The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Can you recommend a recipe/any advice that leads to an open crumb?

icantbakeatall's picture

Can you recommend a recipe/any advice that leads to an open crumb?

I've made a lot of sourdough but I almost never seem to get an open crumb. Even if I go higher hydration or do fancy folding techniques. I have tried both a high gluten flour as well as wheat, bread flour, and an expensive all purpose flour. I dont even think I'd prefer an open crumb, i just want to see how its done and if I can do it. Thank you!

meb21's picture

According to Travis, it's 80% fermentation and dough handling. He has a book that's very comprehensive if you're interested. I'm sure you can learn here as well, as his book is very detailed although he does provide a few summary tables at the end if you just want the overall message. 

From what I have seen, more aggressive mixing early on with more very gentle folding later on (if even needed) with plenty of bulk proofing helps me get there. Also use plenty of steam. I use Graniteware now with very good results (even toss in an ice cube or two). 

Here's my result from this morning - not sure if you want more open than this - if so, I probably could have folded the dough a bit more and I think final shaping can also affect the result as I always see more holes in the center of my loaves. I generally don't want more open than this because then things fall through :) 

Maybe post some pics and describe your process for better feedback?

20% spelt, 85% King arthur bread flour

Pizza314's picture

If you have Netflix, there is a relatively recent episode of the Chef Show with Chad Robertson from Tartine in it and he made a brief comment about how they too are always striving for what's in the pictures and only share the best ones.

I've sort of given up on the open crumb thing for now at least since I don't like toppings to drip through to my hand, but hearing Chad say that was a bit reassuring, lol.

phaz's picture

Concentrate on gluten development and proofing. They have everything to do with crumb - from cake like to the biggest holes - and everything in between.Enjoy!