Amylase helps the crust?
I have been wondering why my bread crusts were coming out pale. After discovering that using a shorter preferment time gave me better crusts. I speculated that the starter and dough were consuming all the sugars before the bake. After reading a lot about enzymes and amylase processes and generating the amylase enzymes to break down the starches I decided to give the dough a chance to amylase before adding the preferment. I had been trying to short cut the cleanup by just adding additional water and flour to my preferment letting it rest and then add in the salt. But.... it appears that mixing the flour and water seperately gives the amylase enzymes a chance to develop and convert more of the starches into sugars leaving more left over for crust formation and carmelization.
Does this make sense or am I off base here?
How long does it take to fully develop the sugars in flour?
Could the acids in the sourdough preferment be inhibitting the amylase enzyme processes when adding the flour and water directly to the preferment?
I was pleased with the results in the attached pictures. This bread is free shaped and baked on a stone with no additives just starter, flour, water and salt.