The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help: Splitting Dough

rmullins's picture

Help: Splitting Dough

I was hoping to get a little help with a problem I am having.  I shape my loaves, (finally starting to get the hang of it) and once I get it pretty, I set it aside to proof.  Upon rising the dough tears, sometimes quite horribly.  The bread tastes great, but the asthetics of this torn bread is driving me crazy.  I am thinking at this time, maybe I need to knead it a bit longer or maybe I need to add gluten.  Anybody have any ideas?


Thanks in advance. 

fancypantalons's picture

Well, first off, make sure you protect the top of the dough from drying out while rising.  I usually use a bit of spray oil on the top, and then cover with plastic wrap or a tinfoil tent (depending on if the dough will rise above the surface of the container).

You could also increase the hydration of the recipe a bit.  And lastly, I'd make sure you're getting a true window pane during kneeding.

As for gluten, unless you're dealing with whole grains, there shouldn't be any need (assuming you're using a flour with at least 10-11% protein in it (your average AP)).