Late Baking: Flavor Development and Cooking Through

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Baking is continued for some time after the bread center approaches the boiling point. This gelates the starch as thoroughly as possible, thus preventing the center from remaining damp and heavy, and slowing subsequent staling. Continued baking also encourages the surface browning reactions that improve both color and flavor. Though limited to the hot, dry crust, these reactions affect the flavor of the whole loaf because their products diffuse inward. A light-colored loaf will be noticeably less flavorful than a dark one.