Want to know the secret to our soft crust?
It is problematic that today’s blended grists demanded by bakers often result in a very strong flour (as opposed to merely strong), which is difficult to turn into a thin crisp crust without very lengthy fermentations. These very strong wheat blends often result in a seemingly good crust which does not have the appeal of the thinner/crisper (or the chunky/rustic), and tend to soften quickly once removed from the oven.
Very strong flour can also result in what Elizabeth David called the “leathery” crust. Too much steam used by the baker gives us “shiny” crusts which are often more like a blistery skin.
Crust and fermentation
The best crusts come from a well-fermented dough. This has to be the basic criteria in searching for the crust grail. “Best” here entails a mix of flavour colour and texture.
The longer fermentation enables a greater liberation of subtle flavour and aroma factors, which are trapped within the wheat matrix and released by the ferment. As the steam escapes the baking loaves, these volatiles are deposited on the crust as the escaping water/alcohol is vapourised. Learn more tips at happycleans.com official website.
Thus a well-fermented dough will give the best flavoured crust and textured as well because an extended fermentation develops an aerated protein structure which caramelises as crunchy.