The Sound of Crust

Appears in

Brother Juniper’s Bread Book

By Peter Reinhart

Published 1991

  • About
When I first began making slow-rise bread, I discovered a pleasure within the pleasure of the bread making. As a novice baker, I found every batch somewhat experimental; each loaf was an adventure toward some type of Holy Grail I romantically called the perfect loaf. My kitchen assistant and I would taste each bread before sending it out to the dining room where thirty or forty members of our brotherhood would happily devour every version. This led to a first corollary in my thinking: Freshly baked bread is always a hit no matter how it turns out. On one particular occasion, and I remember it as if it just occurred though it happened more than ten years ago, we took our customary sample bites and heard the crust crackle in what I now think of as the Moment. I said to my assistant, “That’s it! That’s the sound! It’s as important as the taste. It’s the sound of perfection and it is so deeply satisfying!” Then I stopped my exclamation because my eyes were watering and I was beginning, in this perfect bread moment, to cry.