The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baguette crumb versus Boule crumb?

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neoncoyote's picture
neoncoyote

Baguette crumb versus Boule crumb?

Good morning -

For those of you who regularly bake both of these shapes -- do you notice that your baguette crumb is always more holey, with holes throughout the crumb, versus your boule's with a more dense crumb (but perhaps a little more holey at the edges)? I think my boule shaping technique is pretty darned good -- and I realize crumb quality depends on much more than shaping technique -- but with my consistently great hole results with baguettes and subpar results with boule's, thought I'd throw the question out there.

Thanks!

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Made with exactly the same dough and with good dough handling technique, a baguette will have a more open crumb than a bâtard which will have a more open crumb than a boule of the same weight. The reason is simple mechanics. The larger mass of dough pressing down on the dough below it will compress the CO2 bubbles.

If you want a more open crumb in a larger loaf, you can increase hydration, up to a point, or just cut off a hunk of dough and proof and bake it without further shaping. This is the method of making Professor Calvel's "pain rustique" which has a surprisingly open crumb.

David

neoncoyote's picture
neoncoyote

Makes perfect sense! And come to think of it, when I tried the rustic recipe featured on the site, I was amazed at how holey the crumb was...though it was a higher-hydration dough than I typically use. 

3 Olives's picture
3 Olives

Do you know if this is also true for sourdough starters based on hydration percentages? Is the appearance of activity proportional to hydration levels?

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I don't understand your questions.

David

lumos's picture
lumos

Hi, 3 Olives,

If you mean 'appearance' of activity, like differences in volume  of starter or how much small 'bubbles' you can see in the starter it gains when it matures after feeding with different level hydration, yes, I think it is.    Stiffer starter (=lower hydration) gains more volume when matured and the bubbles in the starter is larger than liquid levain with higher hydration.

If that's not what you meant, I'll line behind David and wait for you to elaborate your question. ;)

lumos