November 17, 2015 - 8:10pm
Gray/blue spots on bottom of baked loaf
I just joined here and this seems like a fun place! I am a sourdough bread-making newbie. I've made three loaves, and the last two loaves have had these bluish/grayish spots on the bottom that look like mold, right when I take it out of the oven. The bread tastes great (we ate it anyway), my starter seems fine. I've googled it and checked back a while on this forum, and there's a lot of info on blue stuff on the top of starter, but not on a baked loaf of bread. Does anyone know? Any help would be appreciated! I made my starter based on King Arthur Flour instructions.
Is it just on the bottom and not inside the loaf? What surface are you baking it on?
Are you baking on a stone? Looks like burnt flour in the picture or some ash.
Yes, just on the bottom, not inside. I'm baking in a glass loaf pan lined with parchment paper - anything wrong with that? It's definitely not something burnt, although it does look a little like that in the picture. So this isn't a regular sourdough thing? It just really looks like mold!
Thank you so much for the comments!
Odd. It does look to me like the surface was in contact with a metal rack or something. If it wasn't, then I am at a loss as to what it is. Hopefully someone else has some idea what it could be. I've never run into the problem myself.
What's in the loaf? Any nuts or seeds or spices? Recipe?
I thought I was looking at raw pig skin. Must be the bright light.
Let's see.... Was the parchment used before?
What were you making in the kitchen the day before and at the same time as you were making the loaf?
Anyone out in the garden or working with dirt or metal?
What was on the cooling rack previously? Lay a hot wet paper towel on it and see if it picks up prints. Or on the stone counter top where you work the dough. Or the wooden board... Wet magazine left a print image on the counter surface? How about a wet meat package sticker?
What about the dough bowl?
Where is the dough resting before it goes onto the parchment?
More crime scene photos please.
It doesn't look like mould but more like a stain.
I let it rise right on my laminate countertop after I kneaded it, then shaped it in a loaf and let it rise in the pan (with a new sheet of parchment). it was a very simple recipe with just AP and whole wheat flour, starter, water, butter and salt. The spots are there right when I peel off the parchment, so it's not something the loaf picked up off the cooling rack. And since it happened with two separate loaves...I'm just at my wit's end. I've made a lot of bread, I'm just new to sourdough. I have kombucha brewing about five feet away on the counter, could that have anything to do with it?
Can I ask one more piece of advice? If I don't figure out what it is (which would be sad because it makes the loaves look so unappetizing, even though they taste good), are they safe to eat? We haven't gotten sick yet after eating the first loaf and a half.
...I did notice that the shape of the blobs was similar to the shape of the blobs on your worktop.
Do you scrape the worktop at all? Might the top coating (assuming it had such a thing) have come off, allowing the dough to pick up some colouring element from the worktop?
Several times I've had the unnerving experience of finding black streaks in my dough...only to discover it was grease from the spindle of my KAM. It's happened when the dough has climbed the dough hook, or when I've traded out the attachments or brushed my hand against the spindle and transferred the grease to the dough. Ugh. But at least the grease is food grade.
another reason to love my DLX...
thru your bench flour to check for impurities.
And also might not hurt to sift the flour if it is fine already. Was the first loaf (one without spots) made with the same ingredients (flour etc.) as the spotted ones?
Peeling off the parchment? You mean it sticks? Mine just falls off as soon as the crust starts to set. I often open the door while the bread is baking and grab the corner of the parchment and pull it out of the oven to keep it from getting too brown for another use.
That can happen? I have never considered it. It's just cheap laminate from Menards. It's never happened before, although like I said, I'm new to sourdough. Is there something about sourdough that could make this happen (that wouldn't happen with the hundreds of other loaves of bread and pizza crusts and biscuits and pie crusts I've kneaded and rolled out on the same counter)? I'll have to try using a baking mat or something next time I knead and see what happens. Thanks for the suggestion!
...and it could be completely wrong, but when you're clutching at straws one's as good as the next.
I suppose it's possible that the acid in the sourdough might react with something in the laminate. Especially of it's a cheap one, as that may not have been very well sealed. If it's been used for a lot of baking, the friction of the flour may well have worn any coating off over time, as well.
Try comparing the area where you knead with another area. Ideally one that's usually covered. Shine some light on both and compare how reflective they are. If the area you've been kneading on looks duller and less reflective then I'd say that the worktop's a candidate for blame.
Thanks to everyone who commented!
Hi did you ever find out the cause for this?
i was getting similar spots on the bottom of my loaves. seems to be from the metal pan i am using, interacting with wet spots. doubling the parchment paper made all the spots go away.
It depends on the kind of metal, too.
Acid can be a problem on metals, but so can salt. Anything that's salty, and left in contact with aluminum, can easily corrode the aluminum and leave dark-coloured marks. Salt can be a problem for iron and steel too (even stainless steel), but I don't know what kind of marks it would leave.
I encountered the same issue. Grey spots at bottom of my sourdough after peeling the baking paper off my baked bread.
Any advice would be helpful.
After the loaf has cooled, use a box grater to remove the spots or cut them off with a knife.
Next time double the parchment paper as mentioned above or shorten the time the loaf spends in the pan. Raise the loaf in a parchment lined paper box the same size and then use the parchment to transfer the loaf to the pan and oven.
Thanks! I used two layers of parchment papers and I didn't see the spots anymore!