The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Problem: Top of loaf slices breaks on handling

sdean7855's picture

Problem: Top of loaf slices breaks on handling

I have a barley (5 oz) - wheat (16 oz) recipe that works reliably in my Zojirushi Virtuoso.  It has a failing: the top inch of the loaf has bigger pores Large pores at top of Barley Bread Slices

When handled or toasted, the top of the slice tends to break off...the larger pores make something of a perforation tear line. 

What should I be doing differently?  The Rx uses lecithin, sorghum, buttermilk, olive oil and salt and is made with the default cycle of the ZV.

clazar123's picture

This is a different dough than you and I worked on before (all spelt). For that loaf, all kinds of adjustments were made on the wonderful Z breadmaker you have. There were a lot of pics on that post and so I reviewed them all, but esp. the last pics that depicted the latest and best loaf. Interestingly, all those loaves have the same appearance as this latest wheat/barley loaf. Did they also have this breakage?

When I hear crumbling/cracking with any whole wheat loaf, I have to ask what kind of soak time is built in to the recipe. If the branny bits in whole wheat flour (even those very finely ground) are not given time to fully absorb water prior to the bake with an autolyze,sponge,preferment (or whatever), then the branny bits will continue to absorb moisture after the bake. This will make the slices prone to crumble and crack.

So WW needs enough water, time to absorb it and dough kneaded to develop the starchy gel.

I haven't worked much with barley but AFAIK, it is a thirsty flour. Is the water in the recipe adequate for the barley/WW mix?

As far as settings go, is there a way to do an autolyze (mix WW flour and water) first and let it sit for a while-30 minutes is enough. Then mix in other ingredients.

These are my questions and observations. Still operating under the former disclaimer-I haven't used a bread machine for 30 years and I'm not familiar with the Zoriushi except by what I read on a website.

Persist and post! A recipe would be very helpful-esp if it is by weight (grams)


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

like the rising was going on too long after it started baking, rising to a point of weakness before the crumb baked.  I had this problem with spelt before reducing the proofing time baking earlier.  I found slicing difficult as the loose crumb, even cold, tore while cutting or holding as you describe near the top of the loaf where crumb is more expanded.  A natural dividing could also mean that the top of the dough was rising at a slightly warmer temperature than the lower part of the loaf.  Perhaps the lower part was more deflated with blade action than the top before a final rise. 

These are just some of my thoughts and add I do not own or use a bread machine.