What is wrong with my crust??
Ok, sorry about constantly asking questions here...I feel bad with the constant questions and never answering anything! But I am hoping for help with this "problem". I am starting to get my sourdough bread almost to where I am almost starting to be happy with it...except the appearance of the crust. The bread tastes good and the crust is good and the oven spring is good and everything, but the just looks so...odd. Ashy gray almost, and dull and almost wrinkly.
I have been spraying the bread with a mister during baking (for about the first 10 minutes) and I thought that maybe I was overspraying so today I did it a little differently and just steamed the bread with a cast iron pan and water (for about the first 12 minutes.) The steam wasn't too impressive so I did spray the bread very lightly once. The crust is a little better...but not great. And the part that really looks better is where I sprayed the bread!
I also considered that maybe I was overproofing the bread. My final rise has been in the fridge at about 42 degrees for usually almost 22 hours. It doesn't appear overproofed but I thought maybe the dough being cold was making it firmer, and it was actually overproofed. So today I reduced the final proof by about 5 hours...didn't seem to make much of an improvement.
I am using the Vermont Sourdough recipe...with a little added rye flour, but light rye, not whole grain. I even considered that this might be the crust issue, but I really don't think it is.
If I can get a good enough photo of the crust that shows the detail I will try to post it, but until then, any ideas?