The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My ears are "broken"

claudiobr's picture

My ears are "broken"

Dear folks,

I am facing a problem over and over, perhaps someone here could shed some light before I give up! :-)

As you can see from above, the cuts on my batard are tearing down until my 2 slashes join together. It always happen to the end of the cut. The bread is a simple lean dough at about 67% hydration (I am trying to fix this problem before going for longer formulas or flavor enhancements).

Has anyone passed through a similar situation? Is it a question of underproofing or weak/poor gluten development? I´ve noticed great improvement on the dough after I started using Bertinet´s kneading method. I also stretch&fold a couple of times during a one hour period. Final proofing is taking about 90min. And I am scoring at a shallow angle, about 1/4 inch deep. The blade does not drag the dough, cuts are smooth but somehow the end of it seems to be a weak point that tears down during oven spring. I can take pictures during the process next time, but I´d appreciate any advice, will try it right away on my next attempt.

Thank you.
Cheers from Brazil,

varda's picture

your bread is underproofed.  -Varda

dmsnyder's picture

But I think under-proofing is the bigger problem.


claudiobr's picture

Thank you all for the opinions!

Here is a picture of my latest attempt, I did try to avoid underproofing and as for the steaming, I went for some fancy covered baking this time. The batard is far away from perfect but, much better than my previous one. Ears did not "blow up" this time:

This one has fresh rosemary. Thanks again folks!

dabrownman's picture

keep on doing it.  Very nicve bread indeed!  Rosemary must make it special too.

Laddavan's picture

Claudiobr your bread makes me hungry. It looks dilicious.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

came out of the oven?  I wanna chew on that crust!

claudiobr's picture

Thanks! Yes it came out "singing", I was satisfied with the crust. So far I got better results with covered baking (along with a rough water spray inside the cover) than with steam pans/towels/etc.

I must add that another change I believe was important for the slashes not tearing apart (besides not to underproof) was the use of a precision scale. I believe my yeast measure was too much. Sounds obvious but I was ignoring the fact that there is a big difference between, for example, 4.0 and 4.9 (if measured in a regular scale).