The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I need a lighter crust on my large loaves

JWK1's picture
JWK1

I need a lighter crust on my large loaves

I have really nailed a certain recipe using my 4.5 x 8.5 inch chicago metallic pans.  They describe these as a "1 lb. loaf pan".  I preheat the oven to 450, put the loaves in and bake 5 minutes @ 450, then 43 minutes @ 350.  When I use my large pans, which are described as a 1.5 lb. pan, I bake 5 minutes @ 450, then 57 minutes at 350.  The bread still comes out great, but the crust is a bit too dark for our liking.

Does anyone have any guidelines for trying for the same type of crust on the larger loaves?  Oh, and yes, my amounts are exactly 1.5 more for the larger pans.  I make three of these up at once (all that will fit in my oven on one rack) and freeze them for the kid's school lunches and toast.  The dough comes to 6.5 lbs., so a little over 2 lbs. per loaf.

I know I could just start reducing temperature and extending baking time, but I would be taking a wild guess and am hoping there are some general guidelines to start with.  Thanks.

wally's picture
wally

Hi,

First off: without knowing what you're baking it's hard to know what your panned baking temps/times should be.

Second, 450 for any panned bread seems excessively high.  350 degrees is a common baking temp for panned breads.  And a bake of over 1 hour is a red flag as well.

Larry

grind's picture
grind

When the top crust is becoming too dark during its baking, I just place some tin foil over the top of the loaf.

Ford's picture
Ford

After forming my loaves and panning them, I brush them with melted butter.   My dough weighs about 38 - 39 oz when I pan it.   I preheat the oven to 450°F with a baking stone and bake for 15 minuts with a pan of boiling water on the shelf under the stone  I spray the loaves with water three times during the first 5 to 10 minutes.  I then remove the water and drop the temperature to 350°F and continue baking for 40 minutes.  The interior temperature is about 190 to 195°F when I finish.  The loaves are placed on a rack, brushed with melted butter, and covered with plastic wrap until cool.

My dough contains butter and milk.  The crust is thin and soft.

Ford

Steamflash's picture
Steamflash

Try steaming your oven.  Just before your temp drop, gently pour a small amount of water the inside of the oven door.  Careful as the steam will rise :)   I make sure to wear mitts.  The steam will both give a nice textured crust an suck up some of that heat.   Bakery's that make super crusty breads will steam 5 to 10 times depending on the bread, so one steam will not over-crust your sandwich loaf.

JWK1's picture
JWK1

Thank you all for the suggestions. This is my sandwich bread that we freeze for the kids' lunches and morning toast. I think I will first try the tin foil over the loaves part way through the bake. I want to keep this simple. I am sure I will end up trying the other tricks in the future.

No one suggests a lower baking temp! Interesting. The more books I get and the more I learn the more I realize I don't know much at all!