Thursday, October 30, 2008

Soft Crust Quest

A few weeks ago, Little Loo told me she isn't fond of the crust on homemade bread, since it's never soft like store-bought bread, but she'd searched online and found a remedy for that: spray water on the top of the loaf before baking. She'd tried this, with pleasing results. I've never, personally, had an aversion to the crusts on homemade breads, but I thought this was a great tip I'd want to employ.

My own spray bottle had recently dealt me fits, as I was trying to douse the flames devouring the meats I was grilling; the spring kept sticking. In desperation, I'd removed the sprayer and chucked water willynilly on our dinner, lest it be cinderized, then threw the spray bottle in the trash. I bought a new one, so I could mist my bread.

Before I could test this spray-the-bread tip, I got another call from Loo, with further information about misting her homemade bread. It seems she was so taken with her lovely bread that she decided to soon make another loaf, although this time, her husband saw her pick up the spray bottle and walk to the kitchen with it. She was poised to spray, when he called out, "Loo, what are you doing?" She told him she was going to spray the bread dough before she put it in the oven, and he said, "Loo, that's plant food."


This past week, she's been experiencing some pain which she and her husband agreed seemed to fit the description of growing pains. At nearly 27 years of age, she deemed that ridiculous...until she remembered the bread basted in Miracle-Gro. You don't suppose...? Naw.

I don't want to eat Miracle-Gro. Does anyone make Miracle-Shrink? I can tell you misting with water did my bread crust no good whatsoever, so I opted for the next tip Loo supplied: set a pan of water beneath the bread in the oven.

I took my bread -- potato bread -- out of the oven, and I didn't need to bite those crusts in order to judge their tenderness. One tap on the top told me I could use them as step stools. Sides and bottoms -- tender. Tops -- steely. I've always had a fair measure of success with buttering the tops of loaves when they come out of the oven, and much as it pained me, I buttered the potato bread I'd authentically and artfully dusted with flour before baking, eradicating, of course, my QueenKitchen artwork.

1. Spray with plant fertilizer. (better) NOT
2. Spray with water. NOT
3. Bake with a pan of water beneath. NOT
4. ________ (fill in the blank) (PLEASE!)

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. ~John 6:35


Jeannie said...

I usually just rub a bit of butter or oil on my bread crusts as soon as I take them out of the oven and it softens them right up. My family really hates store bought bread now and will almost go on strike when I get too far behind in baking.

Cousin Annie said...

Call Martha!!!! ºÜº

Morgan said...

I guess I've never really minded the harder crust of homemade bread...maybe Miracle Grow would do the trick!! hee hee My mama rubs her rolls with butter when they are fresh out of the oven, but we just don't do anything with the bread except eat it. :D
Funny story, and I hope you find a solution that's right for you.

ChickenMomOf6 said...

I've heard that making bread with water makes a crustier bread, and replacing the water with milk makes a softer bread... I like it crusty so I haven't tried it, but my sister swears by it!

~CarolineNot said...

While Jeannie and I butter crusts fresh out of the oven, and Morgan enjoys gnoshing on homemade goodness, as-is, ChickenMom comes with an interesting tip about milk vs. water. I'll be. I'm wondering now if tossing some powdered milk into the potato water, after the potato is cooked, may be a good idea.

Thanks for the input, Girls, and I'll keep experimenting.