The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Open crumb..

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Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Open crumb..

Aesthetically, the beautiful pics by susanfnp, zolablue and tons of other Freshloafies are something I aim to perfect. The gel-like glisten is a hallmark. These loaves taste wonderful with antipasto, quality olive oil, cracked pepper, cured meats & aged cheese. Fortunately or unfortunately, we don't eat that way very often in our home!

I was just wondering if all our X-Treme bakers always bake for technical scores of 10 or if they enjoy their breads once in a while without open crumb. Toast you can slather with butter and peanut butter, loaded sandwiches, PB & J? Does anyone ever eat a Fluffernutter? The white bread loaf (I'm sorry, I forgot who posted it) would be perfect for a toasted Fluffernutter!

SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

Looking forward to the responses..  I would offer one remedy to open crumb/viscocity of spread issue - ciabatta is great for hambugers etc because the horizontal cut keeps the crust intact and contains liquids.

 SD Baker

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Someone had a great picture of their version of a ciabatta burger not too long ago. I definitely want to give that a go!

SDbaker's picture
SDbaker

I've yet to make ciabatta outside of a baking class, but it's on my short list...but the list keeps getting longer!

 SD Baker

browndog's picture
browndog

Paddyscake, this is an interesting question to me. We use bread for sandwichwes and more sandwiches, and when it's not sandwiches it's toast. Open crumb is dramatic and beautiful, all right, I really want to develop and command the ability to create it, especially because that and sourdoughs are the first breads ever to captivate my kid. But I find myself discounting perfectly nice and elegant loaves just because I didn't get a really open crumb, it's a struggle to keep my perspective.

Oh, the Fluffernutter! I've never had one, but I bet JMonkey can tell you--there was a veritable uproar in Mass. a year or so ago because a politician dissed them as --unhealthy! What a scandal, he might as well have been admitting to 3 wives (at once.)

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I do remember that, being from New England. It's gotten to be kind of a joke with the people I work with. I now live in Oregon and none of my coworkers had ever heard of a fluffernutter. I think they all thought I was crazy. I kept telling them I was bringing them to our next pot luck lunch..which I really should do. I can't find the "Fluff" brand here, but there is marshmello creme spread of some sort. I know alot of you are going yuck..but really, it you are a peanut butter lover..it's an awesome sandwich. Best toasted and with butter too!

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

First, let me say that, even when I want it to, my bread does not always come out with a very open crumb. And sometimes when I don’t want it to, the bread has these giant holes that are most annoying. You’re definitely right when you say that those big holes are not always desirable – just yesterday I put some cranberry curd I had received as a gift (aside: I’d never had it before and it’s really incredible) onto a piece of sourdough and ate it as I was puttering around the kitchen. Only it’s quite gooey and I wound up with sticky blobs of it all over my floor (lucky I have a dog). This would have been better on something that didn’t so closely resemble a colander, for sure.

Not every bread is designed to have an open crumb. Although I agree with SDBaker that a hamburger on ciabbata is fantastic, sometimes you just want a nice soft hamburger bun. I have a bun recipe that uses a good amount of WW flour and has a fairly tight, even crumb – it’s great! And I have a soft oatmeal sandwich bread that, now that you mention it, is just begging to be made into a fluffernutter (what a great idea; I haven’t had one in years but I just put Fluff on my grocery list).

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I do always aim for a 10, although I rarely achieve it (never, actually). But what constitutes a 10 does not always include having an open crumb. And of course even when I want it and don’t get it, the bread is almost always delicious.

Susanfnp

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

OK, guys, I have lived in the states for 40 years and I have never heard of a fluffernutter! Could somebody please explain - I gather it has something to do with white bread? A

Oldcampcook's picture
Oldcampcook

OK, for us hillbillies in Oklahoma, what is fluffernutter?  As a guess marshmallow and peanut butter?

 

Bob

browndog's picture
browndog
weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

After finding this site I got crazy for big holey crumb and I do like it with some breads but actually we like most of our bread with a fairly even crumb. I made one loaf a while ago that I sliced open lengthwise to spread with butter and garlic and I'm not kidding the whole loaf was one big hole inside, just top and bottom crust. The whole bakery could have slept in that one.     

I asked one time why we wanted bread with big holes and got a few answers. I seem to remember the answer was that long cool fermentation made for better tasting bread and the holes were the result. Maybe a sign of tasty bread, I don't know.

I agree that sometimes I end up with big holes when I wanted an even crumb. Oh well. They mostly all taste good and that's what I'm looking for all the time.                                                                                                                                                                       weavershouse

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Well, when I get through fooling around with the whole wheat no knead bread, I want to try for one that is still nice and light, but has a nice neat crumb.  I also want to try for some nice soft whole wheat rolls.  But in the meantime, I've found that butter and peanut butter work fine on any bread.  DH doesn't like some of the heavier whole wheat breads in general, but loves them for breakfast.

crumb bum's picture
crumb bum

Hey Pattyscake

I shot for the moon when making bread for a long time.  I wanted that big shiny open crumb on the inside and a great looking super oven sprung dark brown blistered crust on the outside.  One day I saw a posting by Floydm that featured pics of a whole wheat sandwich bread and I realized I have been missing out on a whole world of great breads.  Tighter crumbs and baked in pans, these breads are great made into sandwiches or toast.  This is how we eat bread 95% of the time no matter what the crumb or shape.  I have found that our family wastes less of this bread as well because the loaf shape is just a more "efficient" for lack of a better term, shape.  I am with Browndog "I want the ability to control the crumb".  My latest project is making some of the breads I used to ever so gently shape, trying to get that magic crumb, and baking it in a bread pan.  The results have been good so far, I do get a tighter crumb.  My only issue is with a closed crumb I don't get that complete geletization like I would with an open crumb.  I'm done rambling, have a great weekend.

Da Crumb Bum     

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Geletization? Crumb Bum, I need a definition! I'm getting Peter Reinhard's "Crust and Crumb" from the library tomorrow. Maybe it will clear up more of these terms.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

"During the onset of the baking process, the flour starches absorb water, swell and become glossy (when bread dough is mixed, only the outer surface of the starch granules is moistened; later, under the influence of the heat in the oven, the water is able to penetrate into the granules). As temperatures increase from 140° to 158°F (60° to 70°c), swollen wheat starch granules begin to gelatinize and contribute to the formation of the crumb." -- page 24 "Bread" by Jeffrey Hamelman

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Thanks, Mini!  That makes sense.

Cooky's picture
Cooky

It was that wonderful hole-y crumb and crunchy crust that motivated my dive into artisan baking in the first place, because that's my fave form of the staff of life. And, gracias a Floyd & friends, I learned here that achieving it is a source of great satisfaction (although I wouldn't rate anything I've done yet at better than 8 or 9).

One reason I have been more focused on the open-crumb-crunch-crust style is because I have found that is the kind of bread that is hardest to find for sale, even in good bakeries. High quality sandwich bread, on the other hand, is a bit easier to locate (especially now that the farmer's markets are in full swing).

However, once I got the baking mojo going, I was inspired to go after other great results in forms that require a tight crumb, and found the experience equally satisfying (and frustrating!). Challah, honey whole wheat, buttermilk white -- they all have their charms and special demands, like getting that wonderful even texture. Again, no 10s yet for me, but fabulous examples abound on this site of what I aspire to do.

And a 10-quality fluffernutter? Mmmmm! I think I have a new idea for summer cook-out dessert....

 


 

"I am not a cook. But I am sorta cooky."

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Fluffernutter S'more? is that what you're thinking?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think with all the gooey things in it (how about nutella too?) I think I would pack everything into a cream puff and dip into chocolate fondue.  :p  --Mini Oven

Cooky's picture
Cooky

Actually, I was thinking of making fluffernutters with cinnamon bread and cutting it into little canape-size pieces. But the smores approach? Sounds fabulous. Ditto Mini's idea for fluffernutter cream puffs.

(I really really have to stop looking at this site when I'm hungry.)

 

"I am not a cook. But I am sorta cooky."

crumb bum's picture
crumb bum

Hey All

Just a few more thoughts.  Instead of that five syllable mouthfull that starts with G I should have simply said and I quote "gel like glisten".  Well made and baked breads that are open tend to have this more often than closed crumb breads do.  It makes the difference between good and great in my book.  It gives the bread that certain "cool" mouth feel.  I can get shine in my closed crumb breads but not to the extent you would with more open crumbs.

As for the Fluffernutters I have never had one but plan on suprising the kids with this sandwich/dessert soon.  I feel I can safely state now that they will be a huge hit.

My fave simple sandwich with open crumb breads is grilled cheese.  Cast iron pan for the crunch.  Tillimook cheese between two slices of the most open crumbed bread you have.  I love the way the cheese melts down through the open areas and contacts the pan and gets all crispy and crunchy.  Grilled cheese is good anyway but this way is heaven.

Da Crumb Bum   

LisaPA's picture
LisaPA

Oooh! That's my favorite part of a grilled cheese too. It never occurred to me to pick a bread that would make more crunchy cheese. Thanks for the idea!

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

There is a restaurant back home called Shady Glen. They make a signature cheeseburger that the cheese completely covers the burger, hits the grill and curls up around the edges with this awesome crispy cheese. I can't wait to try your sandwich!

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

No fair - you all keep giving tantalizing mentions of fluffernutters but so far nobody has explained this food of the gods (or whatever) to this anxious limey. What in the world am I missing? Sounds lo-cal too, right? Please put me out of my misery, A

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I can guess that a Fluffernutter(s) is a sandwhich with marshmallow cream (brand name: Fluffy) and peanut butter. Anyone else have another deffinition? Maybe a little history? Toasted or untoasted? --Mini Oven

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

to link you up with some info on Fluffernutters. I have loved them since I was a kid. To me the best is toasted with butter, fluff and PB. It gets all melty, yummy and messy. Untoasted transports better for lunch though and is pretty darn good too.

The brand name is just "Fluff". Kraft foods makes a version also.

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Annie, a fluffernutter is, as MiniOven surmised, a sandwich made from peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff. When I was growing up, it was a real (and rare) event if my mother bought the gooey, sugary stuff, and eating it in a fluffernutter was always the best way to enjoy it.

http://www.marshmallowfluff.com/pages/homepage.html

Susanfnp

weavershouse's picture
weavershouse

You made that toasted cheese sandwich sound so good I've been wanting one since I read your post. Tomorrow for sure!!                                                                                                                                                                              weavershouse

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Susanfnp, many thanks for the description - I just knew it was going to be something my doctor would NOT want me to eat. But he said that about bread too. I don't suppose they make lo-cal Fluff? A