The bread is quite dark. What’s going on?

Here’s a loaf of Merton simple from this morning’s baking.

too long in the oven?too long in the oven?

You can see where the ear of the crust is a jagged edge and because it is so thin it has caught in the heat of the oven. I took a loaf to my nephew Finn recently and he said, It’s burned”. Finn was joking but was he right? Most bread in the UK is a pale brown colour and we have become accustomed to that colour as meaning cooked bread.

The reason I bake the bread this dark is because it adds depth and richness to the bread’s flavour. The chemistry of this browning process is a series of reactions called the Maillard Reactions.

The Maillard (pronounced my-YAR) reactions happen with foods that are not primarily sugar (i.e. unlike the caramelization of sugar) and are responsible for the beautiful colour and complex, umami-like intense flavour of the crust in bread. The result is the amazing contrast between the flavour and texture of the crust with the flavour and texture of the crumb. Give it a go and I think you will start to enjoy the intensity of the flavour.

I could even cook the loaves a few minutes longer ;-).

Up next How long will the bread last? Merton bread does not contain any preservatives so here’s a guide to how the bread lasts if stored correctly. The first two days the bread will Any storage advice?
Latest posts communal oven on sourdough workshops subscribe more on costs sunflower experiments subscribe Merton wholemeal extra Merton rye and wheat germ Merton cheese and pepper festa sourdough in pencil botanical experiments honey honey chickpea water wheat roots back be right back caught simple saturdays How come the bread costs what it does? costing a loaf purple bread bread 23 september nothing special harvest festival kimbell equation bread 9 september wholewheat sesame boy with bread no bread 19 and 26 august