Diagnostic - crust coloration
I have been working on a 2.5kg version of FWSY Overnight Blond, baked in an 11qt Dutch oven, for about 2 months (the subject of an earlier post in this forum as well).
My earlier challenge, which was how to move this large miche into a Dutch oven without it turning into a mess, has been solved by retarding the dough overnight and then baking straight out of the refrigerator. The cool dough is stiff and thus easier to manage with just my hands.
While the flavor has been great, what I don’t like so much about this approach is that it looks like it’s affecting crust coloration, although I understand that retarding should in fact improve it.
I bake dark deliberately as Forkish recommends - those burnt bits are addictive. But there’s a sharp contrast between the dark crust and sections that are exposed as my slashes open up, which I don’t like, and I seem to recall that this is usually indicative of a solvable problem. I just don’t know which. I also find that the crust takes on color surprisingly late in the bake.
As far as temps are concerned, I’m still trying to dial it in. 475 at the start for sure, then I’ve dropped it down to 450 after 30 mins. Any lower and I’m afraid of losing my dark coloration.
I’m attaching here a photo. this was baked at 475 straight through but it’s pretty typical. Any guidance would be very welcome. Thanks as always!