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Most bread recipes give an estimate to how long that bread must bake. However, I find it hard to check whether it's done or not. I don't have a thermometer, and I don't think the toothpick trick works with bread.

Is there a way to know if your bread is fully baked?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Very simply, bake it for the recommended time in the recipe. Then if it looks golden brown (note that if the air in the oven is not humid enough the bread may stay pale, on a side note a humid oven helps to develop a good crust), tap it in on it's base and if it sounds hollow its done. If it feels soft in the base and not hollow or If its still not golden brown, put it back in the oven for a few minutes then try the tap check again. Although you stated you dislike the thermometer technique, for others reading the bread should have an internal temperature of 200F or 94C, if not return it to the oven for a few minutes until it is.

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+1 for the thermometer recommendation. Here are two very inexpensive ones on Amazon: Instant Read:… Instant Read with a Timer and "Temp Alarm", which is GREAT for baking, cooking fish, making custards, or anything else where "internal temperature" is more important than cooking time:… – Sam Ley Mar 1 '12 at 19:18
I normally follow the recommended time, but sometimes it's a range. I don't know if you can overbake bread. I tried the tapping today, but I 've burnt my fingers that way :p – Mien Mar 1 '12 at 19:29
@Mien, grow thicker skin. – Jay Mar 1 '12 at 19:31
@Mien- it is possible to overcook bread but it isn't a sudden thing. It will get noticeably too dark before it is really burnt. It is easier and worse to undercook than to overcook for non-flatbread. – Sobachatina Mar 1 '12 at 20:36
@mien a thermometer is really the way to go. If you want to tap the loaf, wear an oven glove on the hand you hold it with and tap with your nail, not the flesh of your finger! – ElendilTheTall Mar 2 '12 at 9:14

If it goes thud when you tap the bottom, it's not done. Put it back in the oven for ten more minutes and repeat the tap test again. If it sounds hollow, it's done.

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