The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Basic help required

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simonwalters219's picture
simonwalters219

Basic help required

Hi all.

Very new to baking so please be gentle.  Every time I bake a loaf It rips or tears above the loaf tin once placed in the over. I have marked in the picture what I mean. Can somebody please explain where I'm going wrong. I'm using 20% wholemeal flour and 80% strong white bread flour.. 500 grams total, 7 grams dry yeast, teaspoon sugar, dash of olive oil and 325 ml water. I put in the oven 200 degrees centigrade. I haven't tried whacking the oven up full blast and then turning it down when I put the bread in so could heat be a problem ? I've also seen about placing a tray of water at the bottom of the oven in order to create steam, but I'm afraid to try this after reading the dangers of damaging the oven. Any help would be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

 

MANNA's picture
MANNA

Looks like a case of dry crust before baking. The top of the loaf dried out and formed a crust during final proof. So it fractures where its still moist, right where the top crust meets the pan. You can spray the top crust with oil to form a barrier and cover the loafs with something to help also.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

First of all, that loaf is not bad looking at all.  Perfect?, no, but neither is anything else in this world.

It looks like you are getting a little bit too much oven spring.  That is, the loaf is rising a bit too much in the oven because it did not rise long enough before it went into the oven.  Let is rise an additonal 15 minutes before putting it in the oven and see how that works.

Jeff

simonwalters219's picture
simonwalters219

Thanks for the replies. I've been wetting my fingers with water and smearing the top before placing it in the oven. Also I tried leaving it longer the last time but it seemed to be growing quite a bit over the top of the loaf tin and actually ended up slightly out of shape. I guess I'll just keep trying but every loaf so far has torn here.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Hi, how much do you knead your dough? doughs tear when the structure is weak.

simonwalters219's picture
simonwalters219

I've been given it a good ten minutes until my arm hurts lol. I'm new but have been looking on youtube for tips. I thought I was doing it enough but maybe I'm not. Is tearing one of the common signs of under kneading ?

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

it's a sign of gluten under-development, of a weak structure that tears when the sheeth is under pressure:). Did you read txfarmer's posts about shreddably soft breads? they clear all doubts. In my opinion her blog contains the most precious informations of the whole TFL.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I think it looks pretty good.  If it is getting too big before it is ready for the oven, try reducing the weight  of the loaf until it just fills the pan when fully proofed. 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

of steam coming out of what ever you bake so a pan of water on t eh bottom won't make a molehill of difference since ovens are designed for the steam that comes off of food.  The best time to bake bread is when you are roasting anything like veggies or meat since they put off way more steam than any pan.

To me it looks like you have too much dough for the pan size and when it springs in the oven, since you don't use steam to gelatinize the top of the loaf,  the top crust gets hard as the loaf is still expanding causing a tear in the middle.  If you reduce the amount of dough slightly, use steam and proof till the dough is slightly above tin rim height say by half an inch, your bread will look better after baking but it won't taste any better :-)

Home Baker's picture
Home Baker

Like, about 30%?

simonwalters219's picture
simonwalters219

Thanks for the feedback.

I Have gained a few insights and will probably try reducing the amount of dough for my next attempt.

Laurentius's picture
Laurentius

Hi Simon,

Misinformation, is all it is! A tray of water in your oven isn't going to cause any damage any more that taking the top off the roast or casserole to reduce the liquid in the pan.

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

I agree that you could reduce dough volume and let the shaped, final proof go longer- do the poke test, poke gently with a finger, if it's done the depression should fill in slowly.  You could also try a nice, semi-deep slash lengthwise down the center of the loaf, that way the bread will rise up through the slash instead of bursting at the sides.

simonwalters219's picture
simonwalters219

I think maybe I'm trying to run before I can walk.

The loaf itself tastes quite nice, room for improvement, but certainly more than edible.

Every loaf I have baked has had lint seeds in it, which I have added in with the flour mix. I have noticed when kneading that there have been slight tears around the lint seeds. I am going to have another crack this afternoon, lint seed free.  I'm also going to concentrate on my kneading technique as well, possibly room for improvement there also.

At this rate I am going to have to open a free bakery to try and get rid of all this excess bread, before I begin to look like the male equivalent of having a bun in the oven !

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and are oily.  If linseed is not in the original formula and you are adding them, then I suggest adding equal weight in extra water to the dough.  If linseed is in the dough recipe and you want to exclude them, reduce the liquid weight as well.  

You can soak linseed for half an hour before adding and this may help their gel coating stick to the flour better.  If you want nutrients out of the seeds, crush them first before adding to bread.  A coffee grinder or small blender works well for this.

simonwalters219's picture
simonwalters219

Thanks for the heads up on linseeds. They weren't in the original recipe so I'll try with out.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Point being, dryness around the seeds is most likely the cause of tearing, not sharp edges.  I wouldn't want you to avoid the tasty seeds.  

With chia seeds, I add four times the weight in water;  for 50g chia seed add 200g extra water to the dough.  

simonwalters219's picture
simonwalters219

I've done it !!!!

My first loaf with no ripping !

Thanks to a recommendation of Mini Oven I left out the linseeds. Apparently they absorb more water. I added a bit more water also and straight away once I started kneading I could feel the difference. So it would seem my problems were down to not enough water. How simple. Hopefully not just a fluke !!

 

Very Happy !!