The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


studiowi33's picture


Hi all-

I have a saltstick/breadstick recipe that tastes great. I do have a problem with the finished product however. I bake them @ 375 for 12 or 13 minutes, but the color resembles a Google search more than a edible stick. They turn out very pale. I've cooked them for longer periods and at higher temperatures. All I succeeded in doing was drying them out. I'be brushed the with beaten whole egg, and that helps, but only slightly. I've brushed with milk and water, but nothing seems to want to brown easily.

Anyone wanna talk about bread finishes?


breaducation's picture

I've found that the more concentrated yolk you use the browner a finish you get. Perhaps try using pure yolk. The order of browness seems to go something like this (from lighest to darkest) Water, Milk, Cream, Whole Egg with Cream, Whole egg, Yolk.

davidg618's picture

I've gone to 1 egg yolk beaten with on Tblsp of water--I think the water thins it  nicely for brushing. I use it primarily on Challah. I brush the shaped loaves once before proofing, proof them uncovered, and apply a second brushing just before loading in the oven. It yields a deep reddish-chocolate brown, and mirror-like shine on the finished loaves. I think it would work equally well on Salt Sticks.

David G

dabrownman's picture

for challah call for a honey (or sugar) mixed with yolk and a touch of milk.  This gives a very dark color as the sugars caramelize but you may not want the sweet taste on your salt sticks.  Otherwise, yolks are probably the way to go.

kefirchick's picture

If you are cooking for a kosher meal, you don't want to do milk wash on a challah since it is typically eaten with a meat meal on Shabbat.  I have tried non-dairy products, but they dont act like milk (not surprised).  I do an egg wash right after braiding, wait 30-45 minutes for the final rise, and and repeat right before placing into the oven.  That should work for salt sticks too.



Graid's picture

I don't quite understand why the crust would remain pale. Perhaps you need to bake at a higher temperature? How about adding a light wash of olive oil? I tend to mist my dough with oil before cooking nowadays to stop it drying out, and I do find I get a reasonably dark crust that way when baked at high temperature. (240C)

As to the challah discussion, if you don't want to use egg or milk you can use soya cream for a shiny glaze. It is the only non-dairy thing I've found that does the trick. Obviously it adds a bit of richness.