The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Still looking for airy crumb.....

F15E_WSO's picture

Still looking for airy crumb.....


I am still struggling on getting an airy crumb within my loaves.  I use a combination of two recieps from Reinhart's book; "The Bread Baker's Apprentice"


I use a barm as indicated on page 230 of his Sourdough section; this barm is going on 3+ yrs and works quite nicely.  After the second day I create the "Firm Starter" as indicated on page 233; I double it for my needs creating a firm starter of 8 ozs of barm, 9.0 ozs of flour (King Arther AP), 2 ozs of water.  I let this set up and sit overnight or up to 24 hrs.  This product makes approx 20 ozs of firm starter which I cut in half and then mix in two batches to create my loaves.  

Final Dough is 20.25 ozs flour, .5 ozs salt, 14 ozs water, 2 teaspoons of yeast dissolved in the warm water.  In the bread pictured below I used 14 ozs and am playing with the hydration to try and create a more airy crumb.

I used to do two rises but as I get a lot of flavor from my barm and firm starter I recently went to one rise and would go to the oven from there.  The taste is still quite good but am not adverse to going back to two rises if I can get the spring and crumb I quest.



I think I have a hydration issue, I'm hoping someone had the same results and issues and found the "next" key trick to move me in the direction I want to go.


Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Optionparty's picture

Peter Reinhart has written many books, and you didn't mention which one.

The "Testers" that review his recipe/formulas may have a solution for you.

I would suggest higher hydration & steam may address the airy crumb issue.