Bread baking adjustment suggestions?
I have followed this challah recipe a few times a few times to the letter. The interior of the finished loaves is fine--the resulting crust is too dark and hard for my preference. How should I adjust? Reduce time and/or temperature? Adjust the egg wash? TIA.
Milk or a dairy element typically makes for a softer crust, but that is sort of a violation when it comes to challah.
Since you say you are happy with the overall texture, I think I would try baking it covered for all but the last 1/3 or 1/4 of time before adjusting or seeking a different recipe.
A cooler, slightly longer bake temp would be another thing to try. I think of the 400F. range as closer to artisan, crusty bread temp, whereas a softer, lighter crust is more of a pan bread feature. Try 375 or 350.
My 2 cents...
?#1 is your oven accurate,calibrated,do you have an oven thermometer ?
You have a non dairy recipe,with a high end flour ratio at 400*f. 9 of 11 of my reference recipes, similar are at 350*f at your baking time.An oven just the smallest bit over 400*f can have an effect.
Adjusting,diluting the egg wash isn't a bad idea either.Mine are quite thin,often applying a thin coat twice.