The Fresh Loaf

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Nice crumb with big holes BUT.................

MISSiShrimpi's picture

Nice crumb with big holes BUT.................

Hi All

Well I finally made a nice crumb with decent holes BUT I had to go to 80% hydration to get it. I am weighing everything, KAF, overnight fermentation, followed Anis Boubsa's recipe to the letter "T", oven temperature checked and rechecked, you name it, I have done it LOL. Except perhaps a little higher hydration but couldn't get holes in the crumb until I went to 80%. Although I was somewhat pleased with the end result I still don't think everything is quite right. At 80% the dough was as close to impossible to work with as one could imagine. Instead of shaping the baguettes, I would call it more like "slurping" it together to try and get some kind of a form to it. And there was no way possible to score anything this wet.

If this didn't work, I think I may have given up. But would definitely appreciate comments, tips, suggestions, etc on what I am (may) be doing wrong.

Thanks very much.
Floydm's picture

I think you are on the right track to go overboard with the hydration and then start scaling it back.  It took me two or three years of working with doughs the consistency of Play Doh before I got bold enough to throttle it up that high.

That said, while dialing back a couple of percent you could try folding the dough a couple more times before refrigerating it to see if you can get a little better development.  You could also try using a stronger (higher protein) flour to see if it'd help. 

When it comes to handling and shaping I'm not a lot of help since my loaves are pretty ugly, but using a couche definitely prevents the dough from spreading too much.

Good luck and keep at it!