The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Shiny Blisters

albacore's picture

Shiny Blisters

I'm pretty happy with the appearance of my SD batardes now, but sometimes I get a nice shiny blistered crust and other times it's matt.

Any ideas what causes the difference?

Here's a couple I baked yesterday that turned out matt, although it's a bit difficult to tell from a photo:




Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Steam causes those nice shiny blisters.

Lovely loaves.

dabrownman's picture

Mega Steam gelatinizes the surface starch causing it to be shiny.  If you want shiny, and they aren't, you can always brush the loaves as they come out of the heat with a light coating or cornstarch wash like a rye bread.

Stuart Borken's picture
Stuart Borken

I have read that blisters are looked upon differently in different countries regarding their opinion of the appearance of their bread's surface.  Some cultures see the blisters as desirable and others a failings.  I happen to like them and steam my oven as much as I can to get nice blisters.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

the matt, or grey discolouration on the surface is caused by a rapid temp drop with a slow rebound in the oven during the setting of the crust.

Don't know if this would help...

Bread1965's picture

Steam is your friend.. how, what, when.. you need to find you own way.. but something I find that helps is to spray your loaves with a find mist of water just before I score them and load them into the oven.. enjoy..

albacore's picture

Many thanks for your compliments and suggestions. I do use steam within the limitations of a domestic oven. I'm pretty happy with the steam set-up I've developed.

It's just odd that sometimes I get nice and shiny and sometimes I get matt; not a big deal, I know. There's worse problems to have, even in the world of breadmaking!

I am starting to wonder if it relates to oven heat up time. ie on those occasions when I let the oven have a really good heat up, do I get glossy and with shorter heat up, even though up to temp, do I get matt?

Time for a trial!