The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Exploding Sourdough!

anb955's picture
anb955

Exploding Sourdough!

Don't you just hate it when something works the first time, and the first time only?


My first sourdough loaf turned out lovely. But every loaf since has burst on the bottom. I think maybe underproofing, largely due to a very cold home (I don't have central heating) and a probably inaccurate oven.


I take my starter out, feed it, and let it warm up to room temp. I mix in approx 500g flour with 200g starter and water to make a nice dough. I let it double, shape, and let double again. And every time (since the 1st) I've had the bottom and sides burst.


 


Please take a look at the photos and give your input!


Much Appreciated.


Sides:



 

Yumarama's picture
Yumarama

You write:



I mix in approx 500g flour with 200g starter and water to make a nice dough. I let it double, shape, and let double again. And every time (since the 1st) I've had the bottom and sides burst.



Maybe you simply didn't include it in the post yet do it anyway, but "Slashing" is missing in there as a step in your process. Not seeing the top of the loaf, I can't tell for sure if you did and if so, how you did so. And it may be that you do slash but too softly to give the dough a good, controlled escape route.


A top side pic would help diagnose the issue here.


The bread explodes at the bottom because, as you can tell, this is where the crust is softest and will give out to the inside pressures easiest. It's simply the path of least resistance.


If you don't add steam or add enough steam to your oven, this too will cause the crust to form too hard too fast then you're back to a hard, inflexible crust all around and the expanding dough inside will find the softest place to bust out, the bottom edge. 


On the up side, this bursting out means you're getting good oven spring. When the inside has an even better way to expand, you'll probably get amazing spring.