The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Open Crumb is a result of gluten development, does yeast play any part ?

saraugie's picture

Open Crumb is a result of gluten development, does yeast play any part ?

In this link, 6 posts down, and David thoroughly explains what causes open crumb; gluten development & techniques = trapped gases.

I knew this but I also thought that yeast = rise, aids in open crumb, the higher the rise the more open the crumb.

Is this wrong ? Then is yeast strictly to increase volume of the dough and start stuff breaking down in the dough ?

dmsnyder's picture

Yeast, whether in a sourdough starter or added commercial yeast, is what ferments the sugars in the flour to produce carbon dioxide and water. The CO2 is what makes the bubbles in the dough. Gluten forms the bubble walls and contains the gas which is generated by fermentation during bulk fermentation, proofing and oven spring. 

The "open crumb" is the result of well developed gluten that is not over-organized by intensive mixing. Gluten strands can also be shortened by fats, which keep the strands from joining up with each other, or by ingredients, like bran, which cut the strands during mixing.

The amount of yeast present in the dough will determine the rate of fermentation (how much CO2 is produced per unit time, at a constant temperature), but I can't think of any way it makes the crumb more or less open. 


saraugie's picture

Thank you David for the reply.

clazar123's picture

In her book."Bread Science",Emily Buehler talks about studies on bubble tech studied in bread dough and that the yeast produces the CO2 that actually fills existing bubbles-they don't create new bubbles at the rising phase.

So it seems to me that:

hydration can decrease the resistance to bubble formation,

mixing can incorporate more air for bubbles,

yeast produces the gas that fills them,

gluten holds them like a net and

how the dough is handled all affects the bubble size in a finished loaf.

Ultimately, it's a balancing act and how all the actions come together produces different results.

I'm still processing all this info and practicing different types of breads.Her book has been helpful but needs some time-not all of it is an easy read but it is useful information.

Every loaf is a learning experience.Practice a particular type of loaf,mindfully,over and over until you can get it consistently.