The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Scoring question

mpghm's picture

Scoring question

After making (dutch oven) boules for a while, I've moved to batards, but I find scoring tricky - the cuts open up quite wide right away and then harden, leading to blow-outs along the base of the bread instead.

See the cut on the right for example. The cut on the left worked better.

Too deep cut, too shallow? Too much steam or too little? I know the cuts should be shallower, would that fix it?



idaveindy's picture

Welcome  to TFL!

Your post was not explicit, but since you mentioned too much/little steam, I take it this loaf was not baked in a dutch oven? 

Your loaf looks more like you have a situation of too much radiant heat coming from the top, or too much air flow due to the fan (convection mode.)

If you do not have an electric heating element at the top of your oven, then your thermostat is set too high.

That kind of stuff, and the topic of blowouts was just discussed in this post and comments:

There, I posted a search-link to previous discussions of top-heat/convection causing blowouts, and mariana discussed other common possible causes.  

IMO, the features of the loaf in the above photo are a product of top-heat and/or convection. If you are baking your loaf naked, ie, no enclosure, do not use top-heat nor convection (fan) mode.

Though, some people turn on the top heating element towards the end of the bake for a minute or two just to brown the crust.

There are exceptions of course, but in general, for home ovens, top heat kills bare open loaves.

And... it is (generally) fine to use top heat (along with bottom heat) to pre-heat the oven prior to loading the dough into the oven.

Good luck, and bon appétit.

mpghm's picture

I can't switch off top heat, but I can time when the heat is on and shield it a bit (when I baked the bread in the photo, there was a pizza stone on the top shelf to keep the heat more even). But i can't keep the heat off too long - it's a built-in oven with a a cooling fan on the outside, and it can cool quickly if I don't keep it cranked.

Thanks for the link about blowouts. Lots of good info and explanations.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

is to lower the shelf in the oven.  If it tends to burn the bottom of the loaf, lower the oven heat. Try to imagine the top of the finished loaf in the middle of the oven.  Do read the above links.

If still having trouble, more details are needed and a crumb shot.