The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Maple Syrup as a Bread Ingredient - Mixed Emotions

Cliff Johnston's picture
Cliff Johnston

Maple Syrup as a Bread Ingredient - Mixed Emotions

Today I used a new recipe.  On one hand it was a failure, but on the other hand it had some redeeming qualities.  There were three ingredients which I normally don't use in bread:  egg, maple syrup and milk.  The crust burned before the internal temperature of the bread reached 200°F..  I don't know which of the ingredients caused the crust to burn.  The loaf itself reached an excellent height.

A closer look at the burnt crust follows:

The interior had a lovely, light, golden-brown color.  The texture was excellent as was the structure, but then there was the crust...grrr...

I cut off a slice, cut off the crust, and toasted it.  It toasts lovely (no photo - but can make one if you'd like to see), but then there's still that maple syrup flavor that I just can't get used to in bread.  Dunno, it must be a psychological thing, but it's just not bread to me with that flavor.  Perhaps I could use a cookie cutter, make a cookie from it, and then may be I'd love it...lol...

The very unfortunate thing about this whole experiment is that I used the first of my Wheat Montana's Prairie Gold grain/flour for this loaf.  I should have stuck with my standard recipe. 

If you have some thoughts as to why the crust burned on me as it did, please comment.

Cliff.

audra36274's picture
audra36274

 We've all been there. I think your right on the high sugar content causing the crust to go south on you. I have had the same experience. It is sorta like how you don't put BBQ sauce on the meat until the meat is grilled because it will burn on there...but different! The sugar has a high carmelization rate. Hope this helped. Now if I could only do something about my spelling.

                                                                             Audra 

Cliff Johnston's picture
Cliff Johnston

This was my first thought too.  When I look at the second photograph the burning does look like carmelization.

Cliff. Johnston
"May the best you've ever seen,
 Be the worst you'll ever see;"
from A Scots Toast by Allan Ramsay

pumpkinpapa's picture
pumpkinpapa

What temp did you bake at?

These 3 additives should mean a temp of 350 at the most, though I bake a milk ciabatta at 500

Cliff Johnston's picture
Cliff Johnston

When I bake my standard rye and whole wheat loaves in the Dutch oven I use 450°F which is pretty much the accepted standard.  If 350°F. is the maximum that I should have used with this combination then obviously I was way too high.

Cliff. Johnston
"May the best you've ever seen,
 Be the worst you'll ever see;"
from A Scots Toast by Allan Ramsay

chiaoapple's picture
chiaoapple

Temperature was my first instinct. How much malt, in relation to 1 cup of flour, were you using? Most of my sweeter, higher fat breads are baked at 350 or 375.

You can also try tenting the loaf (basically just covering loosely with foil) half-way through the bake.

Breads with high sugar and fat (which I think your loaf must have, unless you used skim milk and fat free egg substitute) usually have lovely soft crusts.

Good luck!

Cliff Johnston's picture
Cliff Johnston

Everyone else in the family likes the bread's flavor.  I left it out last night under a towel - forgot to put it away.  When I awoke this morning everyone was asking about my "desert" bread.  I started to apologize for the burnt crust when my son said that he likes it - an acquired taste, but flavorful, according to him.  So, there I am - perplexed.  What's one man's trash is another man's treasure - for sure :-)

Cliff. Johnston
"May the best you've ever seen,
 Be the worst you'll ever see;"
from A Scots Toast by Allan Ramsay

Val's picture
Val

I just baked a loaf of the whole wheat recipe in the Baker's Companion. It calls for maple syrup, or honey, or molasses (3 1/2 oz). I used the maple syrup on this loaf. There isn't a distinct maple flavor, just some sweetness balancing the tannins in the whole wheat flour. I baked at 350 degrees F and tented the loaf half way through baking (it took 45 minutes to reach a 200 degree internal temperature). I thought the bread came out very well - good whole wheat flavor without the bitterness. This recipe also included chopped sunflower seeds and chopped almonds. I baked in a loaf pan and got a soft crust that toasts well.