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Bread Crust. The external surface portion of a loaf (q.v.) of bread, formed partly by dehydration (q.v.) and partly by heat-induced browning reactions (q.v.) and caramelization (q.v) of sugar (q.v.) during baking. It provides a protective enclosure for the soft and moist interior crumb (q.v.). Depending on bread type, the crust may be thin, soft and tender, or thick, dry and crisp. Crust character is an important aspect of bread quality.