Flour dusting on loaves of bread - what's the point?

Every day I enjoy a lovely sandwich and my current favourite is a ham salad with mustard on white crusty bread.

But why oh why do bakers insist on coating the top of the bread with a “light dusting” of flour?

It serves no purpose that I can see, tastes horrible, gets everywhere, i.e. lips, fingers (and subsequently trousers, shirts), on your desk, in your keyboard, basically everywhere. The only way to prevent it spreading is to remove the crust, which reduces the amount of sandwich you have and does not stop it coating things.

What is its purpose!! :realmad:

Off the wall guess: It’s like frosting for bread; purely decorative.

Off the other wall guess: It may be there to prevent moisture loss.

it’s purely decorative afaik, coming from a food science background many moons ago. The improvers and such that go into modern bread means the crusts are incredibly uniform.

Go back a few hundred years, and bread was hard and crusts were left undecorated/cut to act as a natural barrier for things getting in and out :slight_smile:

My personal preference is the seeded batch :smiley:

Even worse than this is flour-topped buns. Because there is a larger area of flour you get covered even more so. There’s no way around this other than holding the offending article in a tissue to p-rovide an effective barrier between bun and hand. The only down side to this is that ifg you’re not careful you end up chewing on paper instead!!! :furious: I hate them… Grrrr!!

I thought that the flour dusting was to stop the dough sticking to the cooking and preparation surfaces - so unglazed hand made breads are covered in it. whereas the mass produced ready sliced varieties only ever come into contact with teflon coated surfaces.

Had a mate who ate his lunch after finishing a 2pm - 10pm shift at work, got the flour in his mustache and walked home as normal. Got stopped by the police and spent ages trying to convince them it was flour :lol:

There is absolutely no purpose, other than for looks. At my bakery, I make a point not to dust the bread. It looks good, like an artisan bread should look but brings nothing to the table flavor wise. In fact, I figure if a bakery is dusting they are only going for the look and don’t have a great tasting bread. I went the other direction…it tastes so good, you don’t need the dust.

Steve Blank
Phoenix Rising Bakery (note the cool name!) …no I didn’t steal it.

glad its not just me - cant stand flour on the top of bread, just makes the mouth dry.

On the other hand, the dust makes it easy to see if someone with wet fingers has been handling your bread. Don’t really care for soggy loaf…