Question about crumb


Hello everyone,

I hope you can answer this question.  I recently made a loaf of sourdough bread.  The flour was white, in leached, king Arthur flour.  I baked the loaf and it tastes great.  Also this was the first time I think I've kneaded for long enough.  Usually my bread crumb comes out more tender, easily comes apart.  This one came out much like the texture of an artisan loaf, which is funny coming from a bread in a loaf pan..  Anyway, though the bread tastes fine,nice and sour, I think my starter has really come into its own, I wonder if the texture isn't too gluteny, to chewy.  Have I kneaded too much?  I temped the bread and took it out at 192, perfect temp.  The dough was a moister one...but it developed nicely.  Should I just enjoy the artisan style, though it will be a little tough for sandwich bread?  Or should I change something?

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farinam's picture
farinam 2012 August 27

Hello Tmason88,

If you want soft fluffy bread, buy it from the supermarket.  If you want bread with some structure and texture, make it yourself.  Human jaws and face muscles have been contracting and weakening due to lack of exercise from eating pap.  So do your bit for evolution and enjoy the exercise that real bread brings to sandwiches.

But seriously, in reality, if you knead the dough too much the gluten will break down and the dough will become sticky and the bread will be dense.  Also, I believe  from hearsay, that it is almost impossible to over-knead by hand though it is possible if you use a machine.  Over-proving is another thing again.

Keep on bakin'


Tmason88 2012 August 27

Don't get me wrong, I love it that way.  To me it really tastes like artisan crumb.  Just wondered bc one batch had a crumb more like store bought.  The only thing I could thing was that I did a more thourough  kneading job this time.  It's funny to cut open a loaf made to be sandwhich bread that has this texture.  So far I've only taken slices off to eat plain!  Ummmmm!


farinam's picture
farinam 2012 August 27

Hi Tmason,

Didn't mean to sound trite.  It was a bit late at night.

One of the things about making your own bread is the fact that you can seem to do the same thing and get quite a different result.  A bit like a golf shot really.  If the dough is under-developed (gluten not at top strength) you will get quite a different texture and mouth feel in your bread.  So I think what has happened is that your 'soft' loaf was a bit under-developed while your 'chewy' one was more fully developed.

Perhaps you can do an experiment by monitoring the results of the stretch test during kneading and make your loaves with different stages of development to see how the texture changes and then you can make the texture that you like or need for different reasons.

Good luck with your projects.


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