The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

One HUGE Hole

sourdough greg's picture
sourdough greg

One HUGE Hole

So I was NOT carefully watching rising time, etc on my dough, as I was making pizzas in the WFO.  When I formed and baked some ciabatta style loaves, they looked great and tasted great.  However, in the middle of two of the loaves there was one huge hole, about 1" high' 2" wide, and 4" long. To the point when I sliced the bread, one third of the center of each slice didn't exist!


What happened?

Martyn's picture

When I first started using the stretch and fold method I had this problem (I don't know if this is how you prepare your dough or not). I came to the conclusion that I had too much flour or oil on the folded surface of the dough which stopped the two surfaces amalgamating when formed into a loaf and baked. I now brush off all excess flour before folding the dough and thankfully have not had this problem since.

ananda's picture


If you have used S&F or variation: is your dough sufficiently developed?



RiverWalker's picture

the one time I had something vaguely like that happen, like Martyn(more or less) I attributed it to getting the dough too dry from using flour too generously when kneading and shaping.

in the case I had, the loaves screwed up other ways too (was just not a very sucessful batch overall).

if thats not it, I haven't a clue.  for me, getting better at judging the state of the dough, and learning to use as little flour in kneading, and shaping(especially shaping), as possible, seems to have solved that, as I haven't had any loaves do that in quite a while.


alabubba's picture

Thats the room where the lazy baker sleeps.

pdiff's picture

When you formed the loaves, did you lightly poke the tops?  That could break up any large bubbles.  The WFO is going to give you a big kick, so large bubbles can be exagerated.  Was the rise warmer or longer than usual? 

Ananda has a good point too.  Without sufficient structure, any existing smaller bubbles may coalesce into one larger one.  If your oven could hold the temp, another extra fold at that point may not hurt.

sourdough greg's picture
sourdough greg

I was doing stretch and fold. If anything the dough could have been over developed. I did not poke the tops when I formed the loaves. Good idea. The rise was much longer than usual (darn pizzas). Thanks for the input, everybody.  Greg