The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

brown crust

Truffles's picture

brown crust

I wonder how these breads we see like the thom Leonard breads in Maggie Glazers book get such a nice dark brown crust. For me rising the temperature 25, 59 degrees over the recipe or turniong off the  oven and leaving it open a crack for 5 minutes doesn't work. Neither does leaving it baking another 10 or 20 minutes do the trick.

Do they put it under the broiler? Ive had the oven checked by the supplyer and was told the oven is actually a little hotter than the setting.

 Does anyone have a solution?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

As the dough ferments sugars are being consumed by the little wee-beasties to the point that if they continue too long, there won't be enough natural sugars left in the bread to brown it properly.

BreadBro's picture

Also, bread that is cold fermented overnight ( that is, in the fridge) or contains a good amount of pre-fermented dough will have a more golden crust. This is because the yeast has had more time to break down the complex sugars in the flour. 

Truffles's picture

The recipe calls for 3 to 5 hours fermentation with one fold and 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours proofing. Oven at 425 and steam in the begining. The bread is Thom Leonards Columbia bread with a crust almost the color of molasses.

 My bread came out with a brown I would bed happy with for ciabatta. I baked at 475 instead of 425.

BobS's picture

I find that I can get a darker crust by using convection for the final baking phase. Typically I bake for maybe 20 minutes at 460 without convection, then 20 or so more at 435 with convection for 1.5-lb batards. 

bruneski's picture

... a natural browning of the crust, or even the crumb, happens because of the Maillard reaction.

True rye breads get a lot of their dark color from this effect.One interesting explanation can be found in

pmccool's picture

if you've checked the internal temperature of your oven recently to ensure that it is actually at the advertised temperature.