The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Blown out loaf

davidcwilliams's picture

Blown out loaf

Hi guys,

I just learned the term 'blow-out' and I believe that is what happened to me this evening.  I am hoping someone can look at these two pictures and tell me where I may have gone wrong.


Thanks in advance.




100% AP flour

58% water

17% peak sourdough starter (100% hydration)

2% sugar

1% salt



Hydration of final dough: 61%


Kneaded for 15-20 (by hand)


First Rise: 100%

Second Rise: 75%



Baked in glass at 375 for 35 minutes.


Blown out loaf 1



blown out loaf 2



yy's picture

how did you shape the loaf before putting it in the pan?

davidcwilliams's picture

Rather carelessly actually!  I didn't give it much thought at all.  Right before the 'pushing down' phase, I made a "rectangular jellyfish" (think for a pizza) that approximately fit the shape of the pan.  I didn't do that for very long, really just long enough to look smooth.  Then I tried to spread it (poke it, really) as flat as I could.  I then let it rise for 1 hour, and then, into the oven.

Alpine Baker's picture
Alpine Baker

The process of shaping the loaf is used to create a taut membrane. When the loaf is rising, this membrane and the shape you've given it determines the direction the loaf will rise in as well as contributing to many of the overall outcomes of crust quality (absense or presense of bubbles that will be crispy or burnt, texture, thickness, etc.). If the membrane has weakspots from where it has been torn, where there was little tension or where it may be in contact with the pan before baking and rise above during, these spots are likely burst.

For these reasons, it's good to spend some time learning to make a nice loaf with some bit of tensity in the membrane.

And to save yourself from the many unforseen changes of variables, you finally 'score' the loaf to create your own artful artificial weakspots. These will expand instead of unwanted places.

That all said, I think the loaf was also underproofed. The denser the loaf the closer to full volume it should be when it enters the oven. A drier dough will form it's crust more quickly, which means that any ongoing expansion in the loaf after the crust has solidified will burst out of any weak zone available. 60% hydration, I would leave until 80 or 85 percent of total volume.



davidcwilliams's picture

Thanks for the tips, Brian.  I tried again last night, letting it proof 2 hours in the loaf pan (instead of 1 hour)... I forgot to score the loaf, but it performed much better in the oven.  It still blew 'up' but not as much 'out'.  =)

The new problem was that doubling the proofing time allowed the dough to absorb the olive oil I had lining the pan, so the loaf stuck so badly that it was all but destroyed in trying to remove it.  Lesson learned, and research has pointed me toward shortening.