The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sliced white bread looks like jelly roll; seams separate

ginnyj's picture

Sliced white bread looks like jelly roll; seams separate

I'm having fun beginning to make bread.  I'm using the dough cycle on my bread machine, then putting it into the refrigerator overnight.  In the morning I cut 1/3rd of it,  press out the bubbles, with my hands press it into a rectangle and then roll it up tightly from one end to the other.  I am using a small bread pan 3 1/2" by 7."

When I slice it you I see the circles where it was rolled and some of it actually falls apart.  Is my problem with the overnight or the way I'm rolling it?  What is this problem called?




cerevisiae's picture

Two possible problems:

  1. Incorrect hydration, probably too dry. more likely too much flour than too little water, especially if you're measuring by volume instead of weight.
  2. Not enough time for the final proof, so the dough isn't getting a chance to cohere again after shaping.

Tell us about the recipe you're using and how you're measuring.

When rolling up the dough for the pan, are you using much flour for handling?

How long do you let it proof in the loaf pan before baking? Does it rise much in the oven, or for that matter, before going in the oven? Is the crumb dense or light?

ginnyj's picture

I'm using Lora Brody's Buttermilk recipe for the bread machine. When she was on Julia Child she said you could refrigerate the dough overnight after the "dough cycle, which is what I did. The recipe is 3c white flour, 1 t salt (I use 1/2,) 1 T butter, 3T + 1t maple syrup, 1c buttermilk (I used 1/4 buttermilk powder & 1c that my problem, the extra 1/4 dry ingredients?) 2 1/2 t yeast. I baked it at 375 for 30 minutes.

I am measuring by volume.

I needed very little flour when rolling up the dough (maybe overnight in the refrigerator made it less sticky?)

I let it proof in the pan almost 2 hours. It was just barely over the rim of the pan when I put it in the oven. (I understand cold dough takes a bit longer to rise.)

It rose nicely in the oven. I would call the crumb light.

Thanks for helping this novice baker!




cerevisiae's picture

I don't know anything about how buttermilk powder would interact in a dough, but that might be contributing to that.


  1. Have you made this dough before?
  2. Is this a problem you've had previously, with this dough or other doughs?
  3. Describe your flour measuring process. How are you putting flour into your cup measure? Are you spooning it into the cup and leveling it off, dipping it into the flour bag and shaking it off, or some other method? I suspect you may be adding too much flour. Cup measurements are notoriously inaccurate.
  4. When you put the dough in the fridge, are you covering it well to ensure that it doesn't dry out?

It's possible that if you make this again, and use buttermilk powder again, you may want to use another 2 - 4 Tbsp of water to compensate for any liquid being absorbed by the extra dry ingredient.

What I think will help right now, with the rest of that dough you have in the fridge: when you go to roll the dough up, after you've shaped it into a rectangle,  brush off an excess flour, and moisten the dough. This could be as simple as sticking your hand under the kitchen faucet and then rubbing it across the surface of the dough to spread the water across it. The idea is to moisten it and even get that part (which is about to become the middle of the loaf) to be a little more sticky, rather than getting it slippery wet. Slick with water wouldn't ruin your loaf, but it would be harder to roll up.

You could also apply the water with a spray bottle or by wetting a pastry brush if you don't feel like getting your hand wet.

After applying water, roll up as usual and place in pan.

If you try this, let me know if it helps.

ginnyj's picture

I've made this dough only once before and then I made one loaf. No problem with that.

If I ever had this problem before it was never to the extreme it was this time, with the bread actually falling apart in those spirals!

I dip my measuring cup into the flour (all purpose) and level off with my hand.

The dough is well covered in fridge with a lid that fits the container.

I will try your idea of the water with the last part of the dough tomorrow if I can, or else on Saturday. I'll let you know for sure. You have been so helpful!

I'm wondering if I am doing this part ok - pushing on the dough to deflate any bubbles with the heel of my hand and then using my hands to stretch it a bit into a rectangle. Then I roll tightly but do not try and seal each turn, in fact I hardly seal it when I'm done. I do put the seal side down.

cerevisiae's picture

Sealing the seam would probably make for a better loaf, but is probably not the cause of your problem, unless it is only coming apart at the point where the seam would be. Otherwise your technique sounds fine for the kind of bread you're making.

ginnyj's picture

I used your idea to wet my hands and rub them on the rectangle of dough before rolling it.   The spirals were still there although much more faint and not to the point of falling apart.

Next time I will try to reduce the flour by 2 T to make up for the 1/4 c dry buttermilk.

Thanks again!

cerevisiae's picture

Decreasing the flour slightly sounds like a good idea, too. I'd love to hear if that helps even more.

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Instead of scoop and sweep.