Tight/ heavy crumb- small holes.


Hi baking community, 

First time post,  hoping to get some of your thoughts on my bread... and how to imprive it.

My bread comes out tasting delicious (in my opionion), however the texture and appearance could do with some improvement:

Id like to learn what causes a crumb to be 'tight' or 'dense'?  Ive benchmarked some shop-bought sourdoughs and their crumb is light and airy and bigg(ish) holes in the crumb. After a few days, my bread seems to go a little 'dry' compared to the shop bought product.  

Any ideas what causes a crumb to be dense and tight.  

Look forward to hearing your thoughts and happy to fill in any of the gaps of information you might need.



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farinam's picture
farinam 2014 October 23

Hello floured,

It seems to me that to some degree the texture of the crumb that you achieve is related the the energy input in developing the dough.  So if you use high energy and short time such as with machine or vigourous kneading you are more likely to end up with a fine crumb but if you use a low energy technique such as stretch and fold spread over time you are more likely to get a more open crumb.  My guess is that this relates to high energy producing a large number of small airpockets for the carbon dioxide to migrate into during fermentation whereas the low energy approach produces a smaller number of larger airpockets.

The thing that you have to keep in mind with some store-bought sourdoughs (and I am talking supermarket rather than artisan) is that they are not 'real' sourdough but something that is made to have a sourdough taste but in reality it is just mass produced 'machine' bread.  So you have to be careful what you are setting as your standard.  Your store-bought product might be subject to all sorts of anti-staling and other texture modifying additives and so forth that you are then comparing to your no additive home-made product.

The other thing I have found is that, with practice, and without really changing anything, the 'quality' of the bread improves as you get to understand the feel and texture of the dough and get the development and proving right. If you haven't already, I recommend that you read and absorb SourDom's beginners blog on this site (link at the top right of the page).

Good luck with your projects.



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