How to get a thicker more stout crust?
Hello Fellow Bakers!
Below are pictures of the upper crust and bottom crust of a rustic bread I've been making recently. These pictures illustrate a problem I've been fighting for some time with many of my breads. I can't figure out why the upper crust has a mottled appearance versus being nicely browned. The bottom crust which was on parchment paper against the baking stone shows no such issue.
I had to leave some sourdough in the breadrising bucket in the refrigerator for nearly four days -- the limit, according to Reinhart's book. I just now pulled it out to shape it and found that, even though I had oiled the top, it had dried out. leaving a hard crust on top of the dough.
I tried removing the crust; that didn't go well. The dough just stretched. So I've shaped the dough into batardes and nudged the hard pieces of crust into the center of the batardes.
I have been working on making pies. The crust is great and the fillings are coming out wonderful since I started using some tapoica as a thicking agent. My rustic pies came out very good and the bottoms were perfect. But, my pies in the pan were not so great. The bottoms were soggy. I know blind-baking them will help. Has anyone ever brushed the bottom with a simple syrup after blind baking for added insurance against the soggy crust?
I have been making multiple boules lately and they all have been pretty successfull except for the bottom of the loaves. Everytime I take them out of the oven, the whole loaf of bread seems to be light and have great crumb, but the bottom of the loaf to about half an inch above, it seems to be really dense, why exactly is this happening.
P.S.- I slide the dough into the oven onto a preheated stone and use steam in the oven, yet nothing seems to help.
I bake pain au levain out of Tartine Bread, see pictures. I have had relatively good success with oven spring, adjusting proofing time, crumb, flavor etc. I find that the bread out of the oven has a nice crackling crust. However, this crust over time substantially softens and does not remain crusty. I feel I have left it in the oven sufficiently long becuase the bottom of the bread has significanly darkened. Any suggestions are appreciated.
I know this topic has cropped up ad infinitum on this site and posted to the point of tearful yawn-inducing boredom but I am really REALLY trying to find an answer. Nothing seems to work.