The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Sourdough always has dense patch on the bottom

es's picture

Sourdough always has dense patch on the bottom

Hi everyone,

I always have this dense layer/patch at the bottom of my loaves and I can't figure out why or how to fix. Would really appreciate some help or suggestions!

I started with the Tartine years ago and that has slowly evolved into my own method. I generally get pretty good oven spring and a fairly even crumb. I've tried experimenting with the 'poke test' to test for over or under proofing but it's always the same: indent springs back slowly leaving a dent.

I bake in a clay lidded baker and flip the loaf upside down into it. The baker has a raised bit in the middle but would that really matter? I've had success once recently by increasing the heating up time by an extra 15 mins (45 total), but since then the same timing results in the dense layer again. I'm at a loss!



loaflove's picture

Could something be wrong with the bottom element in your oven? Do your other baked goods have the same issue. Like your banana loaves or cakes.  Have you tried to bake on the lower rack maybe? I’m thinking maybe the lower element in your oven isn’t hot enough?,

loaflove's picture

The dense part seems to be  only in the section where the indentation is. So maybe it is the dip in your pan.  Perhaps that dip somehow isn’t as hot? Can you try with a different vessel? A flat bottom one?

JeremyCherfas's picture

You say you flip the dough into the baker; could that be compressing the dough more than usually just aboove the raised portion. As noted, the denser part seems to be restricted that indentation. I suppose it is possible that the baker has not fully reached baking temperature at the indent.

I'd try making a sling of parchment paper and lowering the dough in gently. See whether that makes a difference.