The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Giant Hole in my Bread,,, ARGGGG!!

simplysweetcdn's picture

Giant Hole in my Bread,,, ARGGGG!!

Good Afternoon,  thought I would see if anyone has any idea why this keeps happening to my whole wheat bread.  Its driving my absolutly batty!!  I have tried wetter dough with some success, cold rise, warm rise,, dough enhancer,, instant yeast, traditional yeast, two rises, three rises (although I dont like three rises on my whole wheat bread as the third rise ussually is fairly grim) and I get this monster cavern down the middle of my bread. Given the shape of it, I tend to think that it may be from forming and the dough is dry so doesnt stick together very well (shrug).  I mill my own wheat flour, and the less white flour I add to the recipe the more I get the big hole.  I would love any advice on baking whole wheat bread.

Monster Cavern in bread


Larry Clark's picture
Larry Clark

It looks to me like you're trapping air in the loaf when you shape it and I wouldn't think that would happen every time. Don't be afraid to make your whole wheat doughs a little wetter. During the shaping of the dough, you want to use as little flour as possible. Here are a couple of links to videos on shaping:


simplysweetcdn's picture

Thanks for replying, I actually dont use any flour at all,,, I use a bit of Olive oil.

Dragonbones's picture

Any chance you're using too much olive oil on it so that parts don't really seal together when shaping?  Try it with a lightly floured work surface instead, shape more tightly and don't use the olive oil (or don't brush it with oil until after the final shaping is done), and see what happens.

Pablo's picture

Following the right side of the hole it looks like you can kind of see the line curving into the rest of the body of the loaf.  I don't know if that's an illusion from the photo - if it were my bread (not that this has ever happened to me :-) it would tear in a smooth curve from the edge of the hole along what appears to be that curving line.


PaddyL's picture

There's a patisserie/boulangerie up the street that makes absolutely super bread, and it's happened to them from time to time.  One customer brought returned a loaf and demanded her money back because there was a hole in it, and she said she wasn't going to pay for air.

Nomadcruiser53's picture

That was good for a chuckle.

Kuret's picture

I suspect you use the semi standard method of shaping sandwich loaves, patting dough out to a recgtangle and rolling up like a jelly roll.

I have had that happen to me a couple of times and it definately is air trapped inside during shaping, this easily happens if your dough is too floury or oily as this will keep layers separate.

nhtom's picture

I take a rolling pin and role the dough flat then roll it into a cylander.  My father thinks that's over doing it but it gets ride of the holes.

BTW: I use a metal dough scraper to aid in rolling it up.

Good luck!

jbaudo's picture

This has happened to me countless times (I know, pretty sad!)  Anyway,  If you make sure that the dough is very wet so it will stick together then you can avoid this.  I mean that after you flatten it out right before you roll it up wet the entire surface with a bit of water.  I usually just wet my hand and then rub it all over the top of the dough.  Then just roll it up as usual and you shouldn't get the big bubble.


xaipete's picture

Milling your own flour might result in a hole like that! I think it is caused by over-active enzymes. What I've read is that you should either use flour milled within the fist 24 hours or put it away for several weeks.

The other possibility is the way you are shaping your loaf. For sandwich-style loaf I usually roll them out into a rectangle and then roll them up tightly like a cigar.


crunchybaguette's picture

I definately think it is the oil sperating two layers of strong, well fermented dough. Definately not the flour. This is creating the channel, simialar to having excess flour on a dough when final shaping, although usually the flour will bake out, but the oil is stoping the dough from molding together  =)

TeaIV's picture

If you have a wet dough, and get a "skin" on it (especially if you cold ferment), it won't seal when you shape it. could it be that?

warmnsunny's picture

Hidden tunnel loafI love this "hole in my bread" thread. I hope the picture uploads (first time for me) because I was so happy with how this multigrain loaf looked but when I cut into it there was a huge dome of air right under the crust! Disappointing for sure. 

I read what others have posted and am sure that in my case it was a shaping problem - specifically I think there was flour on the surface of the dough and it didn't get tucked in properly. It sure looked pretty at first!

whipupsomebread's picture

This applies to my massive loaves of spelt bread that suddenly began to develop caverns. After trying different temperatures and increasing and decreasing quantities of oil, water and other ingredients, I finally tried reducing the yeast by half. It worked. So did an in-between quantity in my latest batch. But why did the caverns develop out of the blue like that? I suspect a change in the flour production process. Certainly the recipe on the back of the bag has changed in recent years.

I just remembered this thread, having found it while trying to sort out my own bread. I hope my experience will be useful to someone.

Happy baking folks!