Does adding oil and fats affect bread crust development?

  • Does adding oil and fats affect bread crust development? Jay

    I had recently started baking bread and I have read up a lot on developing a great crust. Generally it involves steam in the oven at the beginning of the baking process, high even heat and etc.

    I noticed something that I have not read about and was hoping someone can confirm it.

    I noticed that when I added extra virgin olive oil, I developed a much nicer crust then when I made a much leaner bread that did not have any fats in it. Does the oil really affect how my crust develops, or do you think its a different factor that gave my bread a better crust. If it is the EVOO, why does it give my bread a better crust.

  • Oil definitely changes the crust, and whether or not it's "better" depends on what you're going for. Oil in the dough tends to give a softer and thicker crust, while a lean dough tends to give a crisper and thinner crust. Other dough ingredients that tenderize include milk and eggs, and there are plenty of web pages listing "dough enhancers" that give various effects. Again, it all depends on what type of crust and crumb you want.

bread crust olive-oil
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