tough crusts = "vinegared" leaven??


Im just putting this out there as a topic because Ive often wondered about the fabulous crispy crunch you can get on straight yeasted breads and how often sourdough tends to have little crunch factor and in some cases verges on leathery and tough.

For me, flavor is more important ultimately, but Ive noticed that the type of flour is a factor and if my leaven has not been refreshed at least the last 12 - 6 hrs if not 3 hrs it tends to be more chewy. Im thinking it might have to do with the levels of acids and enzymes as they progress??

Just curious to hear peoples opinions and experiences, please share!!

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farinam's picture
farinam 2015 April 22

Hi Amber,

In my experience you do indeed get nice crisp and crunchy crusts with sourdough but only if you cut them within hours of being baked and in the open air.  As soon as you enclose them, moisture starts migrating from the inside of the loaf to the crust and the crunch turns to chew.

That said, I have never used a leaven significantly more than 12 hours from being prepared and would only use a 3 hour one if I was in a real hurry and set it in the oven with the light on to create a nice warm environment to hurry it along.  No noticeable difference as far as I can tell using either method.

Good luck with your projects.


amber108 2015 April 23

I also get a crispy crust on a well cooked white for example, but it often is gone within an hr to an hr and a half max, my doughs are on the wetter side so theres a bit of moisture to come out.

The Dons of bread say that once the crisp is gone airtight or plastic bag is best to retain freshness and flavour. But once softened Ive noticed some are chewier than others. I refresh my starter a few hrs before mixing ( as well as the night before) because Ive often had people complain about sourdough being too sour, we live in northern NSW so out of the fridge my leaven peaks rapidly. Anyhow, Im still curious, if there are any other experts out there :)

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