The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Crust Fail

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TMStanton's picture
TMStanton

Crust Fail

Hi all - long time reader but first post.

I'm not a new baker - but this is a new oven and I'm working with some of the new techniques I've read about here. When I worked at a bakery (St. Honore in Portland, OR), we kept our oven @ ~200c and used hydrations in the 66.6% to 72% range - I'm comfortable working with the high hydration doughs, but I'm less experienced in the stretch and fold methods that seem to be so popular these days.

Anyway - I've had good success in my home oven (Frigidaire Gas Convection) running the convection @ 400-410f. But lately I've tried some levain style formulas and attempted to mirror some of the higher temps that I've seen people using here on TFL. I'll spare you the dough formula - these loaves were proofed correctly and scored acceptablly and I felt like I had good steam - hot water in large cast iron pan. But....

  The formula included 20% white whole wheat. 

1. 435f for 15min with steam (no convection)

2. 450f for 15min water removed (convection)

The problem here is the color and the dullness. Spring, crumb, and ear / crust formation were also poor, but I suspect that the crust formation (evident in the discoloration) is what caused the poor spring. You can see that there is a small section of the crust which DID get decent color and texture.

Open to any questions or suggestions!

Thank you!!!

 

cranbo's picture
cranbo

I've had this happen to me quite a few times (dull matte slightly grey crust), but have yet to precisely narrow down the cause.

I feel it has something to do with steam and amount of water on the crust. Perhaps too much steam? See this thread for some ideas, it may be the same problem.  

At the same time, it is a naturally leavened bread, so if you're saying crumb and spring were also poor, I also suspect that it may be a proofing problem. 

It may also be a combination of the two. I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this. 

grind's picture
grind

these loaves were proofed correctly and scored acceptablly and I felt like I had good steam - hot water in large cast iron pan. But....

In that case, the right amout of diastatic malt would help.  It always does!!