Breads (Sourdough) - Open Crumb

Turmeric Open Crumb Sourdough Bread with Curry Leaves

July 14, 2021 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Turmeric Sourdough Bread

Attempt No. 1  ⬆
  • Bulk fermentation temperature at 26C - 27C
  • Total bulk fermentation: 5 hours and 45 minutes
  • The dough was very puffy when I shaped and it filled up the whole Benetton basket.  I think the dough must have increased almost 70% in the size.  The dough deflated by the next morning. I guess I have over-proofed the dough and it deflated during cold retard in the fridge, as a result the crumb quite smaller at the sides.

Turmeric Sourdough Bread
Attempt No. 2  ⬆
  • I used roasted garlic instead of curry leaves.
  • Bulk fermentation temperature at 26C .
  • Total bulk fermentation: 6 hours and 30 minutes.
  • I noticed my starter was very weak and took more than 5 hours to triple in size.  I still went ahead with the bake as I had already autolysed the dough.  As a result, I think the fermentation took a longer time.
Attempt No. 3  ⬆
  • Bulk fermentation temperature at 26C .
  • Total bulk fermentation: 5 hours and 30 minutes
  • I did pre-shape for this bread after 5 hours and 5 minutes adding in levain.  Pre-shaped, rest 20 minutes and shaped.
  • The dough felt quite stiff and it was not as easy to fold when I final shaped.  Maybe I should not have done pre-shaping.  As a result, I think the crumb quite tight and with few larger pockets in the centre.

I am not completely satisfied with the above 3 attempts.   However, they all still tasted very good.  I personally prefer the turmeric with curry leaves.  I will try it again next time as my family members are tired of Turmeric Bread for In the meantime,  you may want to see the recipe below just as reference.  

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Turmeric Open Crumb Sourdough Bread with Curry Leaves


270g bread flour (I used Japanese high gluten flour - 12.2% protein) - 90%
30 whole wheat flour - 10%
4g turmeric powder
230g water - 78.78% final hydration 
6g salt - 2%
60g active sourdough starter (100% hydration) – 20%
Bunch of curry leaves, toasted with a little bit of oil in pan (about 2 Tbsp)
  • Please reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go as each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 
  • Banneton (proofing basket)'s size - 6.5" oval shape
  1. Feed starter - Feed sourdough starter at ratio of 1:1:1 (starter:water:flour) at room temperature (28C – 30C) and wait until tripled, around 3 – 4 hours or depend on your starter and ambience. 
  2. Autolyse 
    1. Mix flour, turmeric powder and water, stir until there is no more dry flour with a spatula.  Or use a stand mixer with paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes at low speed.  The dough will tear easily when you pull on it. The dough is no extensibility after immediately water is added, gluten is not formed yet. Cover and leave for 1 - 2 hours at room temperature (28C - 30C).    
    2. After 1 - 2 hours I checked the window pane stage.  The dough was very extensible when I pulled on it.
  3. Levain - Wet your hand, add 60g sourdough to the dough and hand mixing until incorporated, about 4 - 5 minutes. Or use a stand mixer with hook attachment and knead for 6 to 8 minutes until window pane stage.  Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Sea Salt - Spread salt on top of the dough, use hand to mix in the salt.  It takes about 5 minutes until it is fully incorporated.  Cover and rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Bench Fold - Lightly mist the counter top with water.  Wet your hand and scrapper.  Transfer dough to the counter top.  Pull and fold the four sides, flip over and round the dough.  Return to the same bowl.  Cover and rest for about 30 minutes or until dough spreads.
  6. Lamination -  
    1. Lightly mist the counter top with water and wet your hand.  Pull from centre out to form a rectangle shape.  
    2. Crash the roasted curry leaves with your hand and sprinkle on the dough evenly. 
    3. Pick up one edge and fold into the center.  Pick up other edge and fold into the center over first section.  Fold the top down half way.  Fold the bottom up.  
    4. Put dough in a new dish (square pyrex dish).  The reason to use a square dish is because it is easier to judge how much  the dough has spread.  
    5. Cover and rest for about 30 - 45 minutes or until dough spreads.  
  7. Coil Fold 1 -  At this stage, the dough is weak and extensible.  Fold the dough in the dish. Cover and rest for about 30 - 45 minutes or until dough spreads.
  8. Coil Fold 2 -  At this stage the dough still extensible but stronger compare with the dough  before the 1st coil fold.  Fold the dough in the dish.  Cover and rest for about 30 - 50 minutes or until dough spreads.
  9. Coil Fold 3 -  At this stage, the dough is quite strong and not so extensible and will be the last coil fold.  However, I did only half coil fold.  However, if the dough is still quite extensible and spread a lot, then you will need one or two more coil folds.   Fold the dough in the dish.  Cover and rest for 60 - 90 minutes or until dough rise 50% in size since you added the levain.  
  10. Shaping -  By this time the dough should have risen about 50% in size since adding the levain.  Flour the counter top.  Shape and transfer to a  floured banneton.  
  11. Proofing - Proof at room temperature for 10 - 15 minutes. 
  12. Retard - Then retard overnight in the fridge (4C) for 12 - 16 hours.  
  13. Baking -  
    1. Preheat oven with the dutch oven (cast iron) at 250C for 45 - 60 minutes before baking.
    2. Take bread dough out from the fridge, invert onto a parchment paper and scoring.(Slash the dough approximately 0.5 inches deep at 45-degree angle).  Immediately transfer the dough with the parchment paper to your preheated dutch oven.
    3. Bake at 250C with cover for 20 minutes.  Remove the cover and  continue bake for another 10 - 15 minutes at 230C.
    4. Remove bread from oven and dutch oven. Let it cool on rack completely before slicing.



A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.   It is advisable to feed your starter regularly if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  A starter that is fed regularly will be more active in general.  If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.  


The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 


Bulk fermentation starts when you add in levain to the dough and ends when the dough is ready for shaping.  


Ambient temperature plays a very important part in sourdough baking.  It will affect the dough temperature and eventually affect your fermentation time.  The cooler ambient temperature will extend the fermentation time.  The greater degree of proof, the stronger the dough will be as explained by Trevor J. Wilson. 

The ambient temperature that worked for me is between 25C - 26C and bulk fermentation time is between 4.5 hours to 5.5 hours.  At the end of bulk fermentation, my dough would have increased 50% in volume.   The dough should look puffy.  It should jiggling when you slightly shake it.  This is the end of bulk fermentation.  

But, my kitchen ambient temperature (without air-conditioner) was 29C - 30C.  So, I have to bring down the temperature. 

How to bring down ambient temperature?
  1. Air-conditioner room - Rest the dough in air-conditioner room during bulk fermentation.  I used this option sometimes.  I turned on my air-conditioner when I added in levain and try to maintain temperature between 25C - 26C.
  2. Home oven (that's turned off) -  Place ice cooler packs inside along with an ambient temperature thermometer.  Then place your dough during bulk fermentation in the oven. Keep an eye on that thermometer and try to keep between 25C - 26C.


Too strong (tension or elastic) dough will take a longer time to increase (proof) in volume.  So too strong dough may not have good oven spring and open crumb.  While too weak dough (extensibility) dough may not hold it shape and rise with good oven spring too.  

So over-working the dough (too strong dough) or under-working (weak dough) may affect the crumb structure and oven spring.  

The number of coil folds is not fixed and very much depends on the strength and extensibility of the dough.  

As demonstrated in an experiment by Kristen (Full Proof Baking) the over-worked dough rose super tall but was smaller in overall size and had a more dense crumb while the control dough rose tall during the oven spring and had a better overall result.

How do we know when it is enough and no more coil folds are needed? 
We usually do 3 coil folds for this method.  However, if by the second coil fold the dough is strong with less extensibility as you lift up a part of the dough then it should be the last coil fold, or just do a half coil folds instead of full. The resistance of the dough to being folded should be an indication to refrain from folding further.

How do we know when to do the next coil fold or stretch & fold?
When the dough spreads. Please do not rely on the time given in the recipe as it is just a guideline.  Please watch your dough and not the clock.