The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cracks on the ears of my loaves

francisaugusto's picture
francisaugusto

Cracks on the ears of my loaves

Hi there,

I googled this, but didn't find any explanation that could help me.

After many months, I think I got the hang of baking good sourdough loaves. I get good rise, amazing taste, and good ears.

But, as the pictures attached show, there are always some cracks along the scored lines. I know that cracks elsewhere (like in one of my pictures) might indicate that the score wasn't sufficient to handle the rise, but the issue here is a bit different: When I see a good sourdough loaf, the ear is usually smooth, in the sense that the line between one edge of the bread to the other is a perfect curved one. On my bread, the line is always a bit cracked with irregular breaks.

Can I get some tips on what to do to mitigate this?

Best,

FrancisLoaf 1

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Are you using a gas oven? A convection oven?

It is still a very nice loaf. Nothing wrong with cracks in themselves. It is a matter of preference.  But to help with your queation....

Please describe your baking method in detail... baking stone or dutch oven, how you steam, how long you steam, how long covered and what temp, how long uncovered and what temp.

The answers to all that will provide clues.

francisaugusto's picture
francisaugusto

It's an electric oven, it does have a convection function, but I don't use it for baking bread.

I use a Dutch oven. Usually, 20 min @ 230ºC. I don't use additional steam when using the  dutch oven, and the few times I tried (having a tray with water below) didn't improve this - I imagine my dutch oven seals the loaf well enough. 

I uncover it for around 25-30m, although I notice the cracks right after uncovering. I lower the temperature to around 210ºC after uncovering. 

My new oven has a steam function, but the key to activate it came broken, so I haven't yet tried it - waiting for the technical assistance to fix it. I hope it will perform as good as the Dutch oven, so that I can finally bake two loaves simultaneously.