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Creating Artisan bread with a rustic and chewy crust
Artisan bread derives its name from unique combinations not usually found in traditional bread. It is homemade, fresh, crusty, and deliciously rustic looking.
Fortunately, Artisan “like” bread is easy to make in your bread machine and bake in the oven.
Lightly flour (dusting the top) before baking
Dust the dough with some flour. This will encourage the crust to form more quickly, resulting in a more rustic appearance with a chewier crust. Apply just before baking.
Bakers often dust the loaf’s top before scoring it to maximize the contrast between the dark crust and the white interior.
In these cases, white rice flour should be part or all of the flour used for dusting. Its higher scorch temperature gives it a bright white colour that contrasts starkly with the dark, baked crust.
I also like the simplicity of the water and flour option. The flour looks pretty and highlights the shape of the bread.
Fancy loaves may be “floured” with a stencil. This lets you create a unique, literally baked-in signature in your bread.
The stencil prevents the flour or powdered spice from landing on the bread except through the stencil.
The stencil is held over the top of the bread. The surface of the bread is “floured.” Remove the stencil by pulling it vertically, leaving the flour or spices behind. It is then baked.
High-end bakers may have special stencils made out of plastic. You buy pre-made ones, or you can make your own out of wax paper or parchment paper. You’d cut out the design, lay or hold it over the bread dough, and then flour it.
Note that you can stencil the bread with chocolate, cinnamon or other spices on top of a layer of bread flour. You can score the area around the stencil, but that’s a matter of taste. This is undoubtedly easier than scoring bread.
Scoring dough 6-12 mm (¼- ½ inch) deep with a sharp knife into the desired design. It gives a route for the expanding dough to escape. If there isn’t a wash, the drying crust will open to permit the interior to escape, creating the classic artisan look.
Deeper scores are used to shape the way the bread expands. For example, centre cross-cuts that go deeper than surface scores cause the centre of the bread to rise dramatically.
Lesser scores make the bread look more attractive while creating spots that capture more butter and jelly than the rest of the loaf.
You can wipe off the dusting of flour before you score. That gives the bread a cleaner look, which may be the intent if you’re scoring the bread. However, this won’t affect the taste of the bread.
- Finishing the crust – glazes, washes, and toppings
- How to create an Artisan bread with a rustic crust
- Scoring (slashing) bread dough
- How to make a crispy and crunchy crust?
- How to make bread with a soft crust
- Everything You Need to Know to Start Baking Awesome Bread Using a Bread Maker
- Fast2eat Bread Recipes
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