Help needed: Dry bread tops that don't brown while baking?
From my inbox:
I love making bread and I have never had problems before (just standard ones you have when trying new recipes) but my old favorites are affected by this problem as well now.
The tops are so dry looking and they don't brown -- they are white like this morning's french bread loaf. I made 2 loaves of white bread this weekend and they were doing the same thing. I even buttered them before baking and they were still dry and white.
I am wondering if it is the flour. The one I was using when this started felt heavy and thick and maybe even humid. So I switched to another brand and it is the same way. I am wondering if the flour is humid and heavy since we live in Mississippi and it is humid here. Maybe I should sift it first and store it in an airtight container instead of what I have now? Or could it be to much oil when I oil the bowl for it to rise? Or could it be I am baking them too high in the oven? -- Erika
The only bread I regularly make that doesn't get browned (and has a dry crust) is my Italian bread, which has no oil or sugar -- just flour, water, salt, and yeast. But it's supposed to be that way!
Reading about Erika's dilemma reminded me of our first couple years of marriage, when we lived in Missouri. I had made lots of homemade bread before moving to Missouri (from Ohio), but for some reason, I had the most difficult time making homemade bread that had a good texture when we lived in Missouri.
We traveled to Ohio a few times during those years, and I made bread at my mom's house, with perfect results. When we moved here to Ohio ourselves, my bread was excellent. I never did figure out what my problem was with making homemade bread while living in SW Missouri...
But anyway, does anyone have any ideas for Erika? It's confusing when the same recipe/ingredients/technique start producing strange results!