The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread color - white or grayish white

AlChemist's picture

Bread color - white or grayish white

This question is probably on the hair-splitting side, but maybe someone will shed some light.  When my wife and I eat at a nice quality restaurant that has excellent bread of the crusty variety with holes etc., (e such as an Italian or French restaurant), I have noticed that the color varies from the usual white to a grayish white.  This latter usually has a better flavor, and is not quite as light weight as the white.  I am not referring to any type of whole wheat or rye but just an artisan type bread; sorry if I'm not describing it clearly enough.  My question; is this variation due to different ingrediants in the mix, or different types of bread flour or just the way it's prepared?

CosmicChuck's picture

They are adding a bit of rye flour to the greyish loafs.

flournwater's picture

That would be my guess too.  I sometimes vary the flavor of my breads by adding a bit of rye flour (my wife would rather I didn't) and that's the result I get.

subfuscpersona's picture

They could be adding some whole wheat flour or they could possibly be using high extraction flour, which contains some of the bran of the kernel. High extraction flour is available for either wheat or rye. As long as the whole grain flour is finely  milled, you wouldn't see any telltale flecks of bran in the bread.

Bread I make that contains some whole grain flour always has a slight greyish cast to the crumb, in contrast to bread made only with white flour. And yes, it is slightly heavier.

The next time you dine in a restaurant where you like that (grey) bread, I bet if you complimented the bread to the manager and asked about the ingredients, you'd get an exact answer. They'd probably like to know that you, the customer, appreciate having a better bread.