The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Need crust that doesn't crush my teeth and jaw.

Jim Burgin's picture
Jim Burgin

Need crust that doesn't crush my teeth and jaw.

I need a recommendation of a bread recipe.  Have enjoyed Forkish's bread for years but am now at a stage of dental health and age where the crust risks expensive bridges and more.  Can anyone recommend a clearly artisan bread with a crispy yet tender crust?  Maybe a bread softened by some milk and/or olive oil.   Want the taste enhancement provided by a good Biga but no sourdough that requires dedicating my life to nurturing it.  Enjoy baking in my cast iron pot.   Thanks much!   Jim

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Jim, take a look at this bread. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/51372/hokkaido-milk-bread-unreal  If it fits your bill it is well laided out and relatively easy to successfully bake. The bread is super soft and has a great taste.

Dan

Jim Burgin's picture
Jim Burgin

Thanks Dan,

I will take a close look.

Jim

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

when I first started making bread that the crust was too hard and tough. I solved that issue by adding a bit of plain full fat yogurt to my dough. I use about 30 g to 1100 g of total flour in my recipes. That little bit makes a huge difference. 

Jim Burgin's picture
Jim Burgin

Thanks Danni,

I will give this a shot.

Jim

Trevor J Wilson's picture
Trevor J Wilson

So much of a bread's crust is a matter of how it is baked. Yes, certain ingredients can soften a crust -- milk, fat, sugar, etc. But they are neither all that matters, nor even that which matters most. What matters most is time and temperature. Darker crusts are baked at higher temperatures, and thicker crusts are baked for more time. If you're looking for a softer easier crust then you're looking for lower temps and shorter bake times. 

Obviously, you need to bake the loaf through so that it's not doughy or gummy (underbaked). But so long as the loaf is baked through and through (and properly fermented), then time and temp are your playthings. You do not have to bake a loaf dark. Anyone that tells you that only dark crusts are acceptable is preaching dogma. Bake to whatever color you like. I often bake certain styles of bread to a very light color. Tan, at most. And know that these light colored loaves are pure sourdough -- no fat, no sugar. If you take these light-baked loaves and wrap them in plastic-wrap once they are cool (as I often do) then you will get a very soft, easy to chew crust. I frequently make bread for folks who have difficulty chewing due to age or other dental related issues. And I don't need to add fat or sugar to make it chewable, though that's perfectly fine if that's what you like. 

Pure lean sourdough -- baked light -- then wrapped in plastic-wrap (or otherwise covered) will make for a soft and easily tolerated crust. Typically, I can bake 600g loaves for 20 minutes at 425F/218C (covered in a cast iron combo cooker) then uncovered at 400F/204C for another 12 minutes or so. For an 800g loaf it would be 20 minutes @ 425F and 20 at 400F. It's all relative to the oven, of course. But the point is that if you bake a loaf at a lower temperature for a lesser amount of time then you will get a lighter and thinner crust -- so long as you bake it through. It will be thin but crunchy if eaten as is, but soft if bagged before eaten. Take your pick. 

Artisan bread does not have to have a dark, tooth-shattering crust. That is just a myth for the dogmatic. Bake your crust to whatever degree you desire. Bread is meant to be enjoyed by all. If someone tells you that your crust is not dark enough then give them the finger and tell them it's just dark enough. 

Cheers!

Trevor

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Your explanation of time and temp as it relates to crust is very informative. The bread wrapping tip also sounds great. I plan to keep this in mind for the future.

Danny

Jim Burgin's picture
Jim Burgin

Thanks for replying to my post Trevor.

With lower temp and shorter time, how do you know when bread is done?

Do yo check internal temp for 205, or another method.

Thanks much,  Jim

David R's picture
David R

The internal temperature is pretty much guaranteed accurate, but after you've seen and handled a few successes, you'll "just know".

David R's picture
David R

Being able to bake bread with a dark crunchy crust while still maintaining a nice crumb, is a bit like being able to swear convincingly and with skill - it's no good unless you know the right and wrong times to do it. 🙂

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Jim - lots of good advice so far above. I'd add my 2c.  Just about any bread made with either spelt as one of the flours, or with oats added (boiled, soaked, cooled and then incorporated into the dough) make for a remarkably soft crumb and delicate crust. If you need help I can send you some recipe links. You'll be happy.. good luck.. frank!

 

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

I observed yesterday, as I do every time our weekly miche cools:  Just wait a few hours.  Fresh out of the oven, crusts can be brutal.  But as internal moisture seeps out, the crust immediately begins to soften.  And as someone commented above, you can wrap it with a  moisture-impermeable wrap as soon out of the oven as it's cool enough to do so (immediately with foil I suppose).  Any crust will inevitably and completely soften.  No need to find a new or change your favorite formula or process.

This is so obvious, I fear mentioning it may cause offense.  None intended.

Tom

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I find a bit of olive oil goes a long way to tenderize the crust. Or as Danni suggested, a bit of yogourt works too.