The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Crumb

Fletcher15's picture
Fletcher15

Crumb

I have been working with some different hydration recenlty to get a more opened and uniform crumb. I am very critical of the work I do,but I'm curious what I could bw doing wrong. Ie not enough gluten structure, not enoufg folds, over or under proofed?any advicw woupd be appreciated. The last two loafs are at 68 and 72 % hydration. Methods are same 1 hour autolyse stretch and fold for 5-7 minutes, 30 min folds for first 3 hourz of bulk fermentation. Although my starter is alive I dont think its at the right stage mahbe this is why. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Hi Fletcher, I have just the book (PDF file) for you. Trevor Wilson, an active poster and also a commercial baker wrote a book called, Open Crumb Mastery”. I think this will be a great help to you. I’m on my second read now.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/54193/open-crumb-mastery

Oh! It is best to post everything pertaining to this subject under a single post.

Your image of the crumb above looks pretty darn good to me.

Dan

Fletcher15's picture
Fletcher15

Thanks for the advice the picture would only load one image 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

You may have tried to insert more than 1 image at the same time. You can upload as many images as you want in any post. But you’ll have to insert them 1 at a time.

Fletcher15's picture
Fletcher15

After I upload one the option disapears 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I placed both images very small for samples only. You can set the size when you insert any image. I have no idea why you are having trouble.

Dan

 

 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Tends to happen if you degas agressively (at least in my experience). This eliminate any disproportionate gas cavities and here it becomes a question of how far you can expand a bunch of smaller bubbles to max size. Also keep in mind that a smaller loaf is more likely to be uniform I think this is somewhat evident in your cross-section - bubbles expand when the heat up and in this case it looks like the loaf received the bulk of the heat at the top. You may notice the middle of the loaf is usually where the smallest bubbles are located - and often time because the middle warmed up after the outer zones. I think a lot of people,get caught up in shaping traps when in fact keeping yeast under control and applying a good oven kick will have a significant influence in a good open crumb (this is all assuming you've nailed the kneading and gluten aspects so that your dough is at least nice and extensible)

Fletcher15's picture
Fletcher15

I have been preshaping prior to final shaping and letting reat for 30 min, possibly regarding during that time this is not a step I'm used to. The cooking of those last loafs waa in a different oven and not ideal so k knew they would not be perfect. The outer portions of the loaf did have a better crumb. Is that typical that the middle will nor be as developed ? 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

getting the middle to develop like the outside so yes its typical to see more development of structured crumb towards the crust.  Of course its impossible to start the heating from the middle out and thats why I am always harping on a hot oven and its also why you read methods that suggest starting the bake at temperature x and then lowering after a certain period.  So in essence the idea is to infuse a ton of energy during the phase where the loaf is still capable,of expanding (or hasn't hardened yet) at this point your crumb is pretty much decided and the rest of the bake is caramelization etc.  As for proofing thats a good time to finalize proofong but what about bulk ?  How long are you fermenting and how much yeast did you introduce into the dough ? 

Fletcher15's picture
Fletcher15

I slightly degas after bulk do you recommend this I have read either way 

kendalm's picture
kendalm

I see a lot of videos and posts recommending gentle degassing while at the same time I see a lot of videos with more aggressive degassing. That suggests that there's no real right or wrong way, however, since you are striving for regularity then yes, agressive degrading seems to promote regularity whereas gentle degassing results in some large cavities mixed with smaller ones.  Its a matter of what you personally want.  So yes in the case where even sized crumb is the objective then maybe squish more gas out.  If you've seen videos if raymond calvel, he beat the ever loving #!$@ out of dough flattening it right down.  I guess to an extent, I think its a bit of a myth that you need to go gentle and preserve gas in order to get open crumb - doing so will only cause those already large pockets to be extra large and what you really want to be concentrating on is how to turn the many smaller gas bubbles into many larger (but not massive ones)