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Old 02-16-2008, 07:54 AM   #1
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What is "crusty bread"?

I see "crusty bread" written quite often in the, what are you having for dinner threads. What actually is "crusty bread"? Is it a specific bread recipe, or a style of bread that encompasses a few, such as Italian bread or French bread that come in loaf shape? Is it just a fancy way to say I'm having bread with my dinner? I mean, all breads have a crust, don't they?

This "enquiring" mind wants to know

Thanks
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:09 AM   #2
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The term crusty bread refers to breads with a hard crust that crunches when you bite into it. Sometimes, if you're lucky, small bits of the hard crust will break off and stick into your gums.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:17 AM   #3
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I so agree, when I speak of crusty bread, it may be french, Itl, sourdough heated in the oven to get it warn and Crusty.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:17 AM   #4
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The term crusty bread refers to breads with a hard crust that crunches when you bite into it. Sometimes, if you're lucky, small bits of the hard crust will break off and stick into your gums.
As I was reading that I thought you were going to say fall into your soup, not stick into your gums

I guess the first loaf of bread I made in my breadmachine with the color set to medium could have been considered a crusty bread

Thanks for clearing that up for me, Andy.
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Old 02-16-2008, 08:37 AM   #5
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pacanis, a good crusty bread can be many shapes and varieties, as you've assumed.

but the crust should be hard and fairly thick, upwards of 1/8th of an inch or more. not like the soft, thin crust of, say, a wonder white bread, or even the thicker but relatively chewy crust on a good polish rye. lika andy mentioned, it shouldn't bend much before it cracks.

i've had good, crusty bread in lots of forms: from round whites, ryes, and pumpernickels; to oval portugese/spanish style; to longer, fatter italian white or semolina; to even longer thinner french.

we have 2 great bakeries right up the block from us (1 italian, 1 polish) , so i often pick up a fresh, still-warm loaf on the way home from work.

just to guild the lily, if the bread is cold - but still less than a day, we often pop it in the oven to reheat and recrisp the crust. a lot of people don't do that at home, but it makes a world of difference. all of the aromas and nuttiness come right out again. try it, you'll see.
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:21 AM   #6
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Thanks again for all the info.

So, if I were to try making some rolls and brushed them with egg whites before popping them in the oven, they may or may not be considered crusty bread depending on how thick the crust got...... correct?
So do you just leave them bake longer?
Or, I remember buying some kind of fabric roll from King Arthur where the rep said to wrap my dough in it to help draw out the moisture before baking.... I'm thinking now that is how you get crusty bread if you are making it yourself.
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Old 02-16-2008, 09:31 AM   #7
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i'm sorry, i can't help with the baking. i'm not a baker, in any sense of my imagination. my family and i are just bread (eating) people. since you often judge a restaurant by first impressions, the bread does it for us.
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:27 PM   #8
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Here's a beautiful crusty bread, along with a recipe: Bread Blog No Knead Bread with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Asiago Cheese

In fact, this blog is dedicated to bread recipes.
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Old 02-18-2008, 05:45 AM   #9
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The last comment was made by a link back to this thread..... Interesting. Is that some sort of form of internet ettiquette? When one posts a link on one site to another site, you should also post a link over there back? I've never seen that done before.

I'm a pretty basic bread eater. I would not take a slice of that bread if another were available. Too much color and swirls for me I appreciate the link though.
I'm also one of "those people" that don't eat Jello with chunks of stuff in it
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:50 AM   #10
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The last comment was made by a link back to this thread..... Interesting. Is that some sort of form of internet ettiquette? When one posts a link on one site to another site, you should also post a link over there back? I've never seen that done before.
That's called a Trackback - the blog software automagically "knows" when someone has linked to a given article and shows the link in context. Here's more: Trackback - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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I'm a pretty basic bread eater. I would not take a slice of that bread if another were available. Too much color and swirls for me I appreciate the link though.
I'm also one of "those people" that don't eat Jello with chunks of stuff in it
I know whatcha mean, although sun-dried tomato sourdough is one of my faves. There are lots of crusty breads without add-ins, though. Great stuff
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:04 AM   #11
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Trackback.. they even have a name for it Learn something new everyday.

I proabably need to expand my bread palatability... if that's a word
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:00 AM   #12
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Trackback.. they even have a name for it Learn something new everyday.

I proabably need to expand my bread palatability... if that's a word
I think you'd like this one: http://steamykitchen.com/blog/2007/0...ead-revisited/ This is about the New York Times' No-Knead Bread - so easy, her 4-year-old son can make it The writing is exceptional
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:07 AM   #13
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that's a neat site, thanks gg.
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:20 AM   #14
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some crusty breads are dry and flaky, others are chewy and full of holes like swiss cheese, others are dense. Love the crusty chewy ones with soup and cheese.
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:27 AM   #15
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that's a neat site, thanks gg.
You're welcome. It's one of my favorites. I should mention that she sometimes swears, if people are sensitive to that.
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Old 02-19-2008, 11:28 AM   #16
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I mean, all breads have a crust, don't they?
Technically yes...but the distinction is generally in how they are baked.

What you are calling "crusty" bread is in industry terms "hearth" bread. It is baked directly on the hearth, allowing nearly all of the bread to be exposed to the hot air of the oven. (Sometimes they are baked on a sheet in the oven to facilitate handling.) There are many different types of hearth bread...quite a few have been mentioned already.

The more modern "pan" bread, (baked in a pan, often with a lid) has a much softer crust...sometimes nearly as soft as the crumb. Most of this bread is used for feeding small children, but is probably best suited as livestock fodder...
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Old 02-19-2008, 11:38 AM   #17
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Here's a beautiful crusty bread, along with a recipe: Bread Blog No Knead Bread with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Asiago Cheese

In fact, this blog is dedicated to bread recipes.

OMG, GG!!
I'm salivating!! Thanks for the link!!
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:54 PM   #18
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Thanks, GG!
...............
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Old 02-19-2008, 01:27 PM   #19
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Thanks again for all the info.

So, if I were to try making some rolls and brushed them with egg whites before popping them in the oven, they may or may not be considered crusty bread depending on how thick the crust got...... correct?
So do you just leave them bake longer?
Or, I remember buying some kind of fabric roll from King Arthur where the rep said to wrap my dough in it to help draw out the moisture before baking.... I'm thinking now that is how you get crusty bread if you are making it yourself.

No the egg wash won't make it crusty. Neither will the wrap.

Crusty bread is what you will get if you use the NYTimes no-knead bread recipe I told you about a while back when you first became interested in making bread. Either the original or the simplified. Both yield lovely crusty bread.
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:53 PM   #20
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This narrows it down even futher.
So you're saying it can only be gotten with specific no-knead recipes?
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