The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

high Hydration sourdough

LondonChef's picture

high Hydration sourdough


I am looking for a recipe similar to the picture, I have tried many recipes by have never come close. Any help and advice would be amazing.

many thanks 

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

wouldn't be so difficult. The main issue would be in the handling of such a dough. Tells us what you've tried so far and what the outcome was.

LondonChef's picture

I have tried many different hydration’s and flour blends, best result where with a t70 flour and around 70% hydration but crust and crumb where not close 

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

75-80% hydration sourdough. As for the best flour I'm not sure but if you have had good results with T70 then experience is best. For a really good crust make sure you're getting enough steam in your oven while baking.

Other things like incorporating an autolyse and developing the gluten with stretch and folds will help.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Looks like a very high hydration (80% or so), minimal-handling bread. The large gas bubbles have not been popped during shaping. Also, try a very small amount of yeast and bulk ferment for a long time. This will make sure the gluten is fully developed.

Check out this excerpt from Peter Reinhart's "Crust and Crumb". It sounds like what you are looking for!

Trevor J Wilson's picture
Trevor J Wilson

The quality of a bread is not due to the recipe, but to the hands of the baker. Skilled hands = quality bread. Therefore, the best way to improve the quality of one's bread is to improve one's skill. I don't mean this to be condescending in any way. It's just a fact of baking. Chasing after a perfect recipe is far less effective than chasing after improved skill.

Open crumb is 80% proper fermentation and dough handling. 

Improve those two skills and you will improve the quality of your crumb. 

As for crust -- as Lechem has pointed out -- adequate steam is essential. Many bakers use a dutch oven or combo cooker in order to achieve the desired result. But there are many other ways of steaming one's bread. A great method can be found over at Here's a link to the article:

In fact, that entire website is pretty much dedicated to achieving the kind of bread it seems you would like to achieve. If you read it from the first post to the last, it's a wonderfully photographed blog of Maurizio's journey as a baker. The difference in quality from the first loaves he posted to the most recent is astounding. He's an example of what happens when you focus on improving skill rather than getting caught up in recipe. 

And keep in mind, hydration isn't everything. You can get a nice open crumb from lower hydration breads so long as you nail the fermentation and handling. Indeed, it's usually more effective to start with lower hydration breads as they are better suited to beginners looking to improve their handling skills. Best learn to walk before you run, as they say. 

So really, the best advice one can offer is to practice practice practice.

Then practice some more.




Bread1965's picture


I always love readying your posts. You're like a bread zen master that has sat on his counter in the lotus pose, meditating on bread, while awaiting the dough's fermentation.. the insight, wisdom and thoughtfulness of your posts reveal the contemplative mind.. I'm going print out your reply and put it in my bread book to read before every bake.. thank you..

MonkeyDaddy's picture

He very graciously points to Maurizio's site but has an awesome site of his own.  Search for his YouTube videos under Trevor J. Wilson, and his website at

He practices what he preaches and shows how he gets an incredibly open crumb at 65% hydration

I love the easy-going tone he sets in his videos, while still being technically proficient masterful and highly instructional.  Check him out.

alfanso's picture

Start here - SFBI High Hydration Dough Handling video using a drywall blade

then here - the wonderful Steve B employs the same tool

then here where I do too.

No interior crumb shots on Steve's or mine, but we both employed the same technique with 80% hydration dough.  Steve's was proofed in a banneton, mine in a couche.

As others also state, it takes practice and this technique is a little peculiar.  But it does work.

LondonChef's picture

thats for the advice! 

LondonChef's picture

This mornings bake! Not a super high hydration but have achieved the open crumb I was looking for! 

LondonChef's picture

This mornings bake! Not a super high hydration but have achieved the open crumb I was looking for!