In this sourdough recipe, it suggests basting the bread with a cornstarch slurry. I would assume this is meant to promote crust development, but how does that work? I usually see such a slurry used to thicken liquids.
Other recipes that use this method:
- Yankee Harvest sourdough
- "Secrets of a Jewish Baker" glaze
- Jewish Sour Rye on The Fresh Loaf
- What's Cooking America bread machine tips
It appears to be a presentation thing (makes it look "professional") and possibly a Jewish tradition.
Edit: Do note that the question is "Why cornstarch? How does that work?". I understand the desire for a good crust, and I understand that the slurry is meant to promote crust development, but I fail to understand what it is about cornstarch that mimics good crust development.