Flour choice for a more tender, open crumb
Hi fellow bakers,
I am in a regular baking schedule nowadays, baking almost every weekend and sometimes during the weekdays. I am focused on Chad Robertson's bread and its variations... I really enjoy the dark, cruncy crust with the tender open crumb... high hydration (>75%) with a young leaven. The keeping qualities of the bread is also great. I've been using the KA organic bread flour and the organic ww flour... and the bread turns out great with good oven spring. Flavor is complex but not overwhelmingly sour. I even tried 100% whole wheat with an overnight soak... still good but of course with a little less oven spring.
However, I am after a more tender and open crumb... based on what I have been reading, the european style flours (softer with protein content in the 10 - 11.7% range) are better suited for this kind of baking with long fermentation times. So, I tried incorporating organic KA AP flour, then the Central Milling AP flour... I tried 100% AP, then 50% AP with 50% bread flour. Everytime I use the AP flour, I end up with much stickier dough that is not holding its shape as well. Of course, my technique also suffers as it's harder to give the tension needed in the final shaping...
I'd welcome any thoughts on this... Is using AP flour a good idea to get a more tender and yet still an open crumb? It seems harder to develop the gluten with the AP flour.