The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Preventing a triangular profile in my batards.

Bread Breaddington's picture
Bread Breaddington

Preventing a triangular profile in my batards.

My preferred everyday loaf is a standard batard with a single long score, for a nice looking gringe. The problem, which is mostly aesthetic, is that this seems to encourage more expansion in the center of the loaf, which causes it to end up looking like sort of a shallow pyramid from the side. Ideally I want the expansion to be more or less even across the loaf, but I'm not getting that. I don't think underproofing is a problem, the loaf itself isn't too tense. 

I've tried to make the ends of the loaf more able to expand by lengthening my scores, but the issue then is that the two sides of the end of the loaf separate in a way that forms sort of a rounded M shape, like a little butt on my bread, and it's very ugly. I'd take a picture if I could, but it's not important.

So, what might I do to help my loaves expand more evenly and not focused on the middle? 

bakeshack's picture

Some pictures of your loaf will help but based on your initial description, it might be due to some issues during the final shaping or scoring is too deep.  Where do you proof your loaf?  How long and how wide is the loaf after shaping?  For batards, you need to have the right proportion and balance with the length and width of the loaf so that when it rises during the bake, the loaf will maintain this balance even during expansion.  Next time you bake, try making your loaf a bit longer and take it down a bit so it's not too heavy in the center.  







Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

of the loaf and a cross section crumb shot.  It could be that the heat in the oven is making the loaves pointed or volcano shaped or that the dough surface is too dry when entering the oven.   

Suggestions may include steaming differently or moving oven shelves,  try curved scoring marks as opposed to straight that don't cut across the middle of the loaf.  Another is to dive into the TFL archives under words like:  Experiment scoring, or decorative scoring to see what you can find. 

It is not always easy to imagine what a score will produce until it has been baked.  Try making scores that don't connect to each other and run parallel or staggered  or <<<< shaped or ))))  or # or  <<>> 

Here is a quick YouTube video.  Might try the star-burst but don't cut across the top making scores in the sides, easily done with a scissors too!

Bread Breaddington's picture
Bread Breaddington

I do wish I could take a picture, but as far as I know, I don't have anything capable of getting a picture online. I'll see what I can do. In the meantime:

I proof my loaves in a brotform on the counter covered with a plastic bag. The kitchen is as warm as anywhere this time of year, here. The proofed loaf ends up around 5 inches wide and 7 long. At one point, I did notice that my shaping method was leaving a little bit more in the middle, and since then I've been taking care to avoid that by making the loaf longer and less pointy, and it helps. It hasn't eliminated the occasional undesirable effect, though. The dough is about 70% hydration, by the way. I don't think it's too dry, but maybe the flour in the brotform could be leeching moisture from the surface of the loaf in an undesirable way? Worth a try.

I do realize that I can direct the rise of the loaf through different scoring methods, but part of it is that I want to figure out how to make this work. It's a puzzle that I want to solve, just, because! And I'll learn more about bread in the process.