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 Post subject: Bread Wash!
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:59 pm 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Location: New Portleans
hello!
has anyone stumbled on a bread wash that actually browns bread tops and creates a nice gloss?
over the years i've tried:

oil
soymilk
oil / soymilk combo
milk / cornstarch slurry

none of these really do much, and i'm making something for day of the dead that really needs a nice finish.
thanks for any input.

xo
kittee

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 Post subject: Re: Bread Wash!
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:39 pm 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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I've used reduced soymilk to concentrate the protein a bit. I think I added sugar too, but I'm not sure. I used it on moon cakes and the surface turned a shiny reddish brown where the wash was, but obviously bread dough won't be quite the same. You could also try baking soda or lye I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: Bread Wash!
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:57 pm 
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Level 7 Vegan
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Location: NJ -> Bristol UK
yeah, i was going to suggest baking soda mixed with water to brush on top. i haven't tried it myself, but it's essentially how pretzels get their glossy finish.

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 Post subject: Re: Bread Wash!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:15 am 
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Not NOT A Furry
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:17 am
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A technique used for breads is to wash them down with very thin cornstarch/water slurry AFTER cooking it briefly into a very thin 'pudding'. You brush the bread with that slurry only for the last few minutes of baking. I think it is quite a common technique used by German bakeries.

Here you will find a picture of how the bread will look like.
http://www.ploetzblog.de/2012/10/20/fre ... inkelbrot/

And the slurry has to be really thin; like 5g starch vs. 100g water (sorry, I have no idea how that 5% weight ratio would translate into spoons and cups)


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 Post subject: Re: Bread Wash!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:27 am 
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Not NOT A Furry
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:17 am
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Oh, another thing that improves the crust dramatically is baking the bread in a very hot oven with lots of steam; this helps the crust to caramellize and develop that shiny golden brown. It also facilitates the rising in the oven (called 'oven sping') because with all the steam in the oven the crust does not harden up a quickly so the dough has more time to expand, thus improving the crumb of the bread.

I have no experience if this works similarly for gluten free breads but I don't see any reason why it shoouldn't.

To get the steam into the oven this works best for me: preheat the oven to a good, high temperature (250°C) with a pan sitting on the floor of the oven. Heat water in an electric kettle and just after putting the bread into the oven, pour water into the pan (1-2 cups? I always eyeball that), close oven door quickly. This works best for convection ovens though since the pan kind of inhibits the heat that comes from the bottom part of the oven in 'normal' ovens.

Alternatively you can cover your bread with a turned around dutch oven or something similar, it captures the steam released by the bread for a similar effect.


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 Post subject: Re: Bread Wash!
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:32 am 
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Built this city on rock and roll
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:58 pm
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Lily wrote:
A technique used for breads is to wash them down with very thin cornstarch/water slurry AFTER cooking it briefly into a very thin 'pudding'. You brush the bread with that slurry only for the last few minutes of baking. I think it is quite a common technique used by German bakeries.

Here you will find a picture of how the bread will look like.
http://www.ploetzblog.de/2012/10/20/fre ... inkelbrot/

And the slurry has to be really thin; like 5g starch vs. 100g water (sorry, I have no idea how that 5% weight ratio would translate into spoons and cups)


Lily's advice is spot on. That technique works great. 5 g starch would be about a tablespoon and 100 g water is about 1/2cup minus 1 1/2 tablespoons.


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