The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Creating cell structures

bigyellowbandit's picture

Creating cell structures

So I have been making the bread where I work, a small upscale kitchen for over a year now. We serve epis to all of our tables, and I have gotten more than good at preparing the bread which made me want to learn even more and have been questing to try and learn as much as I can. The other day a coworker who went to the CIA told me that even though my bread is fantastic, I still haven't mastered creating "translucent cell walls".

Now this concept is new to me. My crust is nice, good color, great crunch, the crumb is moist and chewy, the cells themselves are well spaced and look good. But for some reason I can't seem to wrap my head around the idea of clear cell walls.

It's a basic french bread formula, low hydration. I use a hobart industrial mixer to mix the dough. 6-8 minutes until done. Let it proof for an hour to an hour and a half, punch down, kneed by hand for another 2-3 minutes until it has the proper feel. (usually passes the window test before I even have to hand kneed it). I than let the dough rest for 5 minutes before rolling out and cutting. It than goes into the proofer box on low heat and humidity for another 45 minutes or until risen properly than baked off in our convetion oven (13 minutes 425' rotate 8 minutes at 375').

Everyone really likes the bread and what the customers dont eat the employees always take home. But in my ever growing quest for perfect bread, I just don't understand clear cell walls. It's well airated and has good gluten development. Hoping someone can explain it a little better to me.




pmccool's picture


The first response to a similar inquiry has a photo and a written description that should be a good starting point for answering your question.