The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Jesse Bulman's salt loaf AKA crack bread

sonofabrioche's picture

Jesse Bulman's salt loaf AKA crack bread

For any of you all who are familiar with Rochester, you might be familiar with Jesse's salt bread - a fantastic loaf with a cotton soft interior and paper thin salty crust that holds together in your hands but shatters between your teeth. Its absolutely wonderful and is so delicious is barely needs any accompaniment. 

I have been trying to reverse engineer it for home baking but haven't had much luck. The only insight into how its made comes from an article in the Democratic Chronicle ( As far as I can tell it is a very high hydration dough and very bubbly and jelly like. It also looks like he does very minimal shaping of the loaf prior to baking. There is also a rather large amount of olive oil and salt that is doused on the loaves before going into the oven.

Anyone have any ideas on how to go about this? I suspect this is a higher than 100% hydration dough, but it cannot be much higher as the loaves don't pancake.

Any advice is appreciated.

pmccool's picture

There have been a few flurries of posts here in recent years.  Use the Search tool in the upper right-hand corner of the page to locate the posts.  


sonofabrioche's picture

The interiors don't quite match - Jesse's salt loaf has an interior closer to a milk bread (but softer). The raw dough is quite bubbly but the final baked product has much smaller crumb. That said there might be something to the method. 

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll give it a shot and let you know.'s picture

Hello sonofabrioche 

this is Jesse Bulman here the developer of said salt bread. For 18yrs people have been trying to figure it out. Funny how big of a rochester fav it’s become. We are actually selling our bakery bussiness and the salt bread recipe and moving on. Roc city salt bread 


do you have a recipe I can look at ?

what questions do you have ?

sonofabrioche's picture


Oh my - I never expected for this post to come to your attention. I am deeply honored. I am so sad to hear that the business is being sold and you are moving on. Nevertheless, I wish you luck and good fortune in your future endeavors. 

I would appreciate any techniques or tips you have to offer/are willing to part with. For now, I have been trying to tweak a pan de cristal recipe I have that uses a 106% hydration dough.  The recipe is as below

100% KAF bread flour

106% Water, cold

5% Olive oil

1.6% Fresh yeast

2.2% Salt

0.002% Vitamin C

Additional olive oil/large salt flakes for topping'

Gradual addition equal amounts of water and flour autolysed for 45 min. Rubaud kneaded with addtional water, salt, vitamin c, yeast, and oil. 6 hours bulk rise with 5 coil folds at room temperature. 12-24 hour bulk rise in the fridge. Cut loaves and additional 1 hour rise at room temperature. 10 minutes at 450 F with steam, 20 min at 410 F without steam.



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Jesse, although I'm not familiar with your famous loaves, I sure was delighted to see you replying to this post.  :)

I have a question about the olive oil of choice that you like to blanket on loaves.  There are so many choices of olive oil.  Do you prefer one that has a "green" fruity after taste, a spicy note, or something closer to a lingering hazel nut flavour?'s picture

I use only imported 100% cold pressed extra virgin Italian olive oil. I like the sweet / spicy flavor it adds. Don’t go Cheap on the oil. The flavor and quality matter most   

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

i think I know which one or the area.  Thank you again.'s picture

Hello ,

well honestly your better off scraping the formula you have. Non of the percentages are right and mixing method needs to be totally change. 
Give me some time and I’ll get back to you with a formula. 
what are you mixing with ? 

sonofabrioche's picture

Ah- well. I thought as much regarding the formula. It makes good bread, but not your salt bread. 


Thank you - I would very much love to get access to your formula, especially on a smaller scale.

Usually, I mix by hand as I am not making more than 2-3 loaves of anything. I do have a kitchen-aid that is slowly gathering dust in my pantry for back up.


Thank you, again!'s picture

I’ll tell you what. I’ll make you a deal and a happy camper. After we hopefully sell the bakery I’ll personally give a baking class at my house here in Rochester to anyone wanting a 1/1 class in making the salt bread and it’s recipe. Much easier to do that than explain it online. Sound good ?

sonofabrioche's picture

Oh my god - Yes! That would be wonderful. Thank you so much!

Tnghinnant's picture

Does the offer for a 1/1 class to make salt bread still stand? Sign me up! I’m obsessed with your bread!

seer95892's picture

Hi Jesse,

If you give the class, I'd love to attend.

tdnorman's picture

I would love to attend the baking session as well!  Sorry to hear you're selling but I'm sure youre onto bigger and better things!

Happymachines's picture

I live in Washington now and very much miss Salty Bread. When you start doing the one on one lessons i would 1000% pay for a zoom version.