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Heat Gradient. A temperature differential that results within a single body, such as a loaf (q.v.) of bread during baking, when there is a rapid temperature increase at its surface associated with a progressively slower penetration of heat into its crumb (q.v.) as the distance from the crust becomes greater. As a consequence, the temperature levels are always lower at the core of the loaf than at its crust (q.v.) during baking.