Unwanted crust cracks and bursts; any ideas why?
Today I baked two loaves of Jewish Rye following Greenstein's Secrets of a Jewish Baker, with a few minor changes.
1. For the third stage build of the Rye Sour I used whole rye flour rather than the prescribed white rye flour I used for all previous stages.
2. I reduced the salt to 3/4 Tbls from 1 Tbls.
3. I preheated the oven to 450°F, loaded the loaves, and immediately reduced the oven temperature to the 375°F prescribed.
I used steam for the first 15 minutes, then removed the steam source, and vented the oven. Baked for another 15 mins.The crumb is closed, but has excellent mouthfeel: slight chewiness, not gummy or wet. Flavor is all I could want.
I shaped the loaves folllowing Greenstein's directions, paying particular attention to his comment. "...the dough should be tight.". I didn't draw the skin any tighter than I do wheat flour sourdough boules or batards.
I was a little concerned I was underproofed, but went with them anyway, having recently overproofed a couple of high hydration wheat loaves. My "poke" test was still springing back, but very slowly when I glazed, slashed and loaded the loaves in the oven.
You can see in the photo both loaves developed unwanted cracks in the crust, and the one loaf burst. I think it may be due to underproofing, but I'm not at all certain. Any alternate ideas, and recommendations to avoid them in the future will be appreciated.