too big holes
Sometimes, I end up with large holes throughout my bread. I'm not talking about the nice irregular holes we all know and love, but a giant hole right through the middle of the loaf. I'm not very precise in my baking methods, so I can never pin down what I do differently or incorrectly to achieve this. Does anyone know what causes this (over-proofing, poor shaping technique, low/high hydration, etc.)?
On another note, I made a delicious loaf of Pain au levain (Leader, Bread Alone) today. If you're not familiar with this recipe, it calls for a levain developed over four days. The final dough gets a two hour fermentation, a 35 minute bench rest, and a final two hour proof. This dough always has me on the edge of my seat: two hours for proofing seems like a ridiculously long time. It always surprises me, though, and pops right up in the oven. This is a very toast-able bread with a tighter crumb and mild sourdough taste.
If anyone has any suggestions about the giant, loaf-length holes I'm experiencing, I would love to hear about it!