kitchens are never too cold for the dough to rise.  

michaelc's picture
michaelc

I understand your problem, living in Thailand. However I have found that cbaking at the correct temperature, but ventilating the oven for the last 10 minutes, and cooking about 5 minutes more than I would prefer has given me crusts which are good for at least several hours. Its a bugger of a problem, but that seems to work for me.