The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Grey tinge to sourdough crumb

laser132217's picture

Grey tinge to sourdough crumb


So I’m seven loaves into my sourdough baking addiction! I’m slowly seeing good progress in things like my oven spring, scoring and the openness of my crumb is getting there. 


The one thing that’s puzzling me is that my crumb has a grey tinge. Initially I thought this was due to my starter being WW/rye but I’ve moved it to 100% organic strong white. My typical recipe is:

100g SW starter

500g SW flour 

350ml water

1/2 TBSP salt.

2hr autolyse. 4hr bulk. Overnight in the fridge. 


The bread tastes lovely and has a nice texture. I’m just confused as to why it is not looking white inside??

Any help appreciated. 


laser132217's picture

I worked out how to add a photo! 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

or gray, beige, tan.

 Well, bacteria and yeast can not only add flavour and aroma but colour as well.  The biggest jump in crumb colour I've seen so far was in using yeast waters in bread.  Made from practically colour less fermented fruits or vegetables. Feeding enough white flour to dilute any obvious colours, the white dough, after baking, was always a surprise to see what colour the crumb.  The sourdough starter may still have yeast and bacterial colonies producing colour staining byproducts and enzymes long after their food is changed.  Some trace minerals may also play a part and hand mixing with less oxidation of the dough.

Make notes and use as a tool in the future.  Enjoy the beauty of it.  See how long it lasts into the future.

Or take it as a sign to add rye to the bread!  Lol. I wonder how many sourdough bakers were labled "witches" for this kind of crumb result hundreds of years ago.  I think it's a lovely crumb.


laser132217's picture

For the benefit of anyone reading this in the future, I have tried a few things and the solution was quite simple. Swapping the main flour solved the problem, making me think that the Gilchester’s strong white that I was using was responsible for the grey tinge. I guess that’s just one of the characteristics of their flour. I switched to Dove’s organic strong white and got a lovely rich creamy colour this time and I prefer the taste so will be sticking with that.