The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Splitting rye loaves?

breadnik's picture
breadnik

Splitting rye loaves?

I'm at the end of my wits and am in need of help and ideas.


I bake two different kinds of rye bread, both with commercial yeast. Both the yeast content and the hydration levels in these breads are different. In the last few months both breads started splitting during baking (I start them at 450F for 10 minutes and finish them at 325F with convection -- and it is during the latter stage that they split). I have not changed the formulas or the baking temperatures in the last few months. Even though I HAVE started mixing the dough in my new 20 qt. mixer a couple of months ago, the splitting seems to have started before that.


I tend to attribute it to a change in ambient temperature/humidity due to the beginning of the heating season but can't figure out how to adjust for it or even if I can/should adjust.


Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


Attached is the picture of today's batch. Every single one of my 4 loaves split in the same way. I apologize for the quality of the picture -- I'm a baker, not a photographer. ;)


Thank you,


Nika aka Breadnik


Split loaves


 

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Nika,


This is one of those mysteries that will require a full recipe description with techniques to be able to (hopefully) accurately diagnose.  I am guessing that you have already been through all you can think of in your mind but I'll ask a few things anyway. 


Have there been ANY changes at all on your part no matter how apparently slight or insignificant? Flour? Water? Salt? Oven? Shaping technique? Arrangement in the oven?  Oven rack position?  Sheet pans? and so on. 


Whenever I see split loaves I first think under proofing which could in fact be the answer in this cooler Winter weather.  Under proofing is most certainly not always the answer but a very likely suspect. Do you proof by the clock or by the dough?


This very question about splitting loaves has come up recently so do check the past posts for the subject and I hope that the collective TFL minds find an answer for you.


Jeff

breadnik's picture
breadnik

Jeff, I accidentally posted a reply to you as a separate comment below.

breadnik's picture
breadnik

Jeff, thank you.


I proof by the look of the dough more than by the clock. And I think you are right, underproofing most likely IS my problem. I was just going through every step of the process in my head and realized that the oven spring I am seeing these days is quite a bit greater than what I used to see over the summer, and that it is not necessarily a good thing. And while 1.5-2 hours of proofing was enough in summer, 2-2.5 hours at room temp of 66-68F in winter may not be.


I have searched the forums for "cracking rye", "splitting rye" and many other combinations of keywords but have not, so far, found that discussion.


 


Cheers,
Nika

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej
breadnik's picture
breadnik

Thank you so much, Jeff! I really, REALLY appreciate your help.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

speed up the proof by raising the temperature of the water used? 

CherylAnn's picture
CherylAnn

I'm new to breadmaking, I've ended up with a lot of rocks! Last week made a good wheat, am learning. This week tried some German Dark Rye. I added 2 TBS ground flax seed and 2 TBS oat bran, mayed that did it? Or, from some research, it may be I formed the loaf wrong.  I made it into a retangle and rolled it tightly, having the seem at the bottom of the loaf pan.  Big gaping split in the top and it fell.  Cooked it anyway, good flavor.  Maybe I need to knead longer to develop the gluten strands?  Anybody any ideas?  The recipe follows:

German Dark Rye Bread     - 1 Loaf

 1 ½ c. Bread Flour                           1 c. Water

1/8 c. Cocoa                                    1/4th c. Honey

2 pkgs Active Dry Yeast                    1 TBS Butter

1 ½ tsp Caraway Seed                      1 ¾ c. Rye Flour

1 tsp Salt                                         3 TBS Minced Onions

4 tsp Vital Wheat Gluten                                  

 Place white flour, cocoa, yeast, caraway, onion, gluten & salt in a large bowl.  Stir to mix.  Place water, honey and butter in a sauce pan and heat to 105 – 115 degrees Fahrenheit.  Add to dry ingredients and mix until moistened.  Beat hard for 3 minutes.  Stir in rye flour, enough to make a soft dough.  Knead 8 – 10 minutes.  Roll out and shape to fit a greased loaf pan.  Brush tops lightly with oil and cover with a damp cloth.  Raise in an unheated oven over a pan of hot water for about 1 hour until double in size.  Punch down and allow to rise again until almost double in size.  Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately remove from pan; cool on a rack.  Yield: 1 Loaf. 

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Hi Cheryl Ann,

Basic bread is made with flour, water, salt and yeast in proportions that are known to work,  using techniques designed to get the most flavor from these very simple ingredients.  The recipe that you have goes far beyond these basic ingredients and has elements to it that I can see would make it difficult for this recipe to perform properly in anybody's hands.

As you are new to bread baking, I would suggest that you click on the link  near the upper left corner of the page that says "Lessons", this will take you to instructions on "Your First Loaf".  Follow those instructions and you will be on your way to making a very good loaf of bread and at the same time learning the basic skills of bread baking.

Your recipe has too many problems to properly address them all in a way that would make sense at this point.  Welcome to the forum and happy baking,

Jeff