The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

newish to sourdough, why isn't the bread whiter?

Ray Martin's picture
Ray Martin

newish to sourdough, why isn't the bread whiter?

HI,

 

I'm revisiting sourdough after a disasterious try about five years ago. I used Debra Wink's pineapple juice method to start the starter. I got gas on day 5 and a very healthy starter on day 14. I fed every day and waited that long for the culture to stabilize in odor, taste and appearance.

I've been routinely feeding according to Reinhart (BBA), and used his basic sourdough recipe for the first loaf. I was very happy with the appearance, crumb, crust and flavor. Sorry I don't have a photo, the family destroyed the evidence. BUT, the color of the crumb was not as white as a loaf made from the same flour and direct addition of SAF yeast. Is it supposed to look brownish? It also seems to be almost translucent, but I may be making that part up.

 

Thanks for your help.

Ray

Ford's picture
Ford

I see no difference in the color of my bread whether made from sourdough or commercial yeast; both are white. Perhaps this is an anomalous occurrence and the next time the bread will be white. Sorry, I have no other explanation.

Ford

EvaB's picture
EvaB

and from looking at pictures on here over the past two years, the dough is not brownish but a slightly off white I would charaterize as being cream coloured, its very suttle and is not terribly noticable, the almost translucent slightly pearly look is a charater of the crumb its to be desired, and is caused by gelatinization of the flour if my study has been correct.

The part that really matters is does it taste good to you and the family (probably by the fact that you didn't get to photograph it before it was gone) and if so then the whiteness is immaterial to the actual bread. Its a kneejerk reaction to the bakery bread, which is so white its blinding, but its also mostly tasteless (I say mostly as I find a slight nasty undertaste to most breads from the store) and is simply a marketing ploy not necessary to the taste of the bread, real flour isn't white, its off white, if its white its bleached!

Ray Martin's picture
Ray Martin

Hi EvaB,

Thanks for the comment, very helpful.

 

I've been baking with KA all purpose for years, the family is used to a cream-colored loaf. I would bet the family didn't even notice the darker crumb. The taste was fine, and more has been requested. I'm just trying to understand the new process.

 

Ray

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think the color of the crumb is the same only we perceive it differently due to the way light bounces off the crumb and hits our light receptors in our eyes.  We see reflected light.  Sourdough is more translucent as are many aged doughs and reflect less light.  Less light reflected appears darker.

When comparing crumb, a smaller tighter crumb will also reflect more light and appear whiter or lighter than a crumb with larger and more irregular holes.  That is why a very tight overworked crumb will appear "bleached."

Mini

Ford's picture
Ford

Hmmmmmm, sounds right. You get an A on your physics quiz.

Ford

jcking's picture
jcking

Over mixed/over oxidized dough will be very white; a loss of carotenoid pigments. Bleached flours will also make a very white loaf. Were the mixing/kneading times different? Were the flour types different? ~ Jim

Ray Martin's picture
Ray Martin

Same flour (KA all purpose), same hands, same hydration. The difference was the starter and I usually add about a T of sugar per loaf for my sandwich bread.

 

Ray