Specialty breads such as chibatta, and glass bread not withstanding. High hydration doughs are a bear to deal with, an unnecessary hindrance mainly used as a crutch by novice bakers. Agree or disagree?
First of all I don't think they *are* good for novice bakers because they are hard to work with, especially for new bakers.
High hydration breads tend to have "better" flavors - at least, mine tend to be a little richer and mellower, which is often a plus.
High hydration breads seem to me to have a crumb that is a little soft relative to what I like the most, and also changes the way the crust and crumb work together when they are chewed.
Of course, it's a matter of taste and the intended use of the bread, but I tend to find myself using roughly 70% hydration give-or-take most of the time. That's with US all-purpose or bread malted wheat flours, with or without the addition of moderate amounts of whole wheat additions.
OTOH, I really liked the glass bread I baked two or three times, so there you are!
Above that into the 80's and beyond just to achieve an open crumb is pretty silly. Unless of course we are aiming at a specific specialty bread.
Depending on the flour used, 70-75% hydration for a mostly white dough is just about perfect for me. 100% whole wheat needs something more like 80-85%. Dried fruits and porridges/soakers also change things.
I honestly think the gaping holes in that Instagram-perfect open crumb are impractical for building a sandwich, and if you can't make a sandwich (or even spread butter on toast), why are you making bread?
My ideal crumb is noticeably more open than a typical commercial sandwich loaf, but not so open that you can't spread mayo evenly over it.
Crunchy open crumb bread is awesome to eat with soup, or a stew, to mop up sauces etc. Can work well for tartines too. So no need to be so categorical about it I think.
Categoricality is the name of the game when we're trying to start an argument :P
That said, I'm rarely making entire loaves of bread for those purposes; even if I'm having soup for dinner, I'm having sandwiches for lunch. A crusty medium crumb bread works just as well with soup, and smaller holes actually work better to soak up sauces, due to the effect of surface tension.
I want bread that tastes and feels like bread, not crusty rubbery custard with honeycomb pattern (lol). If open crumb is the reason, there are ways to increase extensibilty without going nuts with water. General population won't necessarily appreciate nor understand hobbyists' obsession with holes, anyway.
The way I see it, home baking is about sharing (both the end products and easy to share methods), not being super obsessed about creating Pain de Pretentious lol
The Theory of the Brontasaurus by A. Elk
No it's not 😉
I remember this with fondness.
No you don't 😉
Your argument time is up. Another 5 Euros, please.
I was going to say that next LOL.
Look at my watch!
And may I add - don't grow old!
Just saw it on YouTube.
Very funny! That wig haha. Another good one is the cheese shop.
A nuance here I'm not picking up I'm sure, but all I want to say is I really don't like John Cleese.
Once in a while I enjoy open crumb ciabatta style breads. As some already mentioned it may not be the best bread to eat with jam. Regarding hydration I think it heavily depends on the flour you use. For ciabatta style breads I use a very strong bread flour (protein 17,1%, W value 460) which allows high hydrations. My experience with this flour is a follows: 80% hydration - great open crumb structure, 90% hydration - more chewy, less open crumb, 75% hydration - so far the sweet spot, still a nice open crumb structure, dough easy to handle, good mouthfeel.
Anything done for the sake of it is ultimately bad.
High hydration for high hydration sake
Sour for sour sake
Lots of different types of bread out there, if high hydration is their character, then live and let be...
I think it can get out of hand, but also I dislike dry bread. Side by side, a couple hours out of the oven, I can't discern much difference between 70%, 75%, and 80% sourdoughs. A day later there is a bit of difference but not much.
When you are selling it, water is cheaper than flour.
I say: do what you like. I like the feel of shaping a pretty wet dough. My end product is a crusty bread that's a good middle ground in my opinion. I am proud of the skill it takes to handle wet dough. I also know that many people like the bread but there are some people who do not, and that's okay.
Humans, (notice gender neutral) can not live on bread alone. No matter the hydration. We need to smile now and again too.
depends on what's in the bread. To think that humans could not live on bread alone.
Does that include toppings too? I do agree with the smiles. :)
-your Mini Oven :)
Guess what? You put it there! I hope all is going well, nice to see you.
It's 3 am. Gotta close my eyes again. See the amarath starter post for more detail. :)