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The reason bread browns when direct heat is applied, is that sugars are released into the bread by the action of yeast, and these undergo caramelisation. At the same time there is a 'Maillard reaction' - this occurs when sugars or starches are heated along with proteins; this creates brown polymers called 'melanoidins, which also colour and flavour the toast. See 'English Toasts'; 'Mailliard, Louis Camille'
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