The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

blisters on bread

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the black and white baker's picture
the black and w...

blisters on bread

Does anyone know exactly what are the small blisters that surround our long fermented sourdough breads are. I normally take it to mean a positive thing as most wholemeal products need this to get rid of phytic acid.

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Here's how those blisters were explained to me: when bread is retarded or otherwise fermented for a long time, the gluten starts to degrade. These little breakdowns in the gluten cause "micro-chimneys" to form, which, during baking, carry gas up to the crust causing the blisters to form.

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

staff of life's picture
staff of life

Is this normal (I have it on nearly all my retarded breads) or something that causes a sub-par loaf?

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Yes, it's normal on loaves that have been retarded. And cosidered very attractive by many, although I understand that in France it's considered a defect (I guess they don't retard there?)

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

staff of life's picture
staff of life

I heard that about the French--those crazy French!  I like them myself; they add texture.   I was just wondering if since the gluten starts degrade a bit, if it results in a loaf with reduced volume.

SOl

Henry's picture
Henry

 Henry

Crust blisters appear mostly on lean dough’s (no fats) that have been retarded during proof and are caused basically by gas escaping from the crust.

Gas from yeast is basically carbon dioxide and CO2 dissolves in cold water, so what happens is that during the baking process, water from the crumb accumulates in the cells and forms blisters.

If you bulk ferment dough overnight, then punch down, shape and proof, the blisters are far less yet you still get all the advantages of a cool long ferment.

The Europeans do find blisters to be a “fault” but we’re okay with it.

At the moment I’m making all my dough’s “straight” dough, no starters, just long cool bulk ferment and I’m really happy with results.

Henry