The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Loaf spreading like a pancake

kora66's picture

Loaf spreading like a pancake

Greetings! Happy to be here. So this is the second time I've made this whole wheat harvest loaf. It contains apricots, cranberries, and walnuts. Yum. It's delish. But both times it seems to spread like you see in the photo, pre-bake, like a big fat pancake during the resting phase (proofing? I'm somewhat new to this) and it lacks the big airy bubbles I like to see in a loaf. What am I doing wrong?? How can I achieve a "taller" result, and more air? 

BreadBabies's picture

That would help the community assist you in a diagnosis.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

that you shaped the loaf and wait for the final proof so you can bake it and this is a little bit after shaping?  It doesn't look too bad or flat to me...yet.  

What you could try is to put the loaf into a less flat baking surface like a bread tin, or pie plate casserole dish.  Or turn the shaped dough upside down in a smaller cloth lined (and dusted with flour) basket or sieve and when it has swollen (proofed) carefully flip it right side up onto the baking sheet (remove the cloth) just before slashing (if needed) and popping into the hot oven.  Look for a shape that is a little bit larger than your dough shape and deeper so it tends to proof more "up" than "out."  

wally's picture

Baskets and bannetons can be purchased that will allow your round (boule) loaves or torpedo shaped ones (batards) to retain their shape while going through final proof. Alternatively, you can experiment using up to 50% high gluten flour in place of bread flour in your recipe. The addition of the high gluten will help the shaped loaves retain their higher profile while proofing.