The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help With My Bread Please

BettyR's picture

Help With My Bread Please

I keep getting these holes in my bread.

The taste and the texture are really good but I keep getting these cavernous holes; can anyone tell me what I’m doing wrong?

Windischgirl's picture

 Hi BettyR

I've done that...both on purpose (ciabatta) and NOT ;-)

For me, It's usually a matter of trapping air while shaping...shaping too loosely.  Occasionally I will have a huge bubble or two on the surface of the dough after first rise and if that gets folded in while shaping, it can cause a bubble too.

I am still trying to work out a nice balance between de-gassing the dough a little after first rise so I don't have godzilla rising on my peel (or in the loaf pan) and preserving some of the gases to get a nice texture.

How was the crumb?  If moist, a wet dough tends to large bubbles.  If dry, sometimes incorporating a little too much flour during shaping keeps the dough from sticking to itself...hence the bubble.

The great things about baking: you can keep on trying; and you can usually eat your mistakes! 


Paula F

Philadelphia PA

kanin's picture

I agree with the comment about using too much flour while shaping. I try to use no flour at all and hope the dough doesn't stick to the counter.

GrapevineTXoldaccount's picture

and I understand your frustration.  Sometimes I have the same thing happen.  I've been known to take a corn cob holder and pierce any bubbles along the surface only to see them pop up on another area of the bread. 

Seriously, that sandwich loaf needs Smelll-O-Vision.  It does look so very tasty.  (I would have used that large hole area to take advantage of an extra spoon of peanut butter...) lol.

Happy baking!

clazar123's picture

That could be a picture of any one of the last dozen loaves I've made. I have rolled tightly,squeezed, pinched, and really flattened dough in the pan. I still get holes.

My dough is tacky but not sticky when I am preparing it for the pan so I don't think it is too much flour. Could it be too little flour? Are these steam pockets?

It does tend to be a little doughy right around the hole.

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

It looks like the problem is coming from your loafing techniques.


I make some sandwich loaves in the videos on stretch and fold at


You might look at the bottom left video.  The technique is to gently roll the dough into a rectangular shape.  You want to remove any large bubbles (which are generally caused by poor mixing or kneading and/or too much riser), and then roll the dough like a jelly roll.  You want to roll the dough firmly, sealing the dough as you roll with your thumbs.


If you roll too tightly, you'll see swirls where the dough was compressed.  If you don't roll tightly enough, you'll get holes in your loaves between the layers you rolled.


Hope this helps,



PS - If someone with a modem connection looks at the videos, please tell me how they work out.  Thanks, Mike


ClimbHi's picture

Re: your PS: I looked at these pages yesterday. Several times! (Hi-speed wireless connection.) They worked fine.

I hope my attempt at the stretch & fold technique works as well as the web page! ;-)


Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

Sorry, I just put on my Columbo trenchcoat.


I am also concerned about the hourglass shape of the bread.  I'm not sure what happened, but I am sure it isn't right.


I don't know how you measure your dough, but I am curious about your recipe, your kneading, your loafing, your baking time, whether you are using baking stones, the temperature of your oven and how you know what the temperature of your oven is.




clazar123's picture

Thanks,Mike. The video was interesting. Pretty much the only thing I do different is that I roll bottom up and you roll top down. I bet you get a tighter roll than I do and maybe that is where the difference is. I will work on it and see what happens.

I have learned that the little things sometimes make a big difference in bread making.

clazar123's picture

I have paid serious attention to rolling the dough tightly and stretching a I roll. and it has made a big difference. No holes!   I must have some inconsisitnecy,though,because I have some inconsistency in the center of the loaf-right about where the first roll would be.The loaves were nice and poofy-beautiful.



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Give the dough a drop.  Drop the plastic bowl of proofed dough right down onto the counter top and make some noise.  Be downright mean with it, it's your moment to not be nice to your dough.  The 'ol "punch down the dough" directions were designed to knock out all the big bubbles and aimed at sandwich loaves.  Once on the counter top, you can even take a rolling pin to it, that will force air out.  Once the dough knows who's boss, it will behave.  Pop those sneaky bubbles on the edges and roll up tightly as all ready explained trying not to use any flour.

If you find your loaves still determined to produce bubbles for you, then let it proof a second time before shaping.  

Mini O