The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Crumb cracks in 100% rye sourdough

nsaubes's picture

Crumb cracks in 100% rye sourdough

Hi all!

I'm having a problem with my 100% rye sourdough on a regular basis: the crumb shows cracks and/or pockets inside (see picture).

The recipe uses a three steps rye sour (Detmold style). Then the final dough is mixed, let to rest about 20 minutes. After that the dough is divided and put into molds, where they proof for about 1 hour to 1:30 (well risen and show a few pinholes and/or cracks. Then it is baked at 250C with steam for 12 minutes and then about one more hour with decreasing temperature until the internal temp reaches 200-205F. Here is the final dough formula (for 2*850g loaves):

Rye flour: 416g

Water: 228g

Salt: 17g

Rye sour: 1038

I have not yet understood the cause of this problem as it doesn't always happen. But I can't figure why... Does anybody has experienced this kind of trouble or has an idea of what is happening here?

Thank you!







Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Perfect example of what can happen when not docked.  Doesn't always need docking but will improve the batting average.   When ready for the oven, wet a toothpick or similar tool, poke straight down into the dough using almost the entire length of the toothpick and remove gently.  Wet as needed to prevent sticking.  Can smooth over the dough with a wet tool after a minute if desired. The pockets of gas will have quickly shrunk and dough will rise as one loaf.  Dock about every square inch, can even make a decorative pattern.

Another thought is handling when cooling.  Be very careful as the inside of a rye loaf is very delicate until it sets up many hours later, careful and gentle depanning and careful not to squeeze the loaf too firmly, better to wait until the next day to hold and cut.

Good luck and don't wait until too many pin holes appear, a sign that the rye matrix is breaking down allowing gas bubbles to rise and burst on the surface. If the surface is made domed and smooth, the surface will be slightly irregular before pinholes appear.  Dock and bake.  :)


Very Lovely Crumb!  


Filomatic's picture

Mini's right.  If you look at Hamelman's rye section, as I recall when you get to 70% and higher, you need to dock (Hamelman was talking in the context of scoring v. docking.  I tested this theory early in my rye baking and got loaves that spread with no upward lift.)

Another thing I've observed is I have a tendency to shape such loaves gently, and that increases the likelihood of a big air pocket.

nsaubes's picture

Hi Mini!

Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely explore docking and its effects! And yes this loaf in particular was a bit overproofed I guess!



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

but PDC.  Pretty darn close.  

ananda's picture

The quality of the flour is poor.  Most likely in respect of enzymatic content.   Also possibly down to milling process causing too much starch damage, which itself is a primary cause of too rapid enzymatic activity.

What is the water absorption like with this flour?   Try to avoid the temptation to add excessive water if it's particularly thirsty.   Also, cool down your temperatures if the rye paste is fermenting too quickly.

I would find a different brand of flour first off.   Oh, and take heed of Mini's advice as it is always good.

Best wishes