The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Grey soaker?

susanB's picture

Grey soaker?

I've been baking whole-grain breads (grind my own with a Country Living Grain Mill) exclusively for a couple of years now, and am reading and using Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Bread Book for the past month or so. The breads are coming out great most of the time, but I find that the top of my soaker (which I've never used before reading this book) is grey in the morning, like guacamole without the lime juice. Kitchen temp is below 60 all night, and the starter in the 'fridge is just fine... I thought it must be oxidation inside the container, and tried pressing plastic wrap on the surface before covering the bowl. Didn't work. Last night I put the soaker into a plastic zip-bag and squeezed out all the air. This time, the whole surface was grey. Could this be a reaction to the plastic? Does anyone have a magic trick they can share with me? 

Thanks, SusanB

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

One of the breads Jeff Hammelmann made in the 1 1/2 day rye class was a flax seed rye bread.  He soaked the flax seeds overnight.  And the surface was gray.

His response was to use the soaker.  He didn't seem surprised or upset.  I don't know if this was a master teacher ignoring little problems so the class would run smoothly, or if it was just a matter of that's the way things work and it wasn't worth commenting upon to him.  My feeling is that's just the way things work.

Personally, I usually tend to roast grains rather than soak them, I think it brings out more flavors.