The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A cure for small-crumb?

Kelekona's picture

A cure for small-crumb?

Compared to my bread, Papa John's pizza crust is lighter than the non-crunchy bits of popcorn.

I use whole-wheat flour.  I'm afraid that I am not very scientific with my bread, but I've determined that my cheap-for-orbital mixer can only handle about one cup if liquid.  The only consistency I've gotten is dense, fine-crumb bread.  With the mixer, I actually leave the dough stickier than what I would do buy hand.  I tend to do a quick final-shaping and just leave it to rise; no touching except experimental pokings after it's out of the mixing bowl.

ianian00's picture

I use a neat trick at work:

The day before (which is every day for me) I use 1/4 of the flour for a starter, I soak 1/4 of it in water, and I save the other half for the next day. On Day 2 I throw them all together in the mixer with enough extra yeast to make the bread rise quickly (otherwise the enzymes you've developed overnight will break down your gluten). For me, quickly is about 4 hours at 82F.

The starter is for taste, but what you should be interested in is the soaker. Soaking the grain in water for several hours softens the bran, which usually cuts right through the dough and let's air out. For the soaker I use 141% H20. Remember to factor that water into your measurements the next day.