Hole in the Middle
I need some advice. Lately, I've been getting a 3/4 to 1 inch hole in the middle of my baked loaf.
My mainstay loaf is a poolish starter french loaf consisting of 33% spelt and 67% bread flour (Gold Medal Better Bread). My only change in practice in the last couple years is that I have begun using a yeast thermometer. So, I'm getting my water to 120 F and adding my yeast and a 1/2 tsp of sugar. My yeast foams like never before. Also, I'm proofing at 80 - 90 degrees in my oven. I don't over punch the first rise, but I do fold and pinch the loaves (like always) into the cast iron pans. I usually do a five cup mix - 1 and 2/3 cups water total, including poolish (2/3 water 1 cup flours scant 1/2 tsp yeast). Both pans are cast - one a loaf pan, one an oval. Second rise is great. My crust is perfect. My crumb is awesome. The oval loaf has no inner divot, but the loaf pan does. Flavor? Nothing like a spelt blend folks. Amazon Great River Organic Milling (Fountain City, WI).
So, to all you better scientists out there - what gives?
Any thoughts will be gratefully appreciated.