The Fresh Loaf

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Problem with a Multigrain loaf

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melanie c's picture
melanie c

Problem with a Multigrain loaf

I've had problems with a Peter Reinhart Multigrain loaf the last couple times I've made it and I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.  Wondering if anyone can help me?

Here's what's happening:

I let the dough rise first for 1 1/2 hours in bowl, then I shape into a loaf and put into a 9X5 pan.  After ~  45 min. several bubbles appear on the top surface of the loaf.  After about an hour the loaf has crested the top of the pan with these developed bubbles.  I used my fingers to place an indent in the loaf and it seemed to me like the indent remained so I put it into the oven.  In the oven the bubbles I mentioned expand greatly and get pretty brown and overall the loaf does not have the ovenspring that it has normally had in the past.  The loaf is a little short.    What am I doing wrong?  Oh, I also recently switched to using high-gluten bread flour instead of plain bread flour to make this loaf if that makes any difference.

Thank you for any help/advice!


Chuck's picture

I also recently switched to using high-gluten bread flour

Can you switch back for just one bake and try the old flour again? Depending on a host of other variables, gluten content can make a big difference; among other things too high a gluten content can contribute to lack of oven spring and to a closed crumb, especially if you're used to using something else.

melanie c's picture
melanie c

Thanks Chuck, 

I'll try switching back to the plain bread flour and see if that helps.  I don't know what's causing the bubbles, but I thought maybe the decreased oven spring, short loaf was because I had underproofed the dough a little or something. 

Frequent Flyer's picture
Frequent Flyer

When that does happen, I deflate the bubble and go on, but I'm now working on what may be the cause of my problems  --  poor degassing before shaping.  I let the dough rise initially in a straight-sided clear container so I can judge volume increase.  Before shaping, i now pat the dough lightly to degas it.  I shape and proof the loaf.  Since I have trouble judging the end of the proof, I put a ping-pong ball piece in a oiled, straight-sided glass and mark the level.  I then know when it has increased 50% or 100% (doubled).  I got this idea from this forum I think.


melanie c's picture
melanie c

Thank you FF,

At first I thought that degassing was my issue too, but today I really flattened it out well and pushed out any big pockets of gas, before I shaped it into the loaf and it still got two large bubbles on top.  I was afraid to deflate the bubbles, but if it happens again I'll try deflating them before the bake.