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How to Make the Crust Crispier on a Hearth Bread

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I made a raisin pecan rye bread today and the crust was not at all crispy, even on the bottom. I used an oven thermometer to make sure I was baking at the correct temperature and an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the bread. Any suggestions for how I can achieve a crispier crust next time?

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  1. Add some moisture to your oven, i.e. ice cubes. Or just splash some water on the crust.

    1. Rye bread tends not to have a very crisp crust. It also depends what other ingredients are in the bread. Fats and sugar, will inhibit the forming of a crisp crust. Perhaps rye flour has more natural oils.

      1. Steam in the oven, hot enough temperature, and long enough bake. If it's not what you want, let it cool, and then put in for a short 2nd bake.

        1 Reply
        1. re: UnConundrum

          Steam in the oven. When I turn the oven on, I put a baking pan full of water on the shelf below where I'm going to put the bread. By the time the oven is at temperature, it's got a lot of steam. Then I just let the pan in there until the bread is done.

        2. I've heard of a slight spray of vinegar being used as a trick to get a crisper crust.

          I think I recall spraying the bread lightly before baking, then once halfway through?

          It was in a book by a monk on bread baking.

          1. In addition to the steam suggestions, I'd use a good thick baking stone. They're kind of engergy wasters as you have to heat them for about 1 hr. before baking, but they do a make a difference. I like to bake the bread for about 15 min. on a baking sheet on the stone and then slide it right onto the stove itself once the loaf is sturdy enough.