The Fresh Loaf

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Burst top after switching to new flour

foxybaker's picture

Burst top after switching to new flour


I have a Lakeland compact breadmaker which has been great since I've had it (3 months ish).

I started using a fairly premium brand of flour to get the hang of it and tweaked the recipe to my liking..

I've now started using Lidl flour which is about the 1/3 of the price and the results have still tasted good but result in this kind of

I wondered if it were too much or too little water and have adjusted both ways. The "least bursting" occurred with an amount of water in the middle.

I have reduced the amount of yeast and that resulted in a less risen loaf that still had a small burst.

I have added Vitamin C out of desperation and that still resulted in a burst.

I'm not sure what else I can do apart from score the dough with a blade and attempt to create a more controlled burst.

I'd really appreciate it if anyone has any ideas they can  share and thanks too staying with me to the end...



mariana's picture

What is in your bread recipe, Steve, which flours? Which Lidl four are you using now, plain flour or bread flour? What does it say on the bag? %protein? 

foxybaker's picture

Thanks for your reply Mariana - it's Belbake Wholemeal Bread Flour (protein 12.7g per 100g) and Belbake Strong White Bread Flour (protein 11.7g per 100g).

The previous flour (which didn't burst) was Matthews Cotswold flour, wholemeal protein 14g and white protein 12.8g.

There is a bit of a difference in protein between recipes but I had assumed that as they are strong flours they had enough - is it worth adding some vital wheat gluten to the recipe?

The recipe is:







Strong Wholemeal flour


Strong White flour




Dove’s Farm Quick Yeast

1/4 teaspoon


mariana's picture

Ok, I see that you are using good flours! The whole wheat one is on the weaker side, because most of its protein is not gluten forming protein. It's in the bran.

I would definitely increase water and give it a slash or maybe even spraying the slashed top with water prior to baking but that requires you being there, i.e. it is no longer automatic, "set it and forget" it kind of baking.

Other solutions are pricier, they increase the cost of bread, i.e. defy the purpose of baking with more affordable Lidl flours: either add a spoon of vital gluten or egg white.

I bake bread similar to yours in my Zojirushi bread machine and this is how it looks. You can see the breaks around the perimeter of the crust, but it looks OK. It is normal.

I do add a tiny pinch of vitamin C to mine and my flour is very dry, so it needs more water.

280g flour (blend of whole wheat and white bread flour)

1.6g salt

3.1 g dry yeast (1tsp)

14.5 g sugar

235g warm water (40C)

As you can see, even though I use less flour than in your loaf, I use 4 times more yeast than you and my bread dough is softer (more water).

I also baked Jamie Oliver's white bread in my bread machine. His bread top is smooth on his photo, but I had to slash mine to prevent it from breaking in random places.

foxybaker's picture

Thanks Mariana - that's really useful and interesting - I didn't realise some of the protein in the wholemeal wouldn't be gluten forming - I may experiment with the vital wheat gluten as I have some on hand from a previous kitchen experiment!

I'll definitely try the increase in water & slash and spray idea as I'm mainly present during the bake so I just need a timer to make sure I don't miss the moment.

Also interesting about the yeast - you use 1 tsp which is what my breadmaker recipe called for but when I did that with the old flour it resulted in a massive crater so I reduced the yeast bit by bit until it rose without falling - must be really active yeast I suppose. 

Thanks again - great to have some more avenues to explore - wish me luck!







mariana's picture

Ok Steve. I wish you luck then. Godspeed!

My process is a bit different, that is why I use so much yeast and the bread doesn't cave in.

I pre-mix everything with warm water on Cookie/Pasta dough setting and then I place the bucket with the dough into my fridge for 30-60min to chill and to swell.

Then I re-insert it into the bread machine and turn on the basic bread program. Since it starts from a cold dough, it does not over-ferment and therefore does not overproof and collapse. I just find that this way both the crust and the crumb and the bread flavor are much better.

foxybaker's picture

Haha - thanks Mariana  - that's an interesting technique - is that a common method or something you developed by yourself?