The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Look at the difference in slices....

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

Look at the difference in slices....

This is the Tartine Country Bread.

I don't understand why the center slices DO NOT have the open irregular holes that the rest of the slices have.

Anybody know or have any suggestions?

Thank you for your time.

Davo's picture

I notice more airiness in the edges cf the centre of large loaves. I fridge retard loaves and suspect that maybe it has to do with the loaves on coming out of the fridge warming more on the outer edges than the middle. On the other hand, it could be that in the baking, those edges get the expansion caused by heating, and then as the crust starts to firm up and the capacity is reduced for there to much more eexpansion anywhere in the loaf, the central bit "misses out".

Or maybe there were some trapped air pockets from kneading, and they happened to be in the edges...

Incidentally, I'm often fascinated by what people say causes oven spring. A lot go with overdrive of bugs stimulated by rise in temperature. I'm not sure I believe this has that much to do with it - maybe a little I would guess - but the time window for bug growth is so small during a bake. I am guessing it's simply a Boyle's law relationship. Gas bubbles would like to try and build pressure proportional to heat (for constant volume), but with extensibility and gas retention of a good dough (good gluten development and not yet overproofed to a leaky state) this pressure tends towards ambient by a corresponding increase in volume, until the crust hardens and further expansion is limited. But it would be nice to know what the relative contributions were. Sorry to be OT.

Grenage's picture

What's your hydration and loaf forming process?  I don't get large pockets in the centre on lower hydrations, but that could just be fluke.

Bread Head's picture
Bread Head

Hydration is 77%

I let it overnight bulk ferment and then shape as the directions in the Tartine book.

blacktom's picture

Generally speaking, the very centre of a large-ish loaf will be less likely to have a very open texture because it's the part that heat takes longest to penetrate, plus the expansion of the dough in the centre has to overcome the resistance of the surrounding crumb and the crust. Basically what Davo says above. But this effect varies widely according to loaf size, shape, hydration, temperature, oven type etc. etc.

At any rate, your loaf looks pretty tasty.


Sean McFarlane's picture
Sean McFarlane

The wieght of the loaf sometimes keeps the center from rising to much, as said above.

One way to help deal with this, is to change your shape or scoring method.

More cuts can let it expand a little faster.  If you wanted to change the shape, oval shapes with longer cuts in the center would be the way to go.

This is in my experience th easiest way to control results when you KNOW the dough and shaping were no te problem.