I love a thick, crunchy crust on my bread. Turn up the heat high, give it a good cook and you get that satisfying crack as you bite into it. However, sometimes that isn’t ideal, such as when I bake bread to take down for a communion service at church. People love the taste but I think it can be a challenge for the people breaking the bread and people are still chewing when they get to the cup! How could I bake good bread with a softer crust.
It turns out that the answer is simply to turn the heat down. Bread needs to reach an internal temperature of about 95°C to be properly cooked but the oven doesn’t need to be at the 200°C range that I normally set it (my typical regime is heating the fan oven to 220°C, putting the bread in and turning down to 200°C). It didn’t take any longer too cook and I got the softer crust I was after – not like mighty white sliced bread but not too hard. It is a technique I’ll keep in my repertoire.