The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Holey Moley

ElPanadero's picture

Holey Moley

Some advice needed please.

Last couple of loaves have had holes like these which I initially thought was my failure to de-gas/knock back however I took extra time here to ensure I pressed out any large pockets at the shaping stage.  I'm guessing therefore this is a result of the hydration and proofing times?

These were the Pain Natural and Pain Rustique loaves from

Poolish: Wheat 115g, Water 115g, starter 15g (100%)

Dough: Wheat 340g,  Water 180g, Salt 7.5g

Mixed, 20min autolyse, 4min knead, rest 50min, (S+F, rest 50min) x2,  shape, proof 2.5 hrs, bake

Oven spring is fine, taste is fine just too many large holes.




MisterTT's picture

sometimes as well. It could be a proofing issue, but I'm not sure. You're probably familiar with "the hole the baker sleeps in", this might be a version of that just caught in a slighty earlier stage. Proof time does look a bit long for a formula with 25% of prefermented flour. I proof my straight sourdoughs for one hour at 25C and they come out fine. 2.5 hours seems excessive, though that depends on your proofing temp as well.

I used to think that it has to do with not brushing off the flour completely while shaping (have you changed your shaping procedure?), but then I was really attentive to do so and even used damp hands to make sure the shape "sticks" and still got this.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

try lengthening the rest longer before shaping.  

dmsnyder's picture

I think your crumb doesn't look very different from that pictured on the site from which you got the recipe. It is a pretty open crumb for a 65% hydration bread, but is that bad? The holes don't seem really excessive to me. Note that the very short mix will also result in this type of crumb.

Could the long proof play a role? Yes, if the dough were really over-proofed with resulting protein breakdown. Good oven spring argues against over-proofing though.

If you want a denser crumb, I would continue good degassing during pre-shaping and shorten the proof time.


ElPanadero's picture

I will try your suggestions.

dabrownman's picture

and 25% of the flour - pretty high for a longish proof.  This will make things move along faster with white flour and may require a shorter proof..... or less levain as a % of the total .  I don't know what kind of kneadin\, I see it is a mixer, you are doing but 4 minutes is pretty short and the dough is too dry to do slap and folds.  The recommend uppin ght ehydration forAmerican flours but I would be tempted to get the hydartion up to 70-72% and do 5 minutes of slap and folds and then a 1 minute one after a 15 minute rest, for this still low hydration bread, would be plenty with the 2 S&F's.

Is there no pre-shaping stage with a 15 minute rest and then final shape?  Skipping the pre shape may be the culprit in not getting the large whole out of the dough before proofing too. 

It does look like the web site crumb pretty much as David mentioned, yours is larger holes htough, and some would die for those holes at such a low hydration. 

I'm sure you will get it sort it out pretty quick and

Happy Baking