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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Breads & Baking / Bread crusts too hard
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    Bread crusts too hard

    Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:32 pm
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    My problem is whenever I try baking bread, (I mix in my bread machine but bake in the oven) I follow recipes as written but my crusts come too hard but insides perfect,
    What am I doing wrong? Oven too hot, baking too long ?
    Can someone help me out as I do enjoy baking the bread but getting fed up with having to cut the crusts off because they really as hard as rocks.
    Appreciate any help I can get, thank
    Donna M.
    Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:45 pm
    Forum Host
    What temperature are you baking at? Does the crust look too dark? As soon as the bread comes out of the oven, remove it from the pan onto a cooling rack and immediately brush the crust with a light coating of butter. This will soften the crust and keep it from becoming hard. Once the bread is cooled, store it in a plastic bag to retain moisture.

    I bake most of my loaf breads at 350 F, even though many of my recipes call for 375 F, and I also often don't bake as long as the recipe states. I have baked a lot of bread so it is pretty easy for me to eyeball when it is done enough.

    Hope some of this will be helpful to you.
    Sun Jan 23, 2005 11:10 pm
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    Thank you Donna M for your quick response, I do bake at 350 but maybe inclined to leave it a little longer then recipe calls for in order to get good color.
    I will certainly try your suggestion.
    How helpful you people are
    Many thanks
    Mon Jan 24, 2005 5:54 am Groupie
    Hope you don't mind if I jump in... icon_razz.gif
    More reasons for tough pale crusts might be....
    1) Too much salt in the recipe
    2) The dough didn't have time to rise
    3) Over-handling of dough.
    Hope this helps!
    Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:32 am
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    Thanks Aroostook, all your possible reasons for hard crusts well noted.
    Bread recipes that I have tried have been BM recipes using only the dough cycle
    Salt as per recipe, may be even less as I am not to keen on it
    Yeast always tested before attempting to use and rising until doubled in size, about 1 hour
    Next time I bake I will take heed of your advice
    Thank you for replying, much appreciated
    Tue Jan 25, 2005 2:36 am Groupie
    Flour doesn't always absorb the same amount of water. There are a lot of factors involved...
    Moisture content of flour
    humidity of your area
    even the size of an egg can alter how much flour is needed to make the bread.
    Your bread should still be slightly sticky. (In other words, it will stick if you push hard into the dough, but it won't if you gently press into the dough.)

    Usually hard crust is a result of:

    adding a bit too much flour
    oven too hot (doesn't sound like your problem)
    too much salt (doesn't sound like your problem)
    over cooking or excessive browning

    From the sound of things, it could be a combination of both too much flour and over cooking.

    If you just want a really browned bread crust, run it under the broiler for a minute or two when it is "done" instead of over cooking to achieve the color.

    I highly recommend trying less flour. It was the best fix I ever had for
    my breads crust.
    Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:23 pm Groupie
    Also, for a softer crust you can brush the dough lightly with melted butter or milk right before baking.
    Fri Jan 28, 2005 5:37 pm Groupie
    Brushing with butter after it is out of the oven. I usually put my bread in a plastic bag when it is almost room temp then in the fridge overnight.

    If I leave it out until it is room temp then the crust is hard.

    I bake 6 loaves at a time, looking at getting up to 12 loaves when I get more bread pans. I was thinking of getting a bread machine before but then we go through about a loaf a day so I probably would kill the poor machine in no time.
    Linda Perry
    Sat Jan 29, 2005 3:27 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    To avoid hard crusts when baking bread, I always put a pan of water in the oven during baking. Or, place foil over the baked bread while it cools. Either method works well.
    Inge 1505
    Sun Jan 30, 2005 8:38 am Groupie
    Linda Perry wrote:
    To avoid hard crusts when baking bread, I always put a pan of water in the oven during baking. Or, place foil over the baked bread while it cools. Either method works well.

    That is exactly what I do icon_smile.gif
    Dienia B.
    Fri Mar 11, 2005 1:01 pm Groupie
    to soften up a hard loaf try a damp towel(not wet) then another towel over it this may help when its already hard
    Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:18 pm Groupie
    My paternal grandma taught her DD to make bread. They both used the same recipe. But my Grandpa always complained that his DD's bread was better than Grandma's.

    What was the they treated the bread when it came out of the oven.

    Grandma just cooled it on a wire rack then stored it when cool.

    Aunt Phyllis rubbed a stick of butter all over the hot loaf then covered it lightly with a clean dish towel until cool, then stored it.

    I learned from my Aunt and do the same unless I am making bread that I want a crispy crust such as French Bread.
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