Failing miserably at big holes/open crumb
I have been baking bread for about six months now, so I'm still a complete noobie, but really enjoying myself. I've been making Reinhart's San Francisco sourdough a lot, and I've recently tried his Ciabatta (in the Apprentice book) a few times.
I cook in an electric oven, weigh all my ingredients, have used KAF and most recently the high gluten Giusto's.
The main problem I'm having is that I want my bread to have a really open crumb with big, irregular holes. I've tried increasing the hydration on Reinhart's SF sourdough recipe with a bit of improvement, but nothing major, and tried the Ciabatta recipe with 9 oz of water and 4-5 folds and I still can't get it to look like his photo. (My latest theory is that perhaps I didn't flatten the dough enough, mine went into the oven about 3-4 inches high.)
Anyway, I would appreciate any tips you might have that would help me accomplish my dream of yummy sourdough/artesian bread with enormous holes. I've seriously tried varying proofing time, oven temperature, quantity of steam, mix time, all without any luck. Any sort of tips in terms of the factors that play into big holes would be much valued.
(Also, just in case it matters, I live in a tropical climate (Hawaii) which is pretty hot and humid most of the time.)
Thanks in advance!