The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Boiling Bread Before Baking

isaacis's picture

Boiling Bread Before Baking

Has anyone tried boiling a loaf of bread briefly before putting it in the oven? This is what gives bagels their crisp and shiny crust, and I'd imagine that it would have a similar effect on a larger loaf of sourdough, but I don't want to waste a perfectly good loaf by experimenting if someone has already tried and failed.

idaveindy's picture

I suppose you could try it with a couple bun size pieces of dough, kinda like a bagel without the hole.

Boston Brown Bread is steamed, but that is sort of a "bread pudding." 

clazar123's picture

If you boil the loaf,there will not be any oven spring when you bake it in the oven and the crumb will most likely be dense and moist as you are sealing the crust and preventing any release of moisture during the bake. The crust will be lovely, I'm sure.

just passing by's picture
just passing by

If you want your bread to be chewy and taste like a bagel, then go ahead.  Have you figured out how you're going to get the loaf of bread in and out of the boiling water without destroying the proof?

Benito's picture

You can also brush water on with a pastry brush after you’ve thoroughly brushed off any remaining flour left after the dough’s time in the banneton.  The brushing on of water will give the crust more shine and more blisters and still allow the bread to fully rise.


Timothy Wilson's picture
Timothy Wilson

I've tried, and it was nice. The crisp really was shiny and crust, as I need because I wanted it to be more beautiful than tasty to take it as a decoration. I am not sure about the taste because it was strange a bit. It was like a usual bread but drier. If I choose bread to it I wouldn't bake it this way because it takes more time.