The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What is translucent crumb?

varda's picture
varda

What is translucent crumb?

I have just got done reading the extended discussion on this list of Gérard Rubaud flour mix, miches, etc. and saw several references to a translucent crumb.   I was somewhat mystified by this phraseology, as nothing could be more solid (if holey) than bread.   However, I just made a sourdough with a mature white wheat starter and bread flour.   Since I have been working on baguettes with a cold retard, I used that technique on the sourdough and let it sit in the refrigerator for 20 hours after some stretching and folding on the wet dough.   Then preshaped and shaped as two small boules.   Lo and behold when I cut into it, it had an almost translucent quality.   But maybe it's just the power of suggestion after reading all those posts, since I'm not entirely sure what the phrase is intended to mean.   I was going to take a picture of my sourdough for this post, but when I went to do it, the last bit of it had mysteriously disappeared.  So what is meant by translucent crumb, and is it a good thing, or just a thing?  Thanks!


Varda

mcs's picture
mcs

Varda,
I think you can see the 'translucentness' of this baguette crumb.  It's shiny and see-through in parts.  The crumb indicates a lot about the process that the baker used, that's why everyone on TFL always asks for pictures of the crumb.  It shows how the dough was handled, shaped, the time it took fermenting, the ovenspring, and if you've eaten enough bread, the flavor too.
A translucent crumb that has a creme color such as this has a ton of flavor, is slightly sweet, and was steamed properly to achieve a nice amount of ovenspring.  The thin crust and holes going all the way to the edges shows that it wasn't overworked on the bench and wasn't degassed in the process.
It's impossible to achieve a great looking crumb through luck, and so the bakers here are very proud to show others 'proof' of their efforts and success!


-Mark


http://TheBackHomeBakery.com


 


crunchybaguette's picture
crunchybaguette

Bang on ;-)

Leandro Di Lorenzo's picture
Leandro Di Lorenzo

Man!!!! I gotta tell you..............

Teach me how to achive that!!!! rsrsrss =)

It's beautiful crumb.... Congrats...!!!

On my tryouts I discovered that the translucent holes usually happens when you don't degas the dough too much!!! But this is outstanding!!!

One more time congrats!!!!

 

heidet's picture
heidet

Mark,

I tried to write to you on TBH but couldnt get through. I am the reason for the renewed questions about translucent crumb.

I am trying to create a superlight, supertranslucent crumb, crispy exterier bread called pa de vidre/pan de cristal, produced originally by guzman, and now another bakery can replicate it in Barcelona.

What protein and grind is the flour you used for this baguette? Can you .would you do an online tuttorial of this bread and if not, may I come visit and get some lessons. This is not a joke, I live in Japan and I am determined to persevere.

I have replicated the coca de cristal with the only available recipes on line but it is not the pan de cristal. I want to follow your technique and recipe for this baguette if you will share it with me?

 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Mark has a way of saying things with his posts that shorten the thread. His example of translucent crumb is perfect! You asked if it was a good thing or just a thing? I hope to be able to some day be able to consistently create such beautiful breads. Right now I'm lucky if half my batches are any where near as beautiful.


Thanks Mark:>)


Eric

JoeVa's picture
JoeVa

Perfect description Mark!


Giovanni

varda's picture
varda

That explains it.   Thanks so much.  

mcs's picture
mcs

Eric, Giovanni, and Varda- glad you like the description.  It's amazing what you can tell about a bread from the crumb picture isn't it?  It's also amazing to see the quality level of home bakers' breads here.  I think the analytical and supportive nature of this place really speeds up the learning curve here.


Oh and Varda, I'd offer you a bite but right after that photo was taken, that baguette was covered in butter and devoured.


-Mark

ehanner's picture
ehanner

What kind of flour is that baguette made from? It really is beautiful, uncommonly so.


Eric

mcs's picture
mcs

It's Wheat Montana white, and for what it's worth I'm scoring my baguettes straight down the middle now (the picture is the outside of the same baguette) instead of the traditional way.  I've found with the baguette screens that I bake on, with a diagonal slash they expand side to side, but they don't allow the baguettes to gain length, resulting in bubbles as it can only expand 'up'.  I think the high hydration sort of adheres to the perforations until the bottoms get baked (which is long after the ovenspring is done). The 'down the middle' scoring compensates for the pans and allows even expansion.


-Mark


ehanner's picture
ehanner

if you placed a sheet of parchment down first if you could slash the classic way.


The crumb has such a nice creamy color. I'll have to get some of that to try.


Eric

mcs's picture
mcs

Excellent suggestion.  I'll make up some extras next time and experiment.


-Mark

heidet's picture
heidet

Hi mark, I wrote earlier but maybe I posted in the wrong spot. What is the type of wheat in Montana wheat? I mean protein,ash content, etc.? Do you have a tutorial of making this baguette? Will you have one? If not would you give a tutorial if I came to Montana? (I live in Japan and am the person trying to make pan de crystal...need I say more?)