The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What in the crumb happened here? Good appearance and taste...but terrible crumb!

loke's picture
loke

What in the crumb happened here? Good appearance and taste...but terrible crumb!

Hello,

I recently started attempted baking no knead bread, and today i baked two variations of 10% whole wheat loaves - one with a long 12h cold fermentation in the fridge and the other a shorter 2h fermentation at room temperature. Both loaves had a pretty good appearance, color, taste and spring...but the crumb is just terrible! I am aiming to get a decent open crumb in my loaves and at this point i'm trying to pinpoint the factor that is causing my crumb to be dense, and i suspect it to be under-proofing for my second rise.

I live in Singapore, with an ambient room temperature of 28C on most days. During the final rise, i proofed it for 20-30 mins before i scored and baked them. In hindsight as i was figuring out the problem, I know it seems rather ridiculous that i proofed them for such a short time, but i was assumed that due to the warmer 28C room temperature here, the proofing time would be reduced compared to those bakers proofing in colder countries; and secondly i conducted the finger indentation test where both doughs had an indentation and slowly rose back. Would someone kindly educate me more on the proofing process and where i have gone wrong? Also, based on the 28C room temperature, what's a rough estimate of the final proofing time that i should have allocated for? I've attached the recipes i used and photos of my loaves below for reference. Thanks in advance!


Here are the recipes and method i used for my loaves:

10% Wheat Loaf (12h Fermentation)

90B%   225.9g   Bread Flour (Blue Jacket Baguette/Artisan Bread Flour 11-12.7% protein)
10B%    25.1g    Whole Wheat Flour (Bob's Red Mill)
2B%       5.0g     Salt
0.5B%   1.3g     Instant Yeast
77B%     193g    Water

-Mix all ingredients in a bowl

-Rest 15mins, Stretch and Fold x4
-Refrigerated fermentation for 12hr
-Remove from fridge, wait for dough temperature to rise to 18-20 C (took me about 1.5hr)
-Fold and round dough, rest 20mins
-Fold and round a second time, and place seam side up in a banneton
-Proof for 25mins 
-Bake at 260C/ 25mins covered with a stainless bowl, and afterwards remove the bowl and cont at 230C/20mins

10% Wheat Loaf (Short Fermentation)

 

90B%    201.78g   Bread Flour (Blue Jacket Baguette/Artisan Bread Flour 11-12.7% protein)
10B%    22.42g     Whole Wheat Flour (Bob's Red Mill)
2B%        4.5g       Salt
0.4B%     0.9g       Instant Yeast
76B%     170g       Water

-Mix all ingredients in a bowl

-Rest 30min, Stretch and Fold
-Rest 60min, Stretch and Fold
-Rest 30min, Stretch and Fold
-Fold and round dough, rest 20mins
-Fold and round a second time, and place seam side up in a banneton
-Proof for 30mins 
-Bake at 260C/ 25mins covered with a stainless bowl, and afterwards remove the bowl and cont at 230C/20mins

Would greatly appreciate any help or suggestions, and thanks for reading through my post!

Loke

Levaineer's picture
Levaineer

That crumb looks fine to me. An open and lacy crumb is not the only marker of well made bread. If you like the texture/taste/color then you're doing a great job. Something that might help open up the crumb is reducing the bulk fermentation. For example if you usually allow the dough to double, try only allowing it to rise 50%. Personally I think this negatively affects flavor and texture, but it has worked for me to open up the crumb. 

loke's picture
loke

I agree with your statement about the crumb not being the only marker of my bread's quality; however i was concerned about it as the baker who shared this recipe had large airy crumbs in her loaf henceforth i figured i must have a mistake somewhere in my method. I'll try your suggestion the next time i bake, but may i ask as well what is the reason or science behind the reduced bulk fermentation time that enables an open crumb? 

Thanks for your help Levaineer!

pmccool's picture
pmccool

to run a bit longer.  Another 15 minutes, perhaps?  The amount of oven spring and the tearing at the slashes indicates mild underproofing.  

Frankly, that’s the sort of crumb I want in most of my breads, so I’d be delighted with those loaves.  

Paul

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

Those loaves look fantastic IMHO.  I'd have no complaints whatsoever.  Nicely baked! 

Hotbake's picture
Hotbake

The crumb looks lovely to me🤤

Try resting the pre-round a little bit longer and proof till it pass the poke test?