The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cracking Mystery

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flournwater's picture
flournwater

Cracking Mystery

This was based on a 60% hydration dough totallling 850 grams and laced with sunflower seeds and baked at 425 degrees in a cast iron dutch oven, 10 minutes coverd, twenty minutes uncovered, internal temperature 208 degrees F.  This is the first time I've experienced the erratic cracking in what turned out to be a very nice crisp crust with a fairly nice crumb; albeit the loaf was a bit heavier in texture than I would have liked.


  click on thumbnail for larger view.


Any comments on the cause of the cracklng.  Not complaining; I'm enjoying the bread and the bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwiches I made with it at lunch today were quite satisfying .  It's just that I'm not a great fan of mysteries.

will slick's picture
will slick

Than myself, Is it safe to say the dough was slashed? If not maybe that's the cause. That's all I have. Oh I just had another thought have you made this bread before? Maybe the sunflower seeds riped the dough during the oven spring?

hutchndi's picture
hutchndi

more importantly......how does it taste :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think the steam was removed too quickly as high heat from top and sides set and dried the thin "skin" of the crust before the loaf was done expanding.  The skin was thin enough prevent one deep crack.  Was oil on the surface of the dough?

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I think I would say that I see that when the dough is over fermented, usually in the fridge. The dough gets shaped and the structure isn't fully established after being cold. When the spring occurs, it is pushing in an undefined direction because the gluten is deteriorated. It looks like what a rye loaf does when it rises. No Gluten. My 2 cents.


Eric

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Mini

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Good points, all.  Even though I did slash the loaf I may not have be as sincere about it as I could have been.  I hadn't considered the lack of steam, probably because I normally use a highter hydration dough for this type of bread and reduced the typical hydrdation level by 10 - 15%.  The final proof, though it appeared adequate, gave me less of a rise than a wetter dough would have.  It looked normal enough but because I retarded the dough during the initial fermentation period to extend the opportunity for developing greater flavor, I may have extended the time longar than I should have.


Thanks for your input.  This is a new formula that I've been working on this week and your ideas will help me improve on the effort.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

One more thing flournwater. If your starter was a little past peak or had been in the fridge for a while, it may have been degraded also. Then when you mixed the dough, it degraded more quickly because the acid level was so high to start with.


I looked at your photo site at all views and I don't think slashing had anything to do with the cracks. This is an acid issue and dough that was "going to rags" as they say.


Eric

Nickisafoodie's picture
Nickisafoodie

try the same recipie with 65% hydration and slashing.  While the math sounds high compared to 60%, we are talking less than an ounce more water for the same flour amount.