The Fresh Loaf

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Trouble shooting crumb

TiuingGum's picture

Trouble shooting crumb

Hi, looking to get better oven spring and a more open crumb? Not sure what happened to this loaf.


  • 300g Bread flour

  • 210 g Water
  • 50g Wholewheat flour

  • 70g 1:1 Starter at Peak

  • 7g Salt


  1. Mix everything and leave for a hour.

  2. 2x Stretch and folds + 1 Coil fold spaced by 30 minutes

  3. Bulk fermented until risen by 50%. Took about 4 hours in my oven with the light on. I had to go out and it may have risen to more like 60-70%

  4. Pre shape and sit for 20 minutes.

  5. Final shape, into banniton and stitched.

  6. Cold retard overnight

  7. Baked in dutch oven @ 250 C. Cut open after it cooled down.

My suspicions:

  • Overproofed?

  • Dough was wet and harder to handle. I may have worked out the bubbles handling the dough?

  • Still trying to figure out my oven. My breads take longer than an hour to bake a lot of the time but I thought I had it figured out following so great open crumbs recently. Those were lower hydration loaves however and I rose to 25% during bulk fermentation.

Any tips would be appreciated!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

:)    Recipe reads a bit dry (cough, cough.)

 Maybe a bit more deflating before shaping and possibly a smaller and taller banneton.  The shoulders are cut off the picture but they seem to be nicely rounded. Scoring the top can cause or contain spread.

TiuingGum's picture

Hi oops forgot to add, it was 210g water :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

How about slipping in a kneading step after step  1)  to develop gluten better?  
Try kneading with slightly wet hands.

Or.  Might also want to up the starter (30g) to 100g more in line with a 1,2,3 sourdough recipe. Lots of write ups here using that formula. 

Rempejek's picture

It's posts like this that make me realise I still got a lot to learn ;)

I would be pretty happy with a loaf like that. Not over the moon, but happy aanyway

Benito's picture

You might want to share how much water was used for this dough.

Your description of the dough handling does make it sound like it was either overhydrated or over-fermented or a bit of both.  More info needed.


TiuingGum's picture

It was 210g water :)

clevins's picture

If I did the math right that's 64% hydration. Could be overproofed but if you shaped/preshaped really tightly, that might be an issue too.