How to give a soft crust to homemade bread

Uploaded by EliMakesMovies on 04.11.2012

You made a loaf of homemade bread, but the crust ended up being hard as a rock.
I think I broke a tooth.
Has this ever happened to you?
Do you wish that your loaf had nice, soft crust like the bread you buy at the store?
The bad news is that the loaf you already baked is toast.
Toast is hard an crunchy...nevermind.
But the good news is there is hope for your next loaf.
But before we get to that, let's ask why the loaf gets hard in the first place.
Lot's of the loaf's moisture escapes as steam while it's cooling.
Maybe you're thinking, "If you could prevent the steam from escaping,"
"..the crust won't dry out." And you'd be right.
But there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. Some wrong ways would be to put it in a box,
or some sort of bag.
For the box, it's because there's still air space for the steam to escape out of the loaf,
and you still loose moisture. For bags, it's because bags tend to expand when you get
steam inside them causing the same problem.
You need something that wraps the loaf up tightly.
Now you may be thinking, "What about aluminum foil?" You'd be on the right track, except that
steam can corrode aluminum, which can cause holes to form, and steam to escape, and may leave
some metal residue on your loaf.
And yes, I am speaking from experience. That leaves us with:
Plastic wrap.
Now maybe you're savvy, and maybe you've heard that if you expose plastic wrap to high temperatures,
(such as you would have with steam), then toxic chemicals can be leeched out of the plastic,
and contaminate your food. That used to be true,
but not so much anymore; most plastic wraps these days are safe. And if you want
to be sure, check the box. If it says it's microwave safe, or provides microwave
instructions, or if the box says "low-density polyethylene", then it's safe.
As far as we know.
As soon as it's done baking,
quickly remove it from the pan.
Cut off a large piece of plastic wrap and tightly wrap up the loaf.
Make sure that there are no holes.
Don't take the plastic off
Until it's completely cool.
If there are any damp spots on the crust after you've unwrapped it, let it dry in the air
for a couple of minutes,
before putting it in a bag for long-term storage.
Congratulations; you've made a loaf with a nice, soft crust!