The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tartine crumb structure

jrikkers's picture

Tartine crumb structure

I've been making the basic country bread for a few months and am looking for a more open crumb structure.  I'm following recipe very closely, increasing hydration to 80%, varying bulk fermentation time a bit.  Using Artisan Bakers Craft Plus Malted and Organic WW Hi-Pro Fine, both from Keith Giusto Bakery Supply.  Thanks for any suggestions.

Darwin's picture

I am no expert, but I would be very happy with that.

dosco's picture

How does your gluten development look? Does it windowpane?

How active is your starter? (seems by the pic that it's pretty good ...)



WoodenSpoon's picture

Are your results consistently like this, despite which direction you vary the bulk ferment times (longer/shorter)?

smignogna's picture

try not to deflate the dough when shaping. that should fix your issues.

Les Nightingill's picture
Les Nightingill

A gentle hand is also necessary in the stretch and fold actions. Also, I achieved better vigor in my Tartine loaves when I switched from his starter recipe to a 100% rye flour formula at 100% hydration.

I think, too, that if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, it can be harder to maintain a near-optimum proofing temperature at this time of year.

Although I love the Tartine book, especially for the perfect loaf quest that it launched me on, I spent over a year of experimentation with CR's methods and formulae without achieving the results depicted in the book.

You might also want to browse around Tartine Bread Experiment for some more insight into the methods. That's where I got the idea that 100% rye would give me a more vigorous starter.

jrikkers's picture

Thanks everyone.  I'm going to try an all day bulk fermentation in my approx. 65 degree kitchen, then an overnight proofing in the fridge, and bake early the following morning.

Rye'n's picture

I've wanted a more open crumb with tartine method as well. Try A cooler proof. A cooler loaf will expand more in the oven. A cool loaf  can also hold more gas in the same volume. 

Tommy gram's picture
Tommy gram

I know it may sound crazy, (blasphemy, man!) but try and add a little yeast.

Going on 5 years I have been a wild yeast zealot "I shall never allow that devils tool to pass into my baking arena"! Oh well here comes winter, a 60 degree counter and I need a little help, so I put in a teaspoon of yeast to my 1200 grams of flour-200 to 300 grams of those 1200 are delivered in a 100% hydrated nice and foamy wild yeast starter. With the yeast then I start to get the holes I'm looking for.

If you see there is one picture in the Tartine book with a loaf that looks like a sea sponge. Im betting commercial yeast helped make it that way. He uses a poolish for a baguette recipe using commercial yeast which I had to look twice at. Commercial yeast is a tool to use. 

Also I take half my batch of fresh dough and put it in the fridge until needed. When I'm ready to bake that refrigerated part I have found if I form the cool dough right away, then let it sit for a while (how long depends on the temperature) until I bake it, it will deliver bigger holes.

Id like to hear what results you are getting, this is a great thread.'s picture

On stretch and fold technique:   How gentle does one have to be?  Does it really matter that one does the stretch and fold or can one just let the bread sit and get same results?  



David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Are you using 80% All Purpose and 20% whole wheat?

If I use 80% King Arthur Organic All Purpose and 20% Organic White Whole Wheat, with my Levain (made with 50% of the All Purpose and 50% White Whole Wheat), I get a crumb like this:

If you can get a crumb like this following the formula, and the crumb structure changes when you change the flour, then we know that the flour is the culprit and the solution may be to add more water, to do more or less stretch and folds, etc.

However, if you follow the formula and your crumb is dense and not the way you like it, then maybe someone can help figure out what is going on if you do things like state the temperature of the dough, the rise time, the intervals of folds, and how you go about shaping.