What is the deal with Open Crumb Sourdough Bread?

Open crumb is a dream for any baker for its imposing outside and inside look. 

It is a wish for a professional baker, as bigger loaves are quickly sold. 
Open crumb is a pride for a home baker, prooving high baking skills and mastering the fermentation process.

But open crumb is not just about the look. 
Pushing fermentation to the maximum means that the sugars in the dough are more consumed turning the bread less caloric. This means healthier bread.
When I started making sourdough bread I wished I had all the details to understand how it works. It took me many years to practice and observe the dough. It took me many books to read, articles or posts to digest or videos to watch. The trick in all this way was to pay attention and learn from my own experience.
I have never followed a baking school, everything I know is self-learning. There are many materials out there to learn from, free or paid, covering from the basic to the most scientific explanations. But the most important is to practice what others say and develop your own baking skills.

What I love the most about sourdough baking is that you never feel you master it completely and there is always something new to learn from every bake. Unfortunately, is not that simple to follow exactly a recipe, you need to learn to read plenty of signs that recipes do not mention. You need to develop a feeling for the dough. This happens with your eyes and with your hands.
On the way, you need to understand WHY every step is done and what it brings. Otherwise, why do it?

Open crumb was and still is for me a challenge. The truth is that I do not chase it every time. There are other types of bread catching my attention too from different perspectives. But open crumb is about perfecting the fermentation which is the most important in the sourdough baking process.
It is the jewel of a baker although I know many who will not make or buy an open crumb but a more dense one.

I tried to gather in this video all my lessons learned and share them with you. I hope that you take a shorter way to perfect open crumb than I took, and I offer you what I wish I had known 8 years ago when I started baking sourdough bread for me and my family.

However, this is not the bread to spread butter on.  Pick rather a sandwich loaf.

It is instead the perfect bread to accompany a soup or another dish.

Here is my conclusion gathered in a list of SECRETS for achieving open crumb:
     1. Use stronger bread flour
     2. Use a healthy sourdough starter
     3. Use higher dough hydration (>70%)
     4. Develop a strong gluten network
     5. Extend the fermentation to the maximum without over fermenting
     6. Learn how to read the dough
     7. Improve your dough handling skills
     8. Use steam for baking