Crust too hard


I've succeeded in getting a starter going and baking the bread but, every time, the crust turns out so hard I'm afraid I'll loose a filling trying to eat it.  I 'd like to hear from anyone who has had that problem and how they actually solved it.  When I eat it, it sounds like and feels like I'm eating concrete.

333 users have voted.


Muff 2010 December 23

Could well be from baking longer than needed, or from baking at a lower-than-optimum temperature. If the loaf is large it takes longer to bake through at any given temperature, so simply dividing the loaf into smaller units may solve the problem. Lower temperatures mean that you have to leave the loaf in the oven too long to get crust color and to bake the center, and of course the crust gets thicker and harder.


Hope this helps,



mlucas 2010 December 23

Here are some things that might help others figure out the problem:

- the size of the loaves

- the temp of the oven (both preheat temp and temp baked at)

- how baked, i.e in pan or pot or used baking stone? Any steam used?

- how long you bake for

- basic recipe (don't need all the details, but is it like 25% rye 75% white flour, or whatever, and general hydration level)

Also a picture might help, especially a crumb shot!

With classic sourdough (65%+ hydration) you want a crispy crust, which means hard but thin. My best guess it that the initial oven temp is maybe too low? And the crust is ending up thick as a result.

I do find my sourdough to get a kind of tough "chewy" crust after the first day or so after baking. Hence I usually toast it after that which restores the delicious crispiness! Note I preheat to 475-490F, on a pizza stone that is preheated 30-45 min, and always use steam.*


* aluminum pie pan with some stones (collected from outside) in it, preheated, then pour boiled water over it after loading bread.

Hope this helps and that we can help further!

Happy baking
Mike's picture 2010 December 26

Hi there, any number of things could be the problem:

  1. Has the bread risen for long enough?  It should double in size and should pass the "poke test".  it is ready for the oven like this:  poke it gently.  The indentation you make should completely come out within a minute.  If it does not the bread is not sufficiently risen.  If there are bubbles onthe top of the loaf it has over risen.  In that case, take it out, knead it with bit more flour and let it rise again.
  2. It is getting dry as it rises.  Don't just cover with a tea towel, use plastic wrap or a shower hat so that the dough stays moist
  3. If the bottom is thick and tough, consider changing the baking tray or line it with baking parchment.

Those are my thoughts!

BarNone 2019 October 17

Crumb is just fine but crust is well, CRUST even hard to cut. What to do?

Post Reply

Already a member? Login