The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Why is there a gummy crumb at 68% Hydration with Levain and zero Gumminess with commercial yeast at 75% Hydration

Brotokoll's picture
Brotokoll

Why is there a gummy crumb at 68% Hydration with Levain and zero Gumminess with commercial yeast at 75% Hydration

Hi,

This problem has been a source for a lot of frustration. My Sourdough breads have a fantastic crust, but the crumb turns out to be gummy. I thought it was a Hydration issue and reduced the Hydration of my breads from 85% to 68% and yet the Gumminess pervades. When I made a bread with Poolish (from Ken Forkish's FWSY using commercial Yeast) and used 75% hydration, the crumb was beautiful and had Zero Gumminess. The flour for both the breads (Sourdough and Commercial Yeast) came from the same batch. My Levain is 10 months old now, and has been used extensively. It's well fed and rises in 4 hours to 2.5x (although it has been sluggish off late, but I will attribute it to the rains and the cooler weather), it also has a nice tangy aroma. Can anybody shine any light on how to resolve this issue? The Gumminess cuts through all flours (APF, BF, 00) and through all the Hydrations I have tried (85%, 75%, 71%, 68%). The problem isn't with my Ovens, since they are brand new and are top of the Line Bosch and Siemens. The breads are baked in a DO at 250C for 20-25 minutes and 20-25 minutes at 210-220C (depending on the caramelisation). I use no additives like DMP or VWG. The ambient temperature out here is in the mid 90s, so Bulk Fermentation is approximately 3-3.5 hours. Then a rapid chilling of the dough (for 15 minutes) and then shaping. Then it is placed for retardation at 3C for at least 12 hours. I use the poke test to ensure the dough isn't overproofed. Can anybody help?

ifs201's picture
ifs201

From what I've read, I don't think the gummy crumb has anything to do with the hydration of the dough. I think a gummy crumb usually indicates an under fermented dough. Baking with an ambient temp in the 90s is probably pretty challenging, but a 3 hour bulk might still be too short. Also, are you waiting before cutting into the bread? I've read cutting into a hot loaf can also make the crumb gummy. Additionally, do you preheat the DO in the oven for a good long time before baking? 

Brotokoll's picture
Brotokoll

I wait for the bread to cool completely before I slice it open. And yes, I think the Bulk Fermentation might be a bit on the shorter side. I would need to increase the time. The DO is preheated for an hour before the dough is dumped in 

ifs201's picture
ifs201

I'd try a longer bulk ferment and see what happens. 

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

What's your recipe look like? How much  levain is in this recipe? 

Yes it's most likely just underfermented.  Needs more time or more levain.  

Brotokoll's picture
Brotokoll

Thanks for the insight BreadLee. I use 20% Levain. Many bakers have pointed out the same thing. Let me do some course correction and see what happens. It looks like my Levain has become proteolytic. 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Abhi, something looks way wrong. I’m not sure fermentation is your only problem. Please post the formula so we can take a look. I am wondering if some additive isn’t messing things up.

Are you getting more comfortable with the Ank?

Did your mill arrive?

Danny