The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Problem with Splitting Loafs

toglenn's picture

Problem with Splitting Loafs

I'm having a problem with my sough dough loafs splitting length wise Splittingduring baking. I bake them at 400 degrees with a pan of water on the bottom rack. After 10 minutes I recoat them with corn starch/water, rotate them and continue baking for 25 minutes.

They split during the second baking. Can someone help me solve this problem?


dmsnyder's picture

Hi, toglenn. 

Where are the loaves splitting? On the sides? 

Having a lot of experience with this problem in the past, the factors I've found to contribute to it are: 
1. Under-proofing, leading to excessive oven spring.
2. Poorly formed loaves with an incomplete "skin" of gluten stretched all around the surface. This leads to weak spots in the loaf that are the site of the bursting.
3. Having the loaves too close together in the oven. This keeps the sides of the loaves from forming a hard enough crust. So, the sides remain weak and burst with oven spring.
4. Good scoring can direct the direction of the oven spring so you don't get expansion and bursting where you don't want it. 

I hope this gives you some clues for solving your problem.


toglenn's picture

Thanks for the information on splitting. Yes they are splitting on the sides, very close to the bottom, on one side only. After kneeding the flour, salt and sugar to the sponge I had proofed the dough 2 hours and the formed loafs and proofed for 1 and 1/4 hours. After generally forming the loafs I turn them upside down and pinch the surface to try to pull the surface tight.

I thought I might be using a little too much flour although I try to add just enough to cause the dough to pull away from the mixer bowl and much less would make it too sticky to work with. I have gotten away from rolling the dough flat and then forming the loafs so maybe I should go back to that too.

 Your suggestions give new areas to experiment with. Thanks again!