We're new to baking and very happy to have discovered the Sourdough Companion - so inspiring and helpuf!
We've been having some issues with our dough lately and we thought some of you would have explanations as to why it's not working...
Problem 1: the dough cracks during proofing (see picture below)
We are using Shiao Ping's home bread recipe - 140g starter 100% hydration, 280g water, 420g home ground flour (100g rye + 220g wheat), 10g salt.
Method: mix, autolyse 20 mins, stretch/fold 10 mins, proofing 4 hrs covered in oven with hot water bottle, fold and shape, rest 30 mins, retardation in fridge overnight tea towel+plastic bag, slash and bake the next morning.
The cracking appears soon after shaping and gets worse with retardation.
It seems to be worse with the dough proofing in the bread tin, not so bad with the one in the banneton.
2: Slashing has been a problem too, the "skin" is dragging and the lame is not cutting the dough well. Again it works better with the loaf in the banneton and we're getting a fairly nice grigne however the loaves in the tins are not "grigning" at all and they look pretty sad!
3: One last problem (for now!) is the colour of the crust as you can see on the picture above: the sides are nice and golden but the top is white!! What would cause that?
Even though the bread is not the best looking one it tastes really nice!
Any help would be very appreciated
Estelle and Pete