The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Blow Torched Crust anyone?

Kevin_000's picture

Blow Torched Crust anyone?

For some years I've been struggling to get a thin crusty finish to my baguettes and loaves.

My oven only goes to 250 degrees C.

I usually use a cloche or Emille Henry Baguette 'cloche', but sometimes use lava rocks for steam.

If I push for a crust I tend to get a thick crunchy crust which my wife doesn't like, but she charmingly says this is a, "little too artisan for me."

Recently I have been looking at sous vide methods and 'reverse sear' methods for meat.  One opf the ways of getting the Maillard reaction is to finish the meat with a blow torch.

I am wondering about baking my baguettes to a decent 96 deg C internal temp and then finishing them with a blow torch.

Has anyone tried this?

Is it a hanging ofense?









MichaelLily's picture

Sounds legit and interesting. I don't hesitate to throw my degree out there claiming mastery of all science to lend credibility to anything I think sort of makes sense. The fact is that the crumb is done when it's done and the crust can be baked whichever way after that to no ill effect. That's the idea of par-baked bread, which is in fact completely baked despite the name.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I have yet to bake a loaf at 250°C.  I tend to burn crust that way.  Exceptions would be pizza.

I find that for normal loaves 230°C is more than enough for Kaiser rolls and white bread.  Have you tried cutting the steam short and venting so the oven can build more heat after the initial steaming?  I have much success with a temp curve that starts lower and rises during the bake.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I have one loaf in particular that had quite a tough, thick crust. It is a multigrain that's usually baked in a cast iron pot, in a boule. I replaced half the strong bread flour with all-purpose flour and the crust is a dream - thinner, crispy and still beautiful.

I know you can bake bread in a slow cooker, then finish it under the broiler, so why not a blow torch? :)