Dusted Flour on Rolls or Bread

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  • #27441
    Italiancook
    Participant

    Can someone tell me the purpose of dusting flour on top of rolls or bread before baking? I’ve seen pictures of baked rolls with white flour on the top, frequently. It makes no sense to me. I think it makes the product look unfinished. The whiteness detracts from the beauty of the browned roll or bread. It looks like it would taste gritty or texturally unpleasant. I’ve never experimented with dusting flour, so I don’t know for sure. I just know I’d never buy bread in a bakery that had white, raw-looking flour on top.

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    #27443
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    I remember buying bakery breads that had a light dusting of flour on them.

    As I understand it, the flour affects how the crust forms, because it draws some of the moisture out of the surface.

    It can also be used for decorative effect.

    #27521
    aaronatthedoublef
    Participant

    Thanks Mike. In the bakery we dusted the tops with flour before going in the oven but I never asked why.

    I also dust my bread during its last rise so the plastic cover does not stick to it. Some of the flour invariably stays on after I take off the plastic.

    #27533
    Italiancook
    Participant

    When you eat baked bread or rolls with flour on top, what does the flour taste like? Is it like eating raw flour? Is it gritty? Dusty? Or, is there no difference in taste or texture as compared to the rest of the roll or bread?

    #27542
    Mike Nolan
    Keymaster

    There shouldn’t be enough of it for it to be an issue, but it doesn’t really taste raw. Sometimes if I get too much on, I’ll brush some off after the loaf cools, sometimes the excess just falls off as you’re slicing it.

    To be honest, I’d rather have a little loose flour on the loaf than a cornstarch slurry or Dutch crunch coat.

    #27545
    RiversideLen
    Participant

    When I make kaiser rolls with the stamp, I lightly flour the parchment and let the rolls rise upside down. The flour ensures the rolls can be turned over easily before baking. This process naturally leaves some flour on the top of the rolls but it is uneven. I don’t want any flour clumps so I take a soft pastry brush and brush it a little to even it out and remove any excess. I actually like the way it looks that way, gives it a little rustic look. I have had bread from a bakery that had a fairly heavy flour bottom and I do not care for that.

    #27547
    aaronatthedoublef
    Participant

    That’s a great idea Len! I always have clumps of flour on top. Thanks

    #27550
    BakerAunt
    Participant

    Thanks for the tip, Len. And thank you to Italian Cook for starting this discussion. Sometimes the simple things–a pastry brush to brush off excess flour–is the very thing we overlook. I once remarked to Cass that it is hard to turn over stamped buns. Use a spatula, he told me. Oh. Of, course.

    I recall a thread from the now defunct King Arthur Backing Circle (another KABC) in which a member–was it Karen Noll?–commented on a snowman bread that she makes and sprinkles before baking with flour in order to give the look of snow.

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