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I'm used to the crust on sourdough bread being thick and chewy, but had always attributed that to the longer rise, and baking with steam, that one normally does with sourdough. However, this week I made a hybrid sourdough* in my bread machine, and its crust was thicker, browner, and chewier than non-sourdough breads made in the same machine. Since the baking cycle and atmosphere are the exact same as, say, last week's whole wheat loaf, it's not how it was baked.

So my question is: what is the physical or chemical property of sourdough starters that results in a heavier crust?

Note that while there are a number of questions on the board about sourdough crusts, all of them focus on manipulating the baking environment, and not on properties of the dough itself.

(* hybrid sourdough: some sourdough starter plus a little commercial yeast)

  • I think it's possible the effect has something to do with the bread machine and how it mixes the sourdough. I.e. it's not just a property of the starter in itself. – Mark Wildon Feb 8 at 15:37
  • The bread machine mixes sourdough the same way it mixes every other dough. There's no "sourdough" setting. – FuzzyChef Feb 8 at 19:11
  • Fair enough. But sourdough is often higher hydration than normal dough and this will affect the bread machine's action. Are you comparing doughs with the same hydration? – Mark Wildon Feb 10 at 11:43
  • Don't know, wanna try that out as an answer? – FuzzyChef Feb 11 at 1:03

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