The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Brotform risen dough "blowout"

echohim99's picture

Brotform risen dough "blowout"


I am an amateur bread baker, just trying to improve my technique and bread for the enjoyment of others (and myself). :)

I recently purchased a brotform from and was super anxious to try it out.  Using the main boule recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes, I floured my round brotform and put a 1 1/2 pound of cold dough in it, then let it rise for 40 minutes.  As with the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes dough, it did not rise much, but that is to be expected. 

After the oven was properly heated, I turned the dough out of the brothform straight onto the preheated stoneware, splashed some water into a separate pan for steam then shut the oven door.  30 minutes later, I had an oval loaf, as my dough had a "blow out" on one side, ruining the looks of the loaf. 

This is very discouraging to me!  Should I not use my refrigerated boule? 


berryblondeboys's picture

Did you slash it? if you didn't that could be why - you need to create a vent - without it, you risk a blowout.

I don't have experience with cold doughs, so I can't help you there.

echohim99's picture

No, I didn't slash it, which is probably why it did that...  Wouldn't slashing the bread ruin the brotform look?  Obviously, I am more concerned about how my bread looks. :) 

davidg618's picture

most bakers--myself included--routinely slash brotform/banneton proofed breads.There are a number of tutorials--picture and/or video--cited on the TFL. Use the Search function on the left side of the home page.

David G

echohim99's picture

Thanks.  I had done a search but had not found an answer to my question.  I will look closer.

Chuck's picture

You're not the first to not find David's excellent tutorial by searching for "slashing". The practice has several names, which do not seem to be standardized. Search for "scoring" too.

Home Baker's picture
Home Baker

Three of the four loaves I baked on Sunday had blowouts. I don't mind so much because the flavor and texture was still pretty great. I even liked the way they looked.

I slashed all the loaves. Two loaves got three crossways slashes on the short dimension - both blew out in the oven. Two loaves were slashed once down the middle on the long axis. One of the longways slashed loaves (first photo) split near the center, next to the slash. The other one held its shape w/out splitting.

This bake was my third iteration of a 66% hydration whole wheat and rye formula to which I made a few last minute additions. The additions worked in the sense that all the loaves reached the height I wanted, they colored well and made uniform, crunchy crust. But the slash marks look weak, and they obviously didn't work well enough to prevent blowouts. 

Main problems:

  1. 975 grams of dough is too much for 8" loaf pan (second photo) of two crossways split loaves?
  2. Moisture balance of the formula was thrown off by last minute addition of 1/4 cup of honey - on top of the 18-20 grams of  malt syrup in original formula?
  3. Overactive yeast, possibly caused by too much sugar?

I appreciate suggestions or ideas for how I might achieve better slash marks and better control over oven spring!



Photos of the loaves:

sourdough whole wheat


pmccool's picture

in a panned loaf suggests that the dough was under-proofed when it went into the oven.  There usually isn't as much oven spring with panned loaves since the pan is typically sitting on an oven rack, instead of heat sink like a baking stone.


proth5's picture

On a panned loaves the pan itself serves some of the purpose of scoring or slashing - it creates a weakness along which the bread will expand and even tear a bit.

So scoring crossways on a panned loaf does not really create a weakness in the major direction of expansion - the  long part of the pan does - and the bread will naturally expand along the edge of the pan.

Some "blowout" (back in the day we called that area the "shred") is normal (even desireable)in a panned loaf.  Extreme and unattractive expansion can come from simple under proofing of the loaf.

Your picture of the loaf with a shred along the pan line looks almost normal to me - maybe a bit exaggerated from underproofing.

Slashing the panned loaf lengthwise does create a weakness along the major direction of expansion.  But it must be deep enough so that expansion can occur without tearing.  Again, though, simple underproofing will cause your scoring to tear.

We generally don't look for scoring effects such as "ears" on panned loaves, so I'm not sure what you are trying to improve.

Hope this helps.

Home Baker's picture
Home Baker

I'll need to adjust the formula (again!) and method for making this bread again on the next bake.  If it turns out well I may post a separate article.

pmccool's picture

You mention "splashing" some water in a pan for steam.  It may be that you need more steam (ergo, more water) in the oven for a longer period.  Most home ovens vent pretty fast, so it is possible that the bread's crust set fast enough that the subsequent oven spring could only find release through a weak point.  And that's the point of scoring/slashing: create a weak place by design (and maybe a design, too).

The other possibility that comes to mind is that the bread wasn't optimally proofed, meaning a larger than normal expansion from oven spring.

Just a couple of ideas.


echohim99's picture

I typically add 1 cup of water to a tray underneath the stone.  After reading the comments here and additional threads, I believe I need to let my loaf rise a little bit longer and then slash the loaf after removing it from the brotform.  I guess I just need to experiment a little.  It's just that I want everything to be perfect the first time and patience is a virtue.