The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

glossy, open crumb in baguettes

probably34's picture

glossy, open crumb in baguettes

I've been trying to get a glossy, open crumb in my baguettes but have been unsucessful so far. Today I made them at 70% hydration, and the crumb was still rather uniform and fluffy. Could oven spring have to do with this? I think the expansion of the loaves during oven spring has been somewhat inhibited by a handful of possible culprits. First, I'm wondering if my couche is too tight, as they don't spread out much at all, only upwards during final proof. Second, I feel like my surface tension should be tighter. I've watched the shaping videos by Mitch Stamm and Ciril Hitz, and theirs look completely smooth and taut, whereas my mine are slightly wrinkly, and have some surface bubbling going on. Third is the my scoring, which I have a bit of a hard time with, probably because my surface tension is not where it should be. Does the desired glossy and open crumb depend upon the surface tension and oven spring, or is it mainly a hydration thing? The doughs on those videos don't seem any more wet that what I've used. Also, as far as the bubbliness goes, when I read Peter Reinhart formulas, he usually says to try to degas as little as possible. In the baguette videos, they do a considerable degassing. Once their baguettes are formed, there is almost no trace of gas pockets. Anyone have anything?

lumos's picture

I used to get baguettes with too uniform and fluffy crumb before and, after a few years of try & error AND lots of great info from TFL, I now know the culprit No.1 was over-kneading in my case (though there're other factors, too, like kinds of flour I used to use).  How do you knead your dough?

And if your dough's surface is slightly wrinkly without tention, it may well be it's over-fermented.


hanseata's picture

If you could post a photo of the baguette and the crumb to see what it looks like. Do you do overnight fermentation?