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Old 03-07-2012, 04:48 PM   #1
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Loaf bread crust = FAIL

I made 2 loaves of bread today. They rose beautifully, punched down, let rest again, chopped in half, placed in bread pan to rise. They rose, but - when put in the oven for what the recipe said 400 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes. The bread didn't continue to rise or stay risen, whatever, it didn't mound up beautifully like it should've. Also, I don't think it had time. Recipe called for 15 - 20 minutes. It was done and top crust burned in 11 minutes. The sides & bottom was a beautiful medium golden brown. The inside tasted good, but I still considered it a fail because it didn't come to the right finish. Any troubleshooting ideas appreciated.

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Old 03-07-2012, 04:56 PM   #2
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Did you slash the tops to give them room to spring?
Did you spritz them?
Did you steam your oven?
Are you sure your oven is accurate?
Does the bread use sugar? If so, how much? The more you use the lower the oven needs to be to keep from scorching.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:57 PM   #3
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If the recipe contained fat, that will also promote browning.

I only let mine rise once and then form the loaves for the second rise.

The steam helps to form a nice crust. I toss a couple of ice cubes in the oven when I put the bread in.

I also grease the tops of white country loaves when I take them out of the oven. The grease helps to soften the crust. I omit that step when making an Italian style bread where the crust is the star. Just a little butter or shortening on a paper towel wiped over the tops is all it takes.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
I also grease the tops of white country loaves when I take them out of the oven. The grease helps to soften the crust. I omit that step when making an Italian style bread where the crust is the star. Just a little butter or shortening on a paper towel wiped over the tops is all it takes.
I brush the top of mine with milk.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:25 PM   #5
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Does your oven have hot spots? Placing the rack too high in the oven will often over brown the crust if your oven is a conventional one without a fan in it.

If this is a standard loaf bread, 350 for around 30 minutes should bake the loaf quite nicely.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:40 PM   #6
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The obvious culprit in such a catastrophic failure is the yeast, perhaps yeast that is too old. Or you forgot and added a great deal of excess salt. Or you changed to an instant yeast this time, and some of them poop out early. But it seems to be simply a matter of the yeast quitting early. I'll bet it seemed to you that the last rise in pan before baking wasn't as vigorous as you expected. There's nothing else that would do this without something else being so far out of the normal that it would be obvious. Use regular, fresh yeast, and I suspect the next round will work fine.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankZ
Did you slash the tops to give them room to spring?
Did you spritz them?
Did you steam your oven?
Are you sure your oven is accurate?
Does the bread use sugar? If so, how much? The more you use the lower the oven needs to be to keep from scorching.
Did not slash tops, but observed a friend do this recipe and he performed no top slashing.
Did not spritz them - what does this do?
Steam my oven? New to bread baking, lost here.
I was actually at my Dad's using his oven which I think is secretly powered by it's own sun cooks & way too hot , so, accuracy? Not.
The recipe does use 5 T sugar
Thanks.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea
If the recipe contained fat, that will also promote browning.

I only let mine rise once and then form the loaves for the second rise.

The steam helps to form a nice crust. I toss a couple of ice cubes in the oven when I put the bread in.

I also grease the tops of white country loaves when I take them out of the oven. The grease helps to soften the crust. I omit that step when making an Italian style bread where the crust is the star. Just a little butter or shortening on a paper towel wiped over the tops is all it takes.
Thank you. I will try steam.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bakechef
Does your oven have hot spots? Placing the rack too high in the oven will often over brown the crust if your oven is a conventional one without a fan in it.

If this is a standard loaf bread, 350 for around 30 minutes should bake the loaf quite nicely.
No "hot spots" exactly. The Whole oven is like...volcano heat. It's equally hot - always has been. I think this oven was an experimental oven "switched at birth/home delivery". The rack was dead center. I could lower it. Also will definitely lower temp next time. Thanks.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GLC
The obvious culprit in such a catastrophic failure is the yeast, perhaps yeast that is too old. Or you forgot and added a great deal of excess salt. Or you changed to an instant yeast this time, and some of them poop out early. But it seems to be simply a matter of the yeast quitting early. I'll bet it seemed to you that the last rise in pan before baking wasn't as vigorous as you expected. There's nothing else that would do this without something else being so far out of the normal that it would be obvious. Use regular, fresh yeast, and I suspect the next round will work fine.
I feel certain the yeast was not old because it's a brand new purchased this morning jar and... I made cinnamon rolls out of the same yeast this morning and they were perfect. But maybe I got a different kind. I don't know. Too sleepy. Will look in the a.m.
Thanks for your help though.
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