The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dark crust

Patti Rose's picture
Patti Rose

Dark crust

i am a new artisan bread baker. I am using a Dutch oven and parchment as a sling for straight dough recipes. Baking at 450-475. I’m having trouble getting my boules to brown to a deep color. They go to medium brown no matter how long I leave uncovered. 30 max, so far. Could it be the parchment?

Danni3ll3's picture
Danni3ll3

you bake your boules is 30 minutes total? Or you are leaving them uncovered for 30 minutes? Either way, if you have a convection feature on your oven, use it. You can take the boules out of the pots when they are almost done and put them directly on the rack for that extra browning.

And no, it isn't the parchment until you have tons of it hanging over the edges and insulating your boules from the heat. Even then, I think that is a bit far fetched. 

And one more thought, have you checked your oven temperature? Oven are notoriously inaccurate when it comes to temperature. I have had to adjust mine quite a few times. 

Bred Maverick's picture
Bred Maverick

is your dutch oven pre-heated?

 

Arjon's picture
Arjon

Do you know that your oven temperature is accurate? And assuming your oven has top heating elements, have you tried putting the shelf your DO sits on higher up so the top of your loaf gets more direct heat?

HansB's picture
HansB

Dutch oven pre-heated or not won't make a difference. Check oven temp accuracy.

 

What kind of flour are you using? If you are using un-malted four, try adding .5% LDMP for more color. 

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Patti Rose's picture
Patti Rose

thanks so much, guys, for responding so quickly!  I’m impressed!  Yes, baked covered for full 30.  Fan is great idea, was going to try nextbake. Remove to oven rack also may try. Re temp accuracy, just had my oven repaired so both top and bottom elements work. From other baking I think it’s pretty close but intend to test. Appliance expert said most oven thermometers are up to 25 dig inaccurate. Suggested I do the sugar test. Sugar melts at 365 so gauge from that going up slowly from 350  should indicate accuracy. Next chore!  Really appreciate your comments. Having a lot of fun with this new hobby. Preferment aand levains  next (after I achieve accurate oven temp). 

Patti Rose's picture
Patti Rose

Yes! On the malted barley addition. I have just been looking into that for flavor as well. Do you think the dry is better than the liquid?

Arjon's picture
Arjon

30 minutes covered then removing the lid for 15 should give you a crust in the medium brown range. If you want bolder, the first thing to try is baking the same loaf but taking the cover off 5 minutes earlier, and then increasing how much earlier if you want still darker. 

Patti Rose's picture
Patti Rose

thanks Arron!

hotdogg1boy's picture
hotdogg1boy

I'm using a dutch oven as well at 450 degrees preheated and putting bread on parchment.  I'm baking for 20 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered.

Is anyone having a problem with their bread burning on the bottom?  I read comments whereby people turn their oven up to 500-550 and then turning it down to 450 but they never say if it burns or not.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Arjon's picture
Arjon

two basic things you can try a shielding the bottom and/or putting the DO higher up in the oven by moving the rack it sits on to a higher position. 

I do the former using an old pizza stone that sits on a separate rack directly below my DO, but you can probably use a lot of other things as long as they can stand the heat. 

 

 

Patti Rose's picture
Patti Rose

I had the same problem. I learned that most ovens manufactured  in the last 15-16 years were made to heat from both too and bottom coils and if the top one wasn’t working properly it could result in bottom scorching. My top coil would come on in the broil setting but not the bake. So I called a repairman and sure enough it wasn’t working properly. After an expensive repair job, replacing the motherboard and a fuse, it works now and no more burnt bottoms. It ran about $300.