The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question about irregular crumb

jason.e.bakes's picture

Question about irregular crumb

Hi all! I've been baking bread for around 2 months now, and due to self-isolation and lockdown, I've had enough time recently to give sourdough a shot. I'm using the Beginner's Sourdough recipe from The Perfect Loaf website (, and so far I've baked it twice. Overall, I'm extremely happy with the bake - great taste, crunchy crust, etc. However, as you can see in the picture, the crumb is pretty irregular, and has some rather large air holes in it, especially near where I scored. Any reasons for why this happened? And how could I try to fix it?

I'm new to sourdough so I'm still figuring out the whole process and fancy terminology, but here's some of the technical info:

- My starter is fed at a 1:2:2 ratio

- Autolyse is 1 hour

- Bulk fermentation is 4 hours, with 3 sets of folds

- Preshape into round, then shape into batard, then cold proof in fridge for 16 hours

- Preheat oven at 500 degrees with stone bread cloche inside, score loaf, bake for 20 min covered then 20 minutes uncovered.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and it makes me hungry.  I can see you got some pretty big holes.  I think just one little tweak would help out:

Degassing thoroughly before and while shaping before the long retard.  That should knock the large bubbles down to size and help distribute the cell sizes before allowing them to grow again during the cold final proof.  :)

jason.e.bakes's picture

Thanks for the advice, I'll try that out!

the beekeeping baker's picture
the beekeeping baker

Looks like you may be trapping air in there during your folds and/or shaping. If you're late in your process and want to lightly handle it, just try and pinch or poke the visible bubbles for a more even crumb.