The Fresh Loaf

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Waah! My rye bread loaf splits in two horizontally when it bakes. So sad!

Nicola's picture

Waah! My rye bread loaf splits in two horizontally when it bakes. So sad!

I'm posting another photo of the loaf; the one that shows the cut loaf was too big to upload, so I have to modify the photo size in my photo program before I can send that. However, all your comments have been helpful. I'll look again at the cut loaf, to see if the bottom is more compacted than the top. Re: putting the loaves in the oven diagonally, and well separated: that is what I did do, so it can't have been that I placed the pans too close together. Interesting comment about the "memory" of rye, though. This has occurred to me in the past but I kind of dismissed it as not being possible! Maybe next time I should just pour the whole batter into the pan at once, instead of spooning it in? Also, interesting that you don't recommend beating the dough to get some gluten going. Maybe next time I'll try just mixing and not beating, if beating won't help. Also interesting comment about maybe adding the whole wheat flour at an earlier stage. I have done that in the past though and I'm not sure that's the cause of the splitting. Anyway thanks for all your suggestions and comments. More are welcome, if you have any!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

would help greatly.  Include a crumb shot, please.

the more details you can give the better.  Also more about the rise and consistency of the dough.

Did you dock the loaf before baking?  or cover the loaf during the bake?  

Where in the oven is it baked? "the set up"   pan color, stone?  added steam? bottom shelf, top?  

I know, I'm just sooooo curious.  :)   

hanseata's picture

To make any suggestions, we would need the recipe and a photo.


Nicola's picture


Thanks for your speedy responses to my cry for help! As you can see, I have posted a photo of the problem loaf. Actually the first of the two loaves was so delicious my husband and I ate half of it before I could even take a picture. But that's beside the point. Also, the split was not quite as bad as I had at first feared (and not as bad as it has been other times). I still want to know what's causing it, however. OK, here's the thing about the recipe: I don't really use one. I just see how it looks and add stuff accordingly. However, I do believe I started with about 1 cup of starter, then added about a cup of water, a cup of rye groats, some more rye flour and then I also threw in a few red lentils. I let that all sit out on the counter overnight, and in the morning I added 1T. of coarse salt, 1T. blackstrap molasses, 2 T. flax seed and 2T. sunflower oil. Mixed it all in, then added some more rye flour and 1/2 cup red fife whole wheat flour. Mixed it all to sludgy gooey mass, beat it as much as I could to get a bit of gluten going, then put it into the pans. Let it rise again for 1/2 hour, then heated the oven and put the pans in -- at the bottom, since I was hoping that the top would NOT separate this time. Baked for 35 mins. And yes, I did prick it well with a knife before putting it into the oven.

Does this info help? Provide any clues? I will send pix when I can. Thanks for any help you can offer!


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

have you got a crumb shot showing the inside of the loaf?  A slice thru it?  That will tell you if it is over-proofed.  The crumb will look compacted near the bottom up from the crust and spread upward with the degree of over fermentation.

This line really stands out: "... beat it as much as I could to get a bit of gluten going, then put it into the pans."  Um, this is not the way to handle a high rye. Stirring is enough.  

How fine is your whole wheat flour? If it has lots of bran flecks, adding it in this late in the process without soaking it is begging for the bran to cut up what little is left of the matrix after that rough beating.  Try soaking it overnight first, by itself in some water and perhaps the salt.  Might want to throw the beans, peas in the brine as well.  

How did you fill the pans?  Rye often has a memory, did you spooned it in in large lumps or in layers?

How close are you placing the pans together?  Try placing them diagonally in the oven, one more forward and one toward the back, change their places halfway thru the bake sliding the back one forward and move the forward one back  same angle.    I'm going to study what you said and get back to you.  I know I threw a lot of questions at you but I can figure this out easier if most of them can be answered.  

 More Q's... Would you say that on bake day, you doubled the amount of dough from the overnight build?  Were the rye and ww amounts about the same on bake day?    What made you think the dough needed to be baked?

adri's picture

I really like the question Mini asks!

And I second her opinion on high rye.


Rye in a pan I bake at full proof. If it is still underproof, the lower part can stick to the pan and the oven spring then "open the lid". This could produce a picture like you posted. But there are other possible reasons as well.