The Fresh Loaf

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Burning challah

Fadetoblack188's picture

Burning challah

So I am completely new to baking.  My son loves challah bread so that’s what I am making.  

my issues is that I am slightly burning the outside of the bread before the inside gets to 190 degrees.  

I checked the oven temp and it’s accurate and it is in the center of the oven.  I am cooking at 350 degrees. 

could it be the pan I am using? Should I try a different loaf pan? I am coating the non stock pan is Pam spray. Could this be causing the burn on the outside? 

any ideas ? 

Fadetoblack188's picture
Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

I love challah with a bolder bake and a darker crust. I wouldn't call that burnt and I've often seen a more well-done challah crust. However since it's enriched and you might prefer not as a dark then the only thing I can suggest is a lower temperature for longer. Or perhaps lining the loaf pan with baking parchment rather than using oil might help. 

Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

It doesn't look burned to me, but on the dark side.

I'd just cover it with aluminum foil when it reaches the desired colour. And if you can, switch off the top heating element in the oven, or insert a baking sheet above the bread.


It appears I misunderstood the question, I assumed the "outside" meant the top, that is not covered by the pan. I was really confused how changing the pan coating could fix it... Anyway, then it's certainly not burned, looks very good! But as Abe said above, if you want it lighter, bake low and slow. Changing the pan might help too, to some more insulating/slow heat transfer material, maybe?

Fadetoblack188's picture

Yes I would like it lighter on the sides. Maybe I will drop it down to 325 and bake it longer as well as throw a baking sheet on the top rack. 


justkeepswimming's picture

Not sure if this is useful at all, see what you think.

My electric oven heats from the bottom, and sometimes loaves burn a bit on the bottom, whether inside a heavy dutch oven or loaf pan. I went to the trouble of using an oven thermometer to make sure the temperature was accurate, and sure enough, it runs hotter than the set temperature. Might be worth exploring, if you haven't already done it?

Even so, after reducing the temperature setting and baking at the correct temp, I still got somewhat charred bottoms, tho the rest of the loaf is fine. As others mentioned, putting a sheet pan between the bread and the heat source can help shield your bread just enough. 

Good luck!!

Fadetoblack188's picture

Yes I checked the internal temp of oven. It’s electric though it fluctuates throughout its averages 350 

The Almighty Loaf's picture
The Almighty Loaf

Other people have listed some good suggestions but I also think you could experiment with different egg washes. An egg wash with more yolk than liquid can lead to a darker crust. Consider doing an egg-white-only egg wash or simply adding more water to your egg wash.

Fadetoblack188's picture

Yes but the hard crust is on the bottom and sides where there is no egg wash.. the top seems to be perfect.  It’s the bottom and sides that are crusting to hard