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My fiancee doesn't like to eat the crust of bread. I like to bake bread. But she ends up cutting off like half of each piece in the process of de-crust-ifying it. What are some suggestions to make bread have no crust? Is it possible?

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Bake bread with crust she likes? :P –  Nick T Nov 20 '10 at 23:40
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8 Answers

You can't bake bread to end up without crust, as it will always require high temperatures that will toast the outside (to varying degrees) without just dessicating the entire lump of dough.

For pure crustless bread, I would try to make something like a giant steamed dumpling. There are a few examples (courtesy Jefromi and Jay's comments, respectively) of this in Chinese cooking: baozi, a filled dumpling using yeast dough; or the larger mantou, similar but without filling.

When steaming dough it will retain much more (nearly all) water, so a drier dough would be in order. Generally in most bread-baking, the goal as Julio mentions is to get the inside to 200-210 °F, and by using steam at ~212 °F, you will get virtually no browning.

That said, crust can vary wildly, from very soft to very hard. The softer crust breads I bake are usually done in pans at lower temperatures (325-375 °F) and often contain milk, eggs and or fat. The more "crusty" breads are usually baked quickly at hot temperatures (>450 °F), but if done lower and slower it will change the crust significantly.

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Wow- good idea but poached bread sounds revolting! I suppose crustless bread doesn't sound all that good to begin with. –  Sobachatina Nov 21 '10 at 2:47
    
Yeah...the purist in me feels somewhat heretical for suggesting it, but the scientist in me is curious. Sort of a dumpling-type thing... –  Nick T Nov 21 '10 at 2:50
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@Jefromi Granted, but you can see in them what happens to the dough. Dumplings of various types are pure steamed bread, well soda bread usually, enjoyed the world over - not quite the same though. ;-) –  Orbling Nov 21 '10 at 14:27
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@Orbling: So perhaps baozi would be a better example - and possibly a helpful answer, too! –  Jefromi Nov 21 '10 at 14:30
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I know this is old but have you tried Mantou? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantou It is closer to a bread than baozi since it doesn't have a filling inside. –  Jay May 6 '12 at 19:50
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I don't know about truly crustless, but there's a style of loaf that's baked in a sealed 'pullman' loaf pan that's supposed to give a "nearly crustless" loaf:

http://www.cooking.com/products/shprodde.asp?SKU=159081&CCAID=FROOGLE159081

You can also make bread in a tin can so there's less crust formation:

http://thethingsilovemost.blogspot.com/2010/05/crustless-bread-whod-have-thought.html

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FWIW I like a nearly crustless bread for sandwiches and I LOVE my Pullman pan. This is my absolutely favorite recipe for sandwich bread and it was specifically developed for a 9" Pullman. kingarthurflour.com/recipes/honey-oat-pain-de-mie-recipe. I don't even buy baked bread anymore. I can make that recipe in my sleep. –  Jolenealaska Nov 16 '13 at 2:33
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I'm no expert on this, but from what I understand crust thickness is predominantly effected by the early stages of cooking. If there is a lot of steam in the oven initially it gelatinises the exterior and then this dries out giving a thicker crust area. The initial heat makes a large difference, if there is great heat initially, if you use a baking stone for instance, or pre-heated tins, the crust will be thicker as the heat penetrates further. Once the crust has formed you see, it is effectively self-limiting, shielding the rest of the loaf from the intensity of the heat. Do you coat your loaves before cooking? Some coatings enhance the crustiness, like salt-glaze.

Some tests may be in order, varying steam and initial heat to see what works best.

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No, I don't think it's possible to do that. At least, baking in a traditional way. Your oven should be higher than 300F to bake and the bread will be done when you reach 205F or so. The crust is formed because it takes more heat, sugars caramelize, etc.

There are a few things to have in mind to get a better crust, in the traditional sense, like moisture in the oven. If you want to avoid that kind of crust, don't add moisture and stop baking as soon as the bread is done.

I think your best bet is to find uses for the crust. There is a variation of gazpacho called salmorejo (at least in some parts of Spain) which uses only tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and leftover bread which is where my bread leftovers end.

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Gazpacho with the crusty bits it the best! –  TFD Nov 20 '10 at 23:31
    
@Julio Please, please. Post a pointer to a good salmorejo recipe. (pero una buena de verdad) –  belisarius Nov 21 '10 at 6:36
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@belisarius You can have a detailed recipe for salmorejo or a traditional one, but not both at the same time :) I already mentioned all I got as a recipe, with the exception of some wine vinegar. Also, salmorejo varies wildly from town to town, as you may already know. –  Julio Nov 22 '10 at 12:20
    
Or use the crust in stuffing/dressing! (You can even freeze it until you have enough.) Even crust haters often love that! –  Martha F. Nov 22 '10 at 14:07
    
Exactly. The point is, if for whatever reason you don't like the crust, instead of fighting against it, use it as stale bread (cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/5279/uses-for-stale-bread) –  Julio Nov 22 '10 at 15:22
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It's a sign of things to come, run away! Seriously, if your fiance cuts crust off the softest of (commercial) breads, there's no way to make a totally crustless bread. You can store your home baked breads in a plastic shopping bag, which will make the crust very soft. You could also save all the off-cuts of crust in an open container to dry them out, to make breadcrumbs later. Then use the breadcrumbs as an ingredient of a meal and let her (later) know that she just ate all her crusts.

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Peeling the bread after you bake it sounds like the best bet. Still wastes the crust, but you can eat the crust and then tell your fiancee you finally baked her crustless bread.

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Wouldn't making her think you baked something you didn't be a bit draconian ;-) –  J.A.I.L. Nov 9 '12 at 22:52
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Like all cooking, what you put in and how you cook it will change the finished product. Different flours make different crust strength. Try more whole wheat ground flours, more roughly ground flours (stone mill etc). This keeps more starch bound up in the flour, and not floating about to make a hard surface. Using a mix of non-wheat flours will also change the crust, e.g. a 50/50 mix of whole wheat and corn meal will give a very soft crust

Try boiling or steaming your bread first, it may take a few hours of streaming to reduce the baking time by half, and hence a softer crust

Cover the top of the bread with with a piece of aluminum foil, just a rectangle the shape of the pan, not a cover

Do you really want to marry a girl whom can't eat her crusts? :-)

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I had a girlfriend who had TMJ ... it's entirely possible that avoiding crusts is a pain management issue, and not just pickiness. –  Joe Nov 21 '10 at 2:34
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Microwave bread recipes such as this Microwave English Muffin Bread should produce relatively crustless loaves, shudder.

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