The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Scoring wrecked my loaf?

christinepi's picture

Scoring wrecked my loaf?

I used this recipe today: All went well until I gently dropped the dough into the cast iron pot. It deflated a little bit, but it really lost volume when I tried scoring it. I used a very sharp knife. It didn't cut at all; the dough just "got out of the way". I've only tried this once before, and it wasn't THAT bad, but still, I clearly have no idea how to do this properly. I'd rather not touch the dough at all and not score it, just to retain volume. Apart from my doing it wrong, is it possible that my dough just didn't have the right consistency? The finished loaf looked beautiful, it tore nicely on its own, but it was dense as heck, though good tasting, and nice crust. 

tchism's picture

I would cut the final proof time in half. See if that helps. Use the finger poke method to test the dough if you are familiar with that.




hanseata's picture

I agree with tchism. A loaf that deflates, when you move it or score it, and has a dense crumb: these are sure signs of over-proofing. Never go by kitchen timer or eyeballing, always check with the finger poke test. The dimple should neither fill up again, nor stay exactly as deep as poked. It should still be a little bit elastic (unless it is a very stiff dough with a lot of seeds).

Happy baking,


dosco's picture

whatChat about a high hydration dough that deflates but has little/no oven spring and an open crumb?


cranbo's picture

Dave, not exactly sure what your question is, but deflation has more to do with overproofing than high hydration dough. A high hydration dough that has strong development will still get oven spring, although less so than lower hydration dough. Both will collapse when scored if they are overproofed. 

Overproofed dough can still have have an open crumb, but will have poor spring. 


dosco's picture

I guess I'm trying to point out that the failure may have more than one root cause.

The SD breads I've tried have a poor 2nd rise and poor oven spring. I suspect the issue is poor gluten development. I suppose overproofing could be a possibility but it seems a bit farfetched to me.



pjkobulnicky's picture

Dave et al ... over proofing is probably the number one cause of a good dough turning out to be a bad loaf.