The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Help with Focaccia crust

echandler's picture

Help with Focaccia crust


I just baked my first focaccia and the result was not what I anticipated. The focaccia itself refused to brown and I had to leave it in the oven an extra 10 min than what the recipe called for. Then I gave up and took it out and realized the crust was hard and thick, but very pale. I know my oven leaks heat, but I wasn't sure if that was the culprit. What could I have possibly done wrong? 

banana's picture

I've heard that overproofing could be the cause of a pale crust but I don't know if that is the problem here. It could also be your oven leaking heat or maybe to low of a temperature to begin with. I've also seen other threads about similar problems so you could check those. Good luck!

idaveindy's picture

Gas ovens often have trouble browning bread.

gerhard's picture

if your toppings include cheese it should brown in your oven unless your oven isn’t hot enough.

headupinclouds's picture

The same thing happens to me in my limited open oven baking attempts -- initially with pizza.  I'm fairly convinced it is due to dryness + venting in my gas oven.  There are a number of recent and related posts on the issue here.  My usual covered then uncovered cloche bakes turn out fine, and I've baked a few mini aliquot jar samples covered and uncovered to reproduce the issue.  Have you tried with a covered baker of some sort?

breadforfun's picture

Browning is the result of the Maillard reaction. Without getting too technical, the sugars and amino acids in the dough will brown upon coming in contact with water at elevated temperature. If the dough is not completely fermented, there will be insufficient amino acids to brown. Similarly, if there isn’t enough steam, there won’t be enough water to complete the reaction. You need both elements. 


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

most oven have a temp dial and an oven settings dial.  Oven settings can be upper and lower heat, fan, broiler and any combination just mentioned.  usually with funny little symbols.

semolina_man's picture

Pale color and thick tough crust mean temperature was too low and cooking time was too long.  


Try 50 degrees hotter and remove from oven when the color is to your liking.