The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

How to prevent Loaf Burstage during baking?

faisal rex's picture
faisal rex

How to prevent Loaf Burstage during baking?

I recently baked multiple loaves using Bob's Red Mill Artisan Flour. I am using a pizza stone to bake my loaves. Once the oven is preheatedto 250 c I insert the dough and immediately add boiling water to the bowl of lava rocks right beneath the stone for steam. I have noticed 10 minutes in the loaf transforms quickly and there is an upward bursting from the center. For anyone asking I use 20% sourdough starter for every 1 kilogram of flour and my hydration is 75%.

Why is the loaf bursting? I can't tell if it's underproofed - I have cold proofed for 24+ hours in the fridge plus 2 hours on the counter before baking. I also did the poke test it seemed ready to bake. My hunch is I should let it proof longer + 2 hours more. Can anyone help?



happycat's picture

It's blowing out in one portion of the loaf (not the top).

Shaping error?

Uneven heat in the oven?

Steam underneath the stone cooling a portion of the stone more than the other side?

mariana's picture

We discussed this issue not long ago. Please, read about it here

Best wishes,


jl's picture

Thank you!

faisal rex's picture
faisal rex

THanks. It seems to me that it is a mix of underproofing and crust drying out.

The final proofing duration was extended for 6+ hours. There are still some signs of burstage but not as much before. I also changed the position of the bowl unerneath the pizza stone to which I add hot water for steaming - it is now placed exactly under the pizza stone.

mariana's picture


 Am glad that you are getting closer to the solution. Good for you!

Actually, you would have better results, if you place your steam source underneath and to the side of the pizza stone.

Your pizza stone must be hot, preheated at least to 200C/400F, or hotter, to bake hearth breads. If you place water under it, it would chill it, because boiling water and steam cannot be hotter than 100C/220F. This would not help you bake a better loaf of bread.

This was illustrated by Debra Wink here in her article

See the difference between two loaves on the same pizza stone? One has water underneath the stone and the steam cooled down that area of the stone and the loaf doesn't look as great

The solution 

Partially covering the hot stones over which she splashes water with foil, so that the steam does not affect the edge of the stone.