The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough toast won't brown.

Fatmat's picture
Fatmat

Sourdough toast won't brown.

Hi Folks, I hope that you can help. 

Just wondering why my sourdough toast won't brown. 

My usual white recipe is a 70% hydration loaf using strong organic white flour, water, oil (4%) and salt (2%).

I use a poolish starter (50% of the flour), fermented over 12 hours, started with 100g mother, add remaining ingredients and ferment for a further 6 hours. 

Makes great bread, but the toast wont brown easily - it gets hard first!!

Do any of the clever people have any thoughts?

Many thanks in advance

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Using a lot of starter and a long ferment has caused all the sugars to be used up. It's the sugar that's browns when toasted. This and the hard thick crust implies an overfermented bread. You may wish to rethink this recipe. 

Fatmat's picture
Fatmat

Thanks Lechem, I'm with you on the sugars thing. Not sure what changes to make.

I do all  my fermenting in my kitchen, which is relatively cool. I use my starter when it just passes the float test, and I don't bake my bread till it passes the poke test.

Thoughts anybody

Lechem's picture
Lechem

The first thing would be to drop the starter percentage to within the range of 10-30%. The next thing would be to watch the fermentation more carefully. Once the dough is puffy and there are clear signs of bubbles just beneath the surface the bulk ferment is done. It's not always necessary for the dough to double or triple. 

If the fermentation is done correctly then the bread should toast just nicely. I'd also find a tried and tested recipe to follow. Now I know this recipe has more than 30% starter but the timings are far shorter than 12 hours and that is Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough. A lovely recipe. 

Just to give you an idea of where you're going wrong I'd typically only do a long ferment (all night) if it's 10% starter or less. With 20% we're looking at 4-6 hours etc. Your recipe had a lot! more starter and you were fermenting it for 12 hours. 

Here is another recipe which is very detailed, easy to follow and has lovely results. The levain build (wrongly called poolish in the recipe) is similar to your starter percentage but the bulk ferment is just 3 hours! 

http://www.weekendbakery.com/posts/sourdough-pain-naturel/

jimbtv's picture
jimbtv

There was an exchange on this a couple of days ago. Here is a link:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/54027/my-oven-baked-takes-15-cycles-toast-whats-wrong

 

Jim

Lechem's picture
Lechem

Yes, yeasted bought breads with lots off added sugar in them do toast very well. A lean homemade sourdough will be different. But no browning and a thick hard crust is over fermentation. Correct this and one should get some nice toast. 

Fatmat's picture
Fatmat

Thanks for all the tips... I'll do some playing... just one thing, crust not thick and hard. Crust is fine and a good colour. 

Lechem's picture
Lechem

If I used that amount of starter and fermented the dough for 12 hours (you did mean at room temperature didn't you?) the only thing I'd end up with is a puddle. 

I just did what was supposed to be a 24 hour bulk ferment with 1% starter and it was ready after 16 hours. In fact it did over ferment and it took ages to get a nice crust when baking. 

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