The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pale Crust

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ghazi's picture
ghazi

Pale Crust

Hello

I have been getting these crusts more than often these days, it happens when I bake with a little of my sourdough starter. I put around 50g in with a regular 500g bread recipe, little commercial yeast etc.. (Still find it hard to use only wild starter)

Flavor is good, though could it be because I am not using steam, or is this the starter that's contributing to this color. Ive heard that starters can give you a yoghurt feel, this one does. Can this be related to why the crust has not caramelized?

Ghazi

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

More info about the recipe, rising and the bake, esp. temperatures would help.  A crumb shot might also help us figure this out.  Could be several things at once but my first impression is that the dough is under proofed or if the crust skin dried out before baking, it won't stretch or brown much.  It looks like the dough went through retardation.   Not sure what "yoghurt feel" means, has the texture of yoghurt?  OR the aroma?  

That first time you let the starter raise the loaf, it's like letting your child walk for the first time.  Hold back with the yeast and let it go.   Also if your let your maintenance starter rise to it's fullest and sink back a little before feeding (or even collapse) you may be able to smell yeast.  If not, then let it sit at about 75°F until it does.  It can take days for the starter yeast to catch up without feeding.  Your nose will tell you if it is fermenting.

One of my favourite tests is to feed the starter 10g starter to 100g water (less for wheat AP)  and 100g flour, pack mixed up inoculated starter cleanly into a narrow straight glass with enough room to expand about 5 to 6 times.  Run a strip of tape up the side cover with plastic and a lose rubber band.  Mark the dough level, wait about 3-5 hrs (time for several generations of yeast to build up in the starter) and mark the rise (gas build-up) every hour until it reaches peak (stops doming during the rise, and levels out showing a dimple in the middle.)  Then watch it start to fall back.  It should reach peak under 12 hrs at 75°F to 85°F.  If not, then don't panic at 12 hrs but let the starter continue to rise.  Wait a few hours after it peaks (can even stir it to encourage more fermentation) and falls back to ensure a good acid level in the starter (taste it) and then repeat the test using 10g of the ripe starter.  The results of the test should tell you if the starter can raise a loaf and roughly about how long it may take.  You can take some of this starter and return to your normal maintenance routine.  

Don't be afraid to uncover and check the starter making notes on the aroma and (if you are careful and only sample a tiny bit on the edge with a wet spoon) taste the fermenting starter as it progresses.    

(When left alone, the rise will peak, fall back and rise again only to fall a second time, this is normal but I am chiefly talking about the first rise and fall of the starter.)

In Dubai, the dough would dry quickly due to lack of humidity.  A spray water bottle to mist the dough was a great help in keeping the dough skin soft and stretchy while it rose,  Also use wet wrung out kitchen towel to cover the dough while it rests.

ghazi's picture
ghazi

Hi Mini Oven

I tried to upload another picture without success, so ive replaced it.

The recipe is as follows

200g AP Flour

200g Barleycorn flour

10g salt

50g starter

half a fingernails worth of commercial yeast

300ml water

about 200g old dough I had from brown sandwhich loaf which is 4 days old

Left to ferment at around 30 dgrees c until doubled then put in fridge overnight.

Next morning kept outside same temp for 2 hours, then I had to leave for an hour so kept in cooler place next to A/C to be sure I don't come back and it has gone over. Being in this climate especially summer I have to be so careful

Let rise again at 30 degrees c until just about doubled. For final rise after shaping I put next to A/C 22 degrees for 2 hours. Then back to 30 degrees. You are right about underproofing last stage. I think I might have just put them in since I lost patience

Anyway, it tasted great with yoghurt mouthfeel, really I don't know why but that comes to mind. Is it the more you feed your starter the less sour the more smooth?

The tip on adding 100g each water and flour to 10g of starter is my next approach. I just don't know how to get this starter up to scratch to bake on its own. Some people say don't feed too much some do, its confusing let alone for me but my starter is wandering what on earth I am doing not following a routine

I still have hope maybe, tomorrow is another day.

Thank you

Ghazi

 

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The crumb does not say it is underproofed and your times are rather long.  Old dough is already a pre-ferment so we can group it with the 50g of starter so that means 250g preferment to 400g fresh flour, half of that flour is non gluten so a bulk rise will not necessarily double.  Then proofed more than double the next day and over-proofed, in a last ditch effort to get a loaf, a reshape and final proof.  Sounds to me the little yeasties ate up all the available sugar (from starch conversion) leaving nothing left for browning.  

Shorten the proofs the next day and stick around or keep chilled until you can shape and proof.  No long proof is needed the second day after proofing all night.  Make it without the added yeast.  It will work.  A little tighter crumb would be better in my opinion.  

When you proof at 30°C you are increasing the bacteria that gives the yoghurt flavours.  

cerevisiae's picture
cerevisiae

That is a beautiful crumb on it's own, but it's especially impressive for being 50% almost no gluten flour.

ghazi's picture
ghazi

The barleycorn flour is a mixed grain bag, its got some wheat and malt flour mixed in. That would explain why is has a nicer crumb.

Keeping the dough at cold temp will be better so at least I can have it constant, instead of changing all the time. I will try your technique with 10g of starter to 100g flour and water to see what my wild yeast can do. I have tried the float test and no luck so far. Though I do like the taste of the bread with the odd 20g or so put into the mix. Leavening power is the key issue

Thank you for your thoughts and the more I read it seems its better to keep dough, starter at room temp. So higher 30 degrees c + is too much as you say increasing bacteria relative to yeast

Ghazi

 

jaltsc's picture
jaltsc

I always add 1 or 2 tablespoons of diastatic malt powder to all my breads. This helps develop a nice brown crust. My batches of bread are usually 5-6 kg. so a teaspoon should work for smaller batches.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

that raised your loaf.  If you skip it, then make sure your starter is up to snuff and full of yeast.  How did the 1:10:10 test come out?  How many hours at what temp to peak?

ghazi's picture
ghazi

Hi Mini Oven

Yes, my thoughts exactly on using the old dough. Its a sure path I have to stop taking otherwise i'll never learn to use my starter alone.

Started the 1:10:10 2 hours ago, sitting at 22 degrees c , it has risen from 200ml to 300ml, not looking too good(no bubbles). is it too cold? Although my starter did double in 3 hrs after feeding with little more water. Still no float test. Maybe its because I haven't been following a routine, the starter is confused. I guess I just have to keep feeding

 

ghazi's picture
ghazi

I have a feeling that my WW starter is not so strong because it is not organic and most probably bleached. It is very cheap here, maybe the fact that there are not enough nutrients makes it not such a good flour for producing wild yeast. The organic rye flour on other hand seems better,

What are your thoughts? Could I be trying to make a starter out of a flour that is not good enough?

Ghazi

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

feed a starter.  They will just vary a little bit.  You should get the most volume from a wheat flour whether it is bleached or not.  WW will peak sooner and lower because it ferments faster and the bits of bran will poke bubbles and rise not as high. 

I thought you already had a starter?  How did the tests come out?  Do not stop at "double" but let the starter rise until it peaks.  It can take anywhere from 6 to 24 hrs before it levels out and starts to fall back.  Rising in the first 3 hrs is rare with yeast.  

ghazi's picture
ghazi

I have succefully baked my first sourdough loaf, using the rye starter. It actually doubled in bulk and then took quite a while with final shape. Which I love as long as it is ticking away slowly. Got lovely taste and texture though, what a delight!

I have transfereed my starter(S) to small jam jars, its easier that way since its more narrow and I can gauge much better. The smells are becoming more interesting and also you can just tell when you feed the starter its on the right path. The texture of the paste becomes very velvety, and just goes together very easily (cleaning) if I may say the sides as it goes. I think I am on the right path now thanks to all your help, TFL has been so good. This place is amazing.

Thank you all

 

ghazi's picture
ghazi

I waited a whole 24 hours with it only rising by 100ml at most. When I feed my WW starter it rises very quickly and doubles + . I think im going to bake a loaf at some point and report back.  it works great as a pre ferment though

How much does 1kg of WW cost you?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

in a starter jar as it usually rises about double or triple the food amount.  Rye will ferment faster than wheat.   A larger jar is needed when feeding wheat starters.  You will find that the more food you mix with say 20g of starter, the higher the rise, but it takes longer.   I like a 1:4:4 feed letting that particular starter rise about 1/3 at 26°C and then refrigerating as a mother starter.  About once a month, the starter is allowed to peak and fall back a little before feeding a sample of that to (rise 1/3 and) store refrigerated as a mother starter.

I don't buy WW flour (I'm a rye snob) unless you mean spelt which seems very expensive in Canada.  It is much more reasonable in Austria competing with Einkorn and Rye, the last time I looked it was about twice the price of AP wheat flour.   

Congrats on your first SD only loaf!  Isn't it a rush?  :)

ghazi's picture
ghazi

Yes I can see that rye rises very quickly, its such a resilient grain I really am beginning to love it.

Spelt is my favorite bread to make, the flavor is superior. Yes, on the pricey side almost USD 6/kg

So you do feed your starter more than its inoculation, I was told its not very good to do that. I guess it makes the bread less sour?

The WW I buy locally here is USD 75 cents per kg.

It is the best feeling in the world baking with sourdough:)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

So you do feed your starter more than its inoculation, I was told its not very good to do that. I guess it makes the bread less sour?

Yes, I always feed more than the initial inoculation unless for some reason the starter is having difficulty fermenting (low temps, new flour, or chilling quickly or need a starter fast)  it all depends on what you do with your starter and how you treat it.  A 1:1:1 feeding is ok for a birthing a starter or cold temps, or even waking up a neglected starter but as soon as the yeasts get into multiplying and temps rise, the food demand increases evident with the build up of fermenting by-products  Remember to stay flexible and don't be afraid to play around with your starter (keeping a back up.)  Find out what works best for you and your starter.

The starter should reach a certain level of fermentation before slowing down in the refrigerator.   If you keep your starter on the counter top you will find yourself feeding more flour as it feeds thru more flour.   Air conditioning can be tricky for starters so your choice to store in the fridge makes life so much easier; however. find out how your starter behaves under different conditions and feeds and how inoculation amounts affect your intended loaf.  

Think about that old dough, think of it in terms of a starter,  I'm sure it had a lower inoculation than the regular starter.  That boost in food seems to encourage yeast to multiply.  

ghazi's picture
ghazi

I see where you are coming from. In the past few days have gotten more in tune with what it needs.  Yes, with the old dough it makes sense that it becomes more active after getting  more flour hence you were saying the pale crust because too much yeast came about. (I also think I knocked back too many times, sometimes I get like that and try my luck. Though with me putting so little yeast maybe not such a good idea) 

Thanks for your input Mini Oven, glad to soak it all in:)