The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Splitting Rye Loaves

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Barefoot-Baker's picture
Barefoot-Baker

Splitting Rye Loaves

I have been baking sour rye bread for a number of years, and am quite pleased with the resulta in terms of flavor, texture, and appearance. With one exception: although I slash the top of the loaf before it goes in the oven, when I remove the finished loaf I find that the crust has split, The split generally occurs in the upper third of the loaf, occurs on only one side, and runs along, rather than across, the loaf. I would,largely for cosmetic purposes, like for this not to happen. Failing that I'd like to understand why it happens.

Any ideas?

isand66's picture
isand66

Could be that your loaf is slightly underproofed or your shaping needs to be tighter.  I assume you are using a pan?

Barefoot-Baker's picture
Barefoot-Baker

I think my proofing is okay; I use the "poke" test to insure the dough is fully proofed. My shaping probably could be improved upon. I use the method George Greenstein recommends for a free-standing pan loaf: folding the flattened dough into a rectangle, and then rolling it, and sealing the ends.

Since I'm looking to make a sandwich loaf, I use a parchment paper-lined bread pan for the first 15 minutes, and then turn the loaf out onto baking tiles. This helps retain the rectangular cross-section I want for the loaf. When I don't use the bread pan, no splitting occurs, but the loaf slumps, and its cross-section is rather oval.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

upping the hydration just a wee bit.  How much rye is in the recipe compared to other flours?  hydration?

Could also be the difference in using a shiny pan as compared to a darker non-reflective pan.  Uneven baking of the crust, like the top setting before the sides, could leave weak areas that tear during expansion.  The area where the dough meets the pan is particularly vulnerable.  Covering the pan with an inverted pan or foil tent may help.  Coating the greased pans with bread crumbs or seeds may also help lower drag on the pan as the loaf rises.  Many things to try one at a time.

Barefoot-Baker's picture
Barefoot-Baker

The current recipe I'm using has a hydration of about 60%. The rye flour is about 18% of the total flour.             There seem to be a number of possibilities for me to work through. I'll try them, and see what happens.

Thanks for the advice   

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

tack on enough water so that the rye flour has 85% hydration , the rest flour 60% hydration.  

Elagins's picture
Elagins

You might also consider steaming your oven and brushing your loaves with water before they go in. That kind of splitting simply means that the crust has hardened before the oven spring is complete, and, btw, it's not uncommon with rye breads.

Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com