ISO Advice for Better Crumb
Hi folks - I've seen a lot of good advice on this forum, and so I'm hoping folks have some advice for me as well. I've been baking bread for several years, but only over the past year have become more "disciplined" about my approach. When I set out to make bread, my goal is always something like the breads of Tartine, Dan the Baker, etc. However, whenever I get larger air holes, the crumb is usually fairly dense (I believe from under-fermentation). When I achieve a lighter crumb, I do not have the air holes that I'm seeking (an example attached). I'm happy with the breads that don't turn out too dense, but I'm not achieving what I think I should and I'm not sure why - over-fermentation? poor shaping? too high of a hydration? too much whole wheat? problems with temperature? (I do have a really hard time controlling room temperature, particularly in the winter). I have the Tartine bread book and usually follow that recipe, with some tweaks based on advice from other forums. (e.g., I usually don't make a levain - instead I feed my starter twice and I usually put my bread directly in the fridge after final shaping instead of allowing for a proofing stage)
My recipes vary, but usually I use between 40-60% whole wheat, 75-90% hydration (typically 80%), bulk ferment for upwards of 5 hours, put the dough immediately in the fridge after shaping. The photo was 40% whole wheat, 75% hydration; bulk fermentation for ~6 hours; shaped and put in the fridge before baking this morning.
Any thoughts welcome!