The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread torn at the bottom

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omershus's picture

Bread torn at the bottom



Hi there

I have been baking sourdough breads on a weekly basis for the last 4 month after a long break from using soudough.

I pretty much like the results (and also my wife...)

I only have one big problem - in the last few bakes, the breas is always torn on it's buttom part.

Today, for example, i baked an 70% hydration of 50% wholw wheat and 50% dark wheat flour(high gluten).

The steps where:

1. Kneading the bread by hand for about 12 minutes until it passed the windowpane test

2. Bulf fermentation at around 21C for 8 hours.

3. Retarding for 11 hours in the fridge

4. Moved the dough to room temp (23c) for 1.5 hours

5. Shaped a batard and proofed in a benneton for 2.5 hours

6. Started baking with steam (poured hot water to baking pan located in the bottom of my over right after puttong thr bread in the oven) at 210c for 15 minutes

7. Removed steam and baked another 25 minutes.


From what i understand, the problem could be:

A. under proofing

B. Maybe i'm not closing the seems good enough on final shaping 

C. maybe i steaming too much/not steaming enough?


Here is a picture of the dough after shaping with the seems up:

From Bread

And this was taken after baking:

From Bread

Do you have any advise? thanks

Doc.Dough's picture

It looks like it was under proofed. Perhaps shape sooner but let it proof longer.  I have found that it takes a long time to be able to judge exactly when a loaf is perfectly proofed.  A little under is better than a little over, but how do you know? Try the finger press test. If it doesn't leave even a hint of a dimple, it is a long way from fully proofed.  If it returns in a minute or so to the height of the original surface, then it is about right (perhaps a bit over at that point depending on the specifics).  Try making three loaves and bake them sequentially.  Then you will have a good sense of what was right.  And you will probably have at least one good loaf.


MANNA's picture

Just glancing at everything real quick this comes to mind. You floured the bottom of the loaf quite a bit when it went into the form then got baked. I suspect that it formed a pretty good dry skin while the rest of the loaf in contact with the form not as much. So when it goes into the oven the now bottom of the loaf inst elastic enough and doesnt expand with the rest of the loaf. Try not flouring the bottom of the loaf before it goes into the form and cover with some plastic wrap or non fuzzy cloth(tea towel) to prevent a skin from forming. Then flour before turning out into the oven. Let me know how it goes.

MNBäcker's picture

You didn't include a picture of the top, but if your loaf was underproofed, one or two strategically placed cuts on the top could alleviate the pressure and give it a "tear line". For example, if you make one long (maybe 1/2 inch deep) cut along the loaf center, it should open down the middle and burst beautifully.

Just a thought.