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Openess | Sourdough Companion

Openess

 Hey folks,

I'm new here, but not new to baking or sour dough.  I got my first starter from a friend of my grandmother's, when I was 13, and I kept it going until I went to college, and had other fish to fry.

I'm really appreciating all the new information, techniques, and ideas that I'm getting on this forum and the site in general, but I'm flummoxed about something that I see over an over, and that is the apparent desirability of making bread with large holes in it.

My grandmother taught me to knead the heck out of my bread, and that my goal was a nice even texture, and although some variation in void size was ok, big holes was a sign of lazy technique.

Now, we mainly made bread for sandwiches, and there is nothing more useless (to me) than sandwich bread with great big holes in it, but I'm open to new ideas, so I'm asking for opinions on why this is seen as a positive outcome.

I hope I'm not stepping on anyone's toes here, but if I don't ask, I'll never know.

Thanks for the resource, and I look forward to learning more.

 

-zz

 

 

 

4 comments

It's mostly a style thing, and in the recent surge in popularity of hearth-baked, naturally-leavened breads (some would say "artisan"), there is an ideal of large, irregular holes in a pearlescent, open, creamy crumb encased in a crackling crust that explodes into shards when you cut into it.  That's one style, but there are plenty other types of bread that are equally great, that take just as much attention and skill to create. 

 

I was talking to an Austrian chef here in Vermont about the bakery I worke at, and he smirked and said "Heh, they over-proof the bread!"  I asked why he though that, and he replied that there were too many big holes in the loaves, and that he doesn't want bread that his pickle can fall through.  I guess he hadn't tried the miche, 100% rye, or the other tighter-crumbed loaves.

 

If you love making bread with a uniform crumb for sandwiches, more power to you. 

 I guess I'm with the Austrian chef on this, as are the folks I make bread for.

I bought an "artisnal" loaf for a party, and it was shot through with big holes.

Everyone complained.

To each his own, then.

Again, not trying to step on toes, just thought I'd ask.

I guess we're just not up for these newfangled styles, so I'll keep making it the old fashioned way.

Thanks,

For me, bread with big holes looks ok but impractical for normal use, if I want the big holes, less kneading and more moisture and vice versa for the opposite.

I think the answer is you make bread to your own liking.  If you like the crumb to be fine that is fine, if you like the crumb to be open then that is 'fine' too /;-{)}

For mine, I think the open crumb traps more of the goodies, like butter and spreads - all of that stuff that is supposed to be 'bad' for you.  If a bit falls through onto the plate, then leave it for Ron - later on :p

Farinam