How does bread "brown"greenspun.com : LUSENET : Bread.com FAQ : One Thread
My oven doesn't seen to brown well at the properly prescribed temperature. It's an old oven, gas. Is there an adjustment in the temp that I can make, or some other trick? Thanks Dave
-- Anonymous, April 23, 2001
Your are probably experiencing that gray, dull look associated with bread baked in a home oven. The trick is to introduce some moisture into the oven during the beginning of the bake. The steam gelatinizes the starch on the surface of the crust making it smoother and more receptive to the color change. The second step is to be sure that the bread has a good "kick" in the oven. It is important that the bread has a fair expansion in the oven, so that you create a taut smooth surface for the browning to take place. The third step is to use some sugar. The process is called Maillard Reaction. It is a protein/sugar bonding process activated by heat. If there is little or no sugar in the formula, you will not see a good result. Malt is an excellent source to promote browning in bread, but household sugars will work fine also. If you are still not seeing the results you want, you can prepare a 50/50 water/egg wash to brush over the bread before baking. The available proteins from the egg brown very easily and give a different, but nice browning affect.
-- Anonymous, April 25, 2001