The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Does a Pullman Loaf Usually "settle" on top?

Goats In The Kitchen's picture
Goats In The Kitchen

Does a Pullman Loaf Usually "settle" on top?

After many trials, I have finally managed to produce a recipe for a 100% whole grain pullman loaf that is soft, tender and tasty, AND that makes the right amount of dough to fit my 16" pans. Yay me!

Question: is it normal for the top of the loaf to sink a little while it cools? The bread is definitely cooked through and not at all gummy inside. It's not a big deal as it doesn't affect the taste, but when I slice it each slice is slightly concave on top.

Not sure if you can tell what I mean from the photo, but here's a peek.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

cover off right away?   Anything else done when the bake is over?  Like putting the naked loaf back into the oven or taking pause time before depanning? Or when the bake is nearly done, like removing the top to release steam in the last 5 minutes?

I might up the recipe weight by 5%. All loaves shrink a little when they cool 😎  

Justanoldguy's picture

Mine do the same if the loaf has filled the pan like the one in the photo and I'm using a 9" pan. Curiously, a loaf that has slightly rounded ends and sides displays little or no sag. Good looking loaf by the way.  

GaryBishop's picture

Can you share it?

Maverick's picture

Like above, we need a little more detail as to what you are doing. You should be taking the  top of and cooking  the last 10-20 minutes with it off. Given the size of the pan, I would think  you  need closer to the 20 minute mark. That said... if you  google Pullman loaf pain de mie and look at King Arthur's pictures, they look concave on top.

This reminds me, it is time to get my grandparent's Pullman pan out and start experimenting xD

Goats In The Kitchen's picture
Goats In The Kitchen

Sorry all, I should know better by now! I baked this for 40 minutes at 350 (325 with auto adjust for convection setting). I did not remove the cover during the bake time. After taking it out of the oven I removed the lid and popped it out of the pan right away, checked for doneness, then onto a cooling rack.

The first recipe I read said to remove the lid for the last 10-15 minutes and when I baked that loaf I actually don't recall any settling. So that might be it there.

Other recipes I've seen don't call for the lid to be removed. I guess I got lazy. Or just didn't think it was that important. But I can see how allowing some of the steam to release might make a difference.

Also I do recall one loaf I baked that almost but didn't quite fill the pan, and I don't think that one settled much either.

So I'll definitely go back to removing the lid for the last 15 minutes or so.

And maybe I'll play with my recipe a bit more in terms of getting the dough volume just right. I baked a second loaf right alongside this one from the same batch of dough, only difference was I left the lid off. I can see from the rise in that loaf that I've probably got a bit of room to decrease the amount of dough a little for the covered loaf.

Finally, I might reduce the yeast a little, and/or give it just a little shorter final proof, as the crumb is just a little less tight that I would ideally like.

Overall I've nothing to complain about....I'm just another crazy baker in search of the elusive perfect loaf!

uncovered loaf baked at the same time

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

That last slice looks like it might break into jumping-jacks and do some fancy toe touching exercises on the board!  :).  

Whoops!  I see from the shadow it's not a slice, forget the corner toe touches.

DanAyo's picture

Did you ever solve the sinking problem?

Have you thought about rotating the loaf so that all 4 sides spend some cooling time on the bottom?

Gorgeous Loaf...


Goats In The Kitchen's picture
Goats In The Kitchen

Yes I discovered that I needed just a little more dough for this size pan, to help it fill to the top without having to "stretch" too much to get there, then subsequently collapsing a little presumably because there wasn't enough strength in the lightweight dough to hold the rise. Also I went back to removing the lid for the last 5-10 minutes. All good now!