The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

bread with terrible crumb!

sfsourbread's picture
sfsourbread

bread with terrible crumb!

Hello! 

I'm a new baker and the first few times I made a couple beautiful loaves. Now, every time I try to bake, I get the results shown in the picture - a slightly gummy tight crumb bottom with basically an airy hole on top. I've been using this technique: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016277-tartines-country-bread

Any idea where I'm going wrong?

Thanks!

BaniJP's picture
BaniJP

This is the picture perfect example for an underproofed loaf. The big holes are air pockets trapped during folding/shaping. Next time go for longer bulk-fermentation, especially now in the winter it can take longer. The dough should grown noticeably in size, have visible bubbles and be smooth and jiggly.

sfsourbread's picture
sfsourbread

oh i'll try proofing longer! i read somewhere that proofing was done when you poke it and it only slowly goes back. i will try and make sure its bubbly and jiggly too. thank you!

BaniJP's picture
BaniJP

That's correct, but that applies to the final proof, not the bulk-fermentation.

It also only applies at room temp, if you do a cold overnight ferment, poking doesn't help.

My experience with sourdough is that if you think bulk-fermentation is done, go a bit longer. Since it's a much slower fermentation, the window of opportunity is much bigger than with yeast.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

then I'm inclined to take a good look at starter maintenance.  Throw your details at us about how it is fed, how it behaves and at what temperatures and see if we can spot some problems.  :)

sfsourbread's picture
sfsourbread

i was underproofing it! baked a loaf today and it came out beautifully! thank you so much! 

- current happy bread eater

sfsourbread's picture
sfsourbread

 here is a picture of the improved loaf. i think i will try and proof is longer next time and hopefully get a more even crumb :)