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Old 12-16-2009, 09:37 AM   #1
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Question Bread Crust - Help?

I recently aquired a sourdough starter and is has been doing well. Yesterday I baked my first loaves with it and something odd happened to the crust. When I pulled the bread from the oven, the crust was pale and very hard, but only on top. The bottom quater of the loaf was perfectly brown and crispy. I have been successfull with dry yeast in the past, but this is my first attempt at sourdough.

I proofed the loaves in reed brotfroms and misted when the loaves went into the oven and then again at 20 minutes in. These are the only places where I can think that anything when wrong. The crumb of the bread was good, and nothing out of the ordinary happened during proofing.

Can anyone provide some insight as to what might be the problem?

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Old 12-16-2009, 09:41 AM   #2
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By any chance did you take a photo? I think that would help us a bit.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:14 AM   #3
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I don't believe it has anything to do with your yeast/sourdough starter. A pale crust but with a nice crumb, usually means the oven was not quite hot enough to brown the crust, but did cook the bread. I deal with that (depending on the kind of bread I'm baking), by brushing the bread with milk before putting it into the oven. This will produce a very pleasant brown crust with a kind of glow (reflection).

Sour Dough is sooooo good!!! Ummmm.....
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:52 PM   #4
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here's the pictures. it is entirely possible that the oven temperature was not high enough. it is a new oven and this is the first bread i've baked in it.
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Old 12-16-2009, 08:28 PM   #5
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As you said, the crumb looks good, but I see the dry flour streaks around the top, and pale appearance. Whether you use water, milk or an egg wash, the loaf really needs the lightly dusted flour coating to be wiped away. Not only does it prevent the development of a crust, but it's not very appetizing to eat.

Good luck, and it appears as though you are doing very well!
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:46 AM   #6
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Try 25 degree higher oven temp. Make sure oven is thoroughly preheated. Lightly mist every two minutes during the first 8 to 10 minutes of baking.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:01 AM   #7
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I disagree with Justplainbill. Opening the door to the oven too often let's too much heat escape. Spritzing water on the walls of the oven twice, once as you load the bread into the preheated oven, and once again after 10 minutes is enough to give you a nice crust, which by your photo with the cutaway loaf, looks like you don't have a problem with, so it's not an issue.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:26 AM   #8
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Amuenzberg said their last misting was after 20 minutes of baking. That's pretty late in the game. If loaf is on a thoroughly preheated baking stone, heat loss from quick mistings should be minimal. If heat loss is a concern, cut back to two or three mistings. Oven spring with yeast leavened bread (which often fills out slashes) can take upwards of 25 minutes to fully complete.
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:29 AM   #9
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I'm thinking there was no wash on the crust either.
When I do bread I always have the outside oiled or brushed with something to give a nice crust. Just my 2 cents though.
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:15 PM   #10
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Which rack was it on? in the middle, towards the top, towards the bottom? I find that I get a darker top on baked breads/biscuits when it's in the upper third of the oven.
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