The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Improving my French bread crust?

junklight's picture

Improving my French bread crust?

Last week I decided what I really wanted alongside my roughly 2-3 times weekly sourdough loaves was a daily bread - preferably to be baked when I got up so there was fresh bread each day. I spotted the French bread in Crust and Crumb fitted the bill perfectly timing wise. I did a test run on sunday without the overnight rise, The bread lasted around 1/2 an hour before family ate it and so I did my first overnight run last night. 

I got up at 6 and had them in the oven around 7. The slow rise really helps the taste (wasn't awful without the retarding but was nicer with it) but I'm still not happy with the crust (see below). I'm after it being a bit lighter - I guess just fiddle with the temperature for that one - but also a bit 'flakier' - how do you do that?

edit: it occurs to me a bit more information on how i baked it might be useful: fan oven, I have a baking stone (granite about 1cm or so thick), roasting tin into which I tip a cup of boiling water just before putting the loaves in - little water spray to spray bread and oven as well. I bake at 250 C for 10 mins normally and then turn down up 170-180ish until baked - these were done at 230 C for 20 mins instead though

French bread crust


dabrownman's picture

I'm not sure I would mess with that beautiful loaf !  If it were pastry I would say add more butter to get it more flaky.  To improve the crunchy crust you can leave it in the oven, on the stone with the oven off and door ajar for 10 minutes - after it finishes baking to 205F in the center - to get it more crunchy.