Is it possible to get an open crumb bread without an starter, and by just using active dry yeast? According to my research, to get an open crumb bread one needs a good gluten development, high hydration, strong wheat flour, and a good yeast. However, most of recipes that I have found are using sourdough starter, which I don't want to use. Is possible to get the same open crumb like sourdough bread, by using just active dry yeast? Can you provide some tips on technique?
I haven't tried it as I don't have access to active dried yeast rather than the instant or bread machine variety, but I can't see why a no-knead dough method would not give you the results you want.
You would have to prove the yeast first by adding it to warm water rather than adding it to the dry ingredients which is the method I use.
Using regular and bread flour I have had great results with a proofing time of up to 18 hours. In the baguettes I have baked the result has been quite light, with holes up to 1 cm in diameter. If you baked your loaf using this method in a Dutch oven instead, you would get a different consistency due to the trapped steam. Either way, the long proofing time will give you quite an airy loaf.
I think the secret to improving gluten development in a high-hydration no-knead recipe would be to do a few rounds of folding. I suggest looking at some of recipes from Ken Forkish's book to get some suggested folding techniques and timing or if you have a lot of time and patience read the 30-ish page recipe in the Tartine bread book.
folding I just leave mine in a bowl and with wet hands I grab the dough from one corner and fold to the middle and repeat this all the way around the dough then let sit for a half hour and repeat until 4 times, then shape the dough and put it in a banneton basket covered and refrigerate until the next morning then I bake it off. Remeber to score your loaf before you bake to allow for oven spring.
I've been working on using instant yeast in place of sourdough to get open crumb bread. It works but never as spectacularly as on the YouTube videos. The things that seem to matter include:
I make a 12-18h preferment; use ~33% whole wheat or rye. The preferment will rise then typically falls by the time you need it. But you get what you want: nice lactic acid development (the dough tastes acid) and ideally the yeast is exhausted (thus the falling). Exhausted preferment yeast means that your subsequent addition of yeast is a known quantity at bulk. Is this a reasonable assumption?
Autolyse for a while; I've tried 30m-6h. The 30m is maybe not so great but the others all work fine. My observation is that pulling and watching it detach from the side of a bowl shows a forest of gluten threads trying to not let go. But I read that too long causes the gluten to start falling apart. What is too long?
I'm currently using 0.5% yeast and I'm thinking of going lower (fermentation still seems too fast). I haven't seem quantitative information on the relative yeast cell counts for commercial vs sourdough at the start of bulk. Does anyone know? If yeast is just yeast then the yeast count for sourdough must be very low (since its ferment is typically long).