The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My oven baked takes 1.5 cycles to toast - What's wrong?

Nick Sorenson's picture
Nick Sorenson

My oven baked takes 1.5 cycles to toast - What's wrong?

I've been baking sourdough and Italian loaves for 5 years now and enjoying the fresh bread.

One thing I've noticed however is that it takes 1.5 cycles approximately to equal what store bought or bakery bread toasts in one normal cycle. 

The first thing that comes to mind is that maybe it's not all the way done. It's not doughy however and it has baked 45 minutes (10m at 450F and 35m at 350) for 6" round boules. Also, it's not dense. I would say it's not quite as airy as commercial bread but it's very very close.

Curious if anyone has any ideas what the problem could be.

Portus's picture

of sugar and/or additives could be the distinguisher, alternatively are the slices the same thickness?  I speculate further that store bought bread has the characteristics of marshmallows in terms of weight-to-volume by comparison to home-baked bread, which has more substance (if this makes sense!).  If so, the heat transfer is perhaps more efficient in the former instance?

GAPOMA's picture

I’ve had the same “problem” for years; it takes longer (1.5x) to toast a bread made with just FWSY.  What I’ve seen is that when I make a bread with sugar or honey in it (such as a honey wheat sandwich loaf) that ”problem” goes away.  I also agree that there can be a textural difference in those sweet loaves, and this combined with the sugar leads to faster browning, and sometimes burning. --

jimbtv's picture

Sourdough's long fermentation converts sugars into alcohol, gas and flavor. The caramelization of sugars is the primary color component when bread is toasted. Without the sugars you get less caramelization.

Store-bought mass-produced bread typically has loads of sugar added.

Danni3ll3's picture

I always wondered why it took so long to toast bread. Now I know!

_vk's picture

I aways thought the higher hydration would be the cause for long toasting...

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

All my homemade bread takes longer to toast, whether it's a lean sourdough or an enriched sandwich bread. And it doesn't turn black on the outside while still being squishy on the inside, like store-bought bread. That's a good thing. :)

jimbtv's picture

Maillard reaction - Caramelization - Pyrolization

Nick Sorenson's picture
Nick Sorenson

Thanks for the responses. Maybe I'm not using enough sugar. I will give more a try.