The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Brotspruher: Is spraying loaves with water a common procedure?

Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)

Brotspruher: Is spraying loaves with water a common procedure?

A brotspruher:

If I'm reading this correctly, "baker's ware" just means loaves of bread. 

Is spraying loaves with water a common procedure in Germany? If so, why? For what types of bread? Ryes? All breads? Does it really result in a "a beautiful crust that does not tear", result in "optimal size" (what does that mean?), achieve "a soft colour and fresh shiny appearance", promote a better seal, and prolong freshness? If so, what exactly does it spray? Magic water? 

Before baking: Directly before the baker’s ware will be placed in the oven it is important to spray it with water in order to obtain an especially smooth thin skin and that the baker’s ware can easily expand in the oven. This way the baker’s ware obtains a beautiful crust and does not tear. An optimal size will be the result.

When the baker’s ware is taken out of the oven it will be sprayed again to achieve a soft colour and a fresh shiny appearance. The surface at the same time seals better and the baker’s ware keeps its freshness longer.

This simple procedure has always been used in Germany and many other European countries.


fminparis's picture

Spraying loaves with water is one of many ways to create steam in the oven, usaully accompanied by spraying the inside of the oven walls.

fminparis's picture

Spraying loaves with water is one of many ways to create steam in the oven, usaully accompanied by spraying the inside of the oven walls.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

My orchids get the same treatment only they don't get baked.  

I spray both my monocots and my dough directing them to rise!       You not?    Have not sprayed them after baking... interesting....

They're cool aren't they?    Decorator colors?

gerhard's picture

I spray my bread before putting it in the oven and then once more after 2 or 3 minutes.  Ware just refers to the Baker's products, beauty of of translation by Google. 



jcking's picture

The point being to keep the crust moist so it can expand. Lately I've been boiling a quarter cup of water in the micro wave (99 secs) and using a pastry brush to lightly coat the loaf (after slashing). For me it's easier and more effective than all the other ice cube/steam methods I've tried. Steaming relies on the moisture settling on the loaf. Why not just brush with hot water in the first place?


yy's picture

Personally, I don't like spraying the loaf directly because it seems to result in a tougher, chewier crust. Below is a video from SteveB's breadcetera blog in which he demonstrates his steaming method, involving a hotel pan with a hole in it and a sprayer similar to the one you found:

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss


Mr Suepke mentions in his blog that spraying white bread directly after the bake creates this crackly effect, he calls it "fenstern".

There are also two great white bread recipes.

I tried the recipes, but not the spraying.




Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

sprayed before and after the bake.

Nice crackly and crisp

gerhard's picture

Those are nice looking buns, I wish I had some for breakfast.


IndoLee's picture

My understand of the idea behind spraying loaves with water is that its to soften the crust and cause reduced surface tension on the wetter top of the loaf,  and/or;  to create a "crazed" (crackled) crust.  Greater oven spring (rise in the oven) is faciliated by the softer crust, which offers less resistance to the dough's "push" (i.e. expansion of the dough due to the heating/expanding gases trapped in the dough during fermentation).  Hoperfully, spring is mostly upwards - thus creating both taller/larger loaves, and better "bloom", (i.e. the opening, like a flower, of the scored slashes in the top of the loaf).  

"Fensterm" is a german word meaning "an erosional opening down through overthrust rock exposing the underlying rock —also called a window"  (rock-climbers will be familiar with this word).  

"Crazing" is a better word.  It's definition is "Fine cracks resulting from shrinkage on the surface of glazed pottery, concrete, or other material. (e.g. the admired crackle in some Oriental potteries and porcelains is crazing produced in a foreseen and regulated way. )"

Loaves with good crazing have harder crusts (the result of a wetter crust dough) and they "sing" as they cool (the sound of the harder crazed crust shrinking, as it cools at a slightly different rate of contraction than that of the softer cooked dough of the bread below. 

MNBäcker's picture

When I was working in a German bakery, we would brush water on most loaves (except for the ones coming out of brotforms). This will allow the crust to stay flexible just a little longer and enable it to expand to the max during oven spring.

When the loaves were taken out, we would brush them with a potatostarch (cooked) solution for a great shine. You can brush loaves with water, but for the best shine, the potatostarch solution will give outstanding results.

"fenstern" indeed means the crumb contracting, but the crust being so nice and hard that it actually cracks while the loaf cools down. It looks like the old, usually irregular shaped stain-glass windows in Europe, hence the term "fenstern" (window).



thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I've never brushed my loaves with water, so this is new to me. If the delayed crust-setting actually works, I'll have to give it a try.

I use a garder sprayer to mist the oven for steam.  I've never used it to spray the breads themselves, only the walls and floor of the oven. 

I should probably switch back to a mister, as Mini recommends. The sprayer is too good at what it does. It can easily reduce oven temp. from 550 F to 350 F or lower.

dabrownman's picture

Industrial strength bakers armed for bear :-)  I'm dumping my pre-emergent herbicide right now and will start decontamination immediately to have a real sprayer for my white bread.  Thanks for the best laugh I have had on the site in 10 days but I'm guessing it works great.  You must have a very large oven indeed!!!

Robert Kray's picture
Robert Kray

Presenting KREA Swiss Food Prep. Equipment

By the way KREBS Switzerland is now called KREA Swiss ( and the LM25 is now the multiSPRAY (same gun, though) ... Every sprayer comes with a Food Saftey Declaration ... this is a professional tool!
Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Makes me want to go out and spray everything.  :)    

And the yolk sacks don't plug up the nozzle?    wow