The Fresh Loaf

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Question about "gummy" crumb streaks?

Maine18's picture

Question about "gummy" crumb streaks?

Hi all -- Overdue for a proper update on recent bread experiments (there have been many this year, from so much time at home!).  But before that, wanted to see if others might be able to help me figure out an occasional problem I see with some sourdough loaves.  Specifically, every 15-20 or so loaves (e.g. infrequent, but not completely one-off), I tend to see a thin layer or layers of only partially cooked/gummy crumb near the bottom of a loaf when I cut it open.  It's really hard to predict when this will happen until I cut into the loaf, and I'm pretty consistent with my process, cooking time, etc, so I haven't been able to predict when it will happen.  My current theory is that it is caused by something I'm doing in the shaping process, potentially when I "cinch up" the batard, which can sometimes get a little messy/thick and layered, so I wonder if I'm unintentionally creating some lamination at the bottom of the loaf which causes the gumminess. I'll attach some photos of a normal/good loaf, one with slight gumminess, and one with egregious example, for reference.

Normal/Target Inside & Out Example:

Slight Gummy Streak Near Bottom Example:


Lots of compression/gumminess at Bottom Example:


Has anyone else experienced this and some up with some solutions? 


Thanks very much in advance!


PS Some additional detail on process:

My baking set up: 3/4" fibrament baking stone; custom stainless metal steel cover (fits snag around the stone), parchment paper to load the loaves; occasionally some extra water/ice for added steam.  

I generally cook for 20 min with lid on at 500; then 25-30 min lid off at 450; dry out for 6 min with oven off.  

Flours/Hydration: generally a mix of central milling wheat flours (bread and AP) and some fresh milled flour. Hydration in the 75-85% range, depending on the loaf


Ilya Flyamer's picture
Ilya Flyamer

With the exception of the issue you are asking about, the bread looks amazing.

And I think you are right that this has to do with the shaping - my guess is you are using too much dusting flour, is that possible?

Maine18's picture

Thank you, and perhaps? I'll try to keep an eye on that variable and see if I can find a correlation!

anthony63's picture


The bread looks good appart from the gummy part. :)

Looking at your bread i feel it could be a shaping problem, probably an overshaping ? The bottom of the bread looks very dense and the more your move away the less dense it is. It might be because you are doing to much (or not properly executed) shaping and thus compressing the bread at it's origin. Maybe you can try a bit less shaping and see how it goes?

Maine18's picture

I think you might be right -- I do find that I'm really inconsistent with how I shape -- not for lack of effort, but each loaf seems to take on a bit of it's own during that step, so something I do think I overwork it and/or compress it a bit.  I will try and monitor that to see if that seems to be the cause.  The tricky part is that I can almost never tell from the outside whether a loaf will have gummy streaks (as you can see in the photos), and since I give away most of what I bake to neighbors and friends, I'm always a bit paranoid that I've given one out that way but didn't know it!

anthony63's picture

if i was your neighbour i'd be glad to have that even with the small gummy part, it's not that bad, the bread still tastes good.

If that could help you, i use to shape in two steps (like most of home baker i guess). I usualy try to create tension on the dough with 5 or 6 stroke with the bench scraper, let it rest for 20 to 30 min, when it has flatten out, i do a bit more shaping to have a nice tension, maybe like 10 or 15 stroke and i put the dough in proving baskets in the fridge over night.

The number of stroke is not a rule of thumb as it depend of the gluten network development and the dough hydratation, but looking at the picture i feel like you may be shaping a little bit too much.


Maybe you can try without the parchment paper as well, as it create an insulation between the very hot stone and the bread, it's usualy tends to attract and retain water, maybe it have an effet. Rice flour is usually a better choice


suminandi's picture

Is the loaf seam side up or down in the proofing basket? Normally you'd put the seam up in the proofing basket and it can fluff out during the final proof. And I agree that the neighbors would be absurd to complain if they got such nice bread.

akresti's picture

 Hi Maine. Would like to know if you figure out how to solve this problem. I am having the same issue. Is like the line of dough attachment during shapinh creates this streaks after baking. Never had this problem before and I have tried different changes in method but nothing solved. Cheers and thanks!