The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Solid Crumb But Looking to Get Better

spedtime's picture

Solid Crumb But Looking to Get Better


I've been doing sourdough pretty regularly for the past year and have hit a plateau.  I'm happy with taste but I wish there was a little more airy (instagrammable) crumb.  Any suggestions?


I've been using the beginner's sourdough from perfect loaf.

450g Central Milling ABC+

15% Whole wheat

5% Rye

1.8% Salt

3.8% Levain (Fed every 24 hours.  When refeeding I split off to make leavain to be used in ~12 hours)

Bake with cast iron lid 20 mins, lid off 25 mins.


Thanks so much!


HeiHei29er's picture

From my point of view, that is a far better loaf than something with big open caverns.  😁

Very even crumb that looks perfectly fermented.  If you want some bigger fermentation bubbles, degas it less during preshaping.  Handle it gently.  You can also increase the hydration a bit.  What is the hydration of the loaf in the photo?

It looks like you’re making some great bread.  Congrats!

Econprof's picture

His other recipes, such as this one:
It’s higher hydration so might give you more what you’re looking for. 

I agree that your existing bread looks very good!

mariana's picture

Your bread looks beautiful as is.

For an open crumb develop gluten a bit more either

1) by kneading it longer (20min by hand)


2) by adding a "lamination with water" step after you incorporate the ingredients (mixing to homogeneity).

It is shown here @ 6:20min

spedtime's picture

Thanks for the compliments!  It is a really good loaf, but I was just curious why I couldn't get the more open crumb.  

Thanks for the video and I'll try it out this weekend and show my results.  

mariana's picture

If I had to guess why then the answer would be that you use flour as you work instead of water (or oil) and you haven't been stretching your dough thin enough before folding it.

This video is by the Queen of the open crumb, Kristen Dennis. Take a look at her instagram.

They are all so open and lacy, they look like croissants!

I am sure you will succeed once you learn her method of stretching your bread dough very thinly on a moistened surface with wet hands and folding it as in croissant dough making. Avoid flour, welcome water (or oil) as you stretch it out very thinly and fold, creating layers, and you will have what you want - trapping air bubbles in between thin sheets of the dough . An open crumb structure results from those trapped air bubbles expanding during baking.

spedtime's picture

Yeah, definitely noticed in the above comment when she laminates she stretches the dough super thin.  Did a try based off that previous video today and will bake tomorrow.  But it does make a lot of sense to laminate to get those big caverns.  Thanks!