My first nice crumb
Hey everyone, I'm Vlad from Kyiv, Ukraine, and this is my first post here — nice to meet you all!
I just got into baking a month ago, and on my 7th loaf, after reading Trevor Wilson's fantastic Open Crumb Mastery, I finally got my lightest, most open crumb yet! It's also the biggest one in volume by far. Still a long way from a truly open crumb, but improving at least! Previous loaves all have been quite gummy and dense in comparison. Really happy with this result.
This is 75% hydration, 90% all-purpose flour (I don't have bread flour), 5% whole wheat and 5% rye. I think the improvement comes mostly from really pushing the bulk rising to the limit — turns out most of my previous attempts have been underfermented, which is apparently very common when your starter is young and not too active, and you don't have experience to judge dough proofiness yet. I increased levain amount from 10% to 18% to bulk faster, put the dough in the slightly preheated oven so that it's warm (apparently very long fermentation doesn't work well with weak flour because gluten starts to break down — picked this tip up on this forum!), coil-folded it every hour, and fought my impatience trying to put this thing in the oven too soon. Total bulk time — ~9 hours, proof time after shaping — 3 hours.
Thanks for reading! Looking forward to learning more.