I did send Tom Lehmann a detailed report about the milk keifr dough and all that we have tried for crust coloration and the amounts of milk kefir poolish we have tried. This is what Tom Lehmann answered me this morning.
Re: Crust Coloration?
Sent: 14 Dec 2010 14:04
by Tom Lehmann
When was the last time you ever saw anything but a very light color on any type of sourdough bread? Now be honest! I bet you're thinking.......never. You're right, the acidity of your ferment is inhibiting the browning of the crust. Yes, you could load the dough up with honey, malt, or even sucrose, but al you're going to achieve is a sweet tasting crust, and that ain't what your crust is all about. You could possibly get some color by increasing, not decreasing the oven temperature (I'm thinking in the 750 to 850F range), but then you may not be able to bake the rest of the pizza decently, plus, you're going to need a wood burning oven to reach those temperatures. So, what to do, what to do? I do agree with Peter that adding whey might help, but you're going to be looking at adding something in the 8 to 10% range, possibly more. Or, how about putting on a topical colorant? I'm thinking a milk wash, brush some whole milk on the edge of the pizza just before you put it into the oven. If that doesn't work, lets up the ante and try brushing on some lightly beaten whole egg (egg wash). If that makes it too dark, begin cutting the egg wash with some of the milk that you have lefy over from the milk wash, this should give you a lighter color, and hopefully, some blend of milk and whole egg may do the trick. Also, be sure to try brushing on some olive oil just before placing the pizza in the oven.
Please let me know if any of this works for you.
Have a very Merry Christmas!
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor