Baguette Tradition - needing help with my crumb :c)
I use a levain and poolish. I understand to get them fed and active and to use them in the dough recipe at the right time.
I understand the concept of strengthening the gluten so it holds in the gas. I have been achieving this through folding rather than kneading.
I understand the concept of handling the dough gently so as not to burst the gas bubbles.
I understand the concept of autolyse. I let the dough rest at the proper times.
I have been proofing my loaves at room temp.
I understand the concept of using preheated baking stones and introducing steam in the first 10 mins of baking to achieve a crisp crust and to allow steam to escape. My crust turns out nice and crisp every time.
The problem is my crumb. I get a doughy crumb. I am not seeing the big gas bubbles turn into big holes. My dough is wet which is good, but it is so wet the loaves go everywhere even when you use a board to transfer them out of the couche.
1. I think perhaps I need to use fresher flour. I am ordering 00 flour online but perhaps it has been sitting on some shelf for a while.
2. I wonder if my gluten is not strong enough. Could this be because I am not mixing the dough well enough? Should I use a stand mixer and really let the dough hook go to work on it?
3. I wonder if the lack of mixing well also affects the crumb.
4. I wonder if the proofing needs to be done at higher temp.
5. I wonder how much flour I can use during the shaping process so my loaves are not as droopy and sticky. I have been trying to not use much at all so the dough stays wet. But maybe if the gluten is strong enough I could use some flour to handle them easier? Is there a point in the process where I can be more aggressive with the flour on my hands and work surface?