Sourdough whole wheat question
I made a no-knead whole wheat sourdough loaf as follows:
I started with a white flour starter at 100% hydration, mature. I added one cup to 3 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 cup of water, 1/4 cup flax meal, 3 tbsp. vital wheat gluten, 1 tbsp. olive oil, chopped rosemary and 1 tbsp. honey. I let it rise for about 18 hours, then briefly kneaded it, placed it in a dutch oven on parchment paper, then let it rise for 4 more hours. I scored it, started it covered in a cold oven, turned up heat to 450, removed the cover after 35 minutes, and took the whole thing out at 70 minutes.
Flavor, loaf volume, crust were good. Only problems were a strange mottled color patterning on the crust rather than a clean, consistent golden brown, and a lack of a nice craggy, thick crust. Crust was firm, which I like, just not nice and craggy where I scored it.
Any ideas to modify this to improve the crust color and texture? Should I leave out the honey or oil? Should I start in a hot oven? Higher temperature? Wetter dough?
Thanks for any suggestions!
By the way, it's amazing how sourdough bread only really tastes like sourdough the next day!