The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

tight crumb

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T4tigger's picture
T4tigger

tight crumb

I've made several different loaves of bread with different recipes, but always get a tight, store-bread type crumb.    My starter very readily doubles or triples itself, but something seems to stop working when I mix the dough and knead.   I have no mixer, so everything is done by hand.  I also try as hard as possible not to add any more flour than necessary when kneading or folding so things don't get too tough.  I would be happy for any ideas or suggestions!

Colleen 

breadnut's picture
breadnut

Try increasing the hydration level of the dough. The wetter the dough the more irregular and open the crumb. When you fold try doing so on an oiled surface as opposed to a floured surface so that way you dilute the hydration level, and stretch and flatten the dough gently so you don't degass too much. When it comes to shaping, are you rough with the dough or gentle? Try handling the dough as little as possible so you don't get all the air bubbles out. And finally, allow for long fermentations when possible. Good luck.