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help with top cracking loaf

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metropical's picture
metropical

help with top cracking loaf

I've been using the same basic recipe for years of a Silverton grape starter based multigrain loaf bread.


In the last year or so, the tops have been cracking before they rise sufficiently.  I can't figure out if the dough is too wet or what.


It's not the oven, it heats spot on.


I do steam bake for the first 10 mins.


 


Here's a link for some snaps.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/24075712@N00/sets/72157621095129177/

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

Sorry no one has responded yet... = )


Can you be more specific with where we should look in the pictures? Is the problem in the slashed areas? What should it look like that's 'normal' to you?


By chance, do you have any crumb pics? By looking at the crumb bloom pattern, that might help find something that could be adjusted.


- Keith

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Nice looking bread and I am not certain exactly what the problem is that you have described.  Can you be more specific?


Jeff

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

So the rise is not up to snuff?


If warm weather has moved in, try shorter proofing times.  :)

AndreaReina's picture
AndreaReina

Cracking seems to signify that the crust received significant force, so that it is made to tear in an uncontrolled manner. This is one of the reasons loaves are scored, so that this expansion is controlled and predictable. Judging from the eveness of the pattern, I'm guessing that you did in fact score the loaves, and are finding the expansion to be too much?


I wonder if you're overfilling your loaf pan. Looking at the side-view, it seems that the pan only comes up to half the height of the resulting loaf. I don't make sandwich loaves so I don't know if that's normal, but with the lack of any other ideas I offer it up, subject to correction by people that know better of course.

metropical's picture
metropical

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24075712@N00/sets/72157621252749428/


crumb shots.  Seems to have nice bloom at the top, but suffers the deeper.


Use to be when I slashed (as I always have) the splits would be much smaller and nicer looking.  These look like ax cuts.  And the hight of the bread has suffered too.


I proof for 20 to 30 mins in a 100º oven (proof cycle) like I always have, although our previous oven had 80º; with steam.


Don't think I'm overfilling as it's the same recipe I've used for years.... more or less.


Last year I added cooked quinoa to the dough.  The first couple were way to high.  I cut the yeast to 1 1/2.  That helped for a time.  


The bread is taking longer to cook, which adds to the thought that perhaps my dough is too wet.  Lately an additional 10 mins to hit 195-200º.


The basic recipe is 2c starter, 2c bread, 3/4c WW, 1/2c rye, 1/4c cooked wheat berries and 1/4c cooked quinoa, 1c water, 1 tbsp gluten, 2 1/2 tbsp sugar or sometimes barley malt syrup, 2 1/2 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp yeast.


This time I backed off the water to 3/4c.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

I can now see what you are unhappy with even though this is a very nice loaf of bread. I must say that the imperfections are ever so minor.


My guess is that your initial ferment is not quite long enough and possibly your final proof is a bit abbreviated.  It is hard to tell without seeing all of the exact timing & techniques in your recipe.  I would go for a longer proof at a lower temperature and also make certain that the bread is fully fermented before the shaping and proofing.  It is also possible that your shaping method is partly to blame but that is not real likely if you have shaped and panned this bread the same way for years.


I know that for myself it is easy to get a bit careless and sloppy with a procedure that I have performed over and over again over the course of many years.  Pay close attention to yourself as you make this bread and most importantly listen to the dough and forget the clock.


Jeff

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

Got some dough in an autolyse state, so gotta be brief...


It does appear to be overproofed to my eyes... and I know someone else suggested underproofed. Hmm... well, I'll just say that -if- it was overproofed, it appears that the internal pressure pushed your slashes really wide. I do see that phenomenon on loaves that I've allowed to go too far, and when I'm aware of this problem before slashing, I either don't slash, or definitely don't slash very deep. In your case, your using a pan, so the outside structure isn't also collapsing (which we see in overproofed freeform loaves). The crust is forming, but there isn't enough oomph left to push the dough up into the slashes for a nice grigne, which leaves you the depressed canyons in the slashes.


If this was an underproofing issue, I would think we'd see random blowouts somewhere, but I don't see that anywhere on the crust or in the crumb structure. The crumb bloom looks fairly uniform, which again leads me to think it was overproofed just a little bit.


: shrug :


That's what I see... hopefully Dan will see this thread and add his expertise.


- Keith

metropical's picture
metropical

I autolyse the dough anywhere from 30 mins to several hours depending on the days schedule.


Proof is usually 20 to 30 mins, as I said, with steam at 100º.


Perhaps I'll "bulb" proof it next time.


 


The longer bake time to reach 200º is what has me questioning.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

swings? A brown out maybe?  Turn on the TV when the oven is on, are the corners of the screen the same as the middle in color and brightness?  Lower heat could add to the baking time.


Another thought, try to underproof.  Cut your warm proof in half.  Pablo just showed us some baguettes with different propfing times, how do they compare with your slashes?


Mini