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Big holes in my loaf bread

Posted by sally2 (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 22, 08 at 9:34

The last 2 times I've made loaf bread, with different recipes, I've gotten big holes through the top portion of the loaf. The last loaf I made, yesterday, had one that was about 2" wide and 1 1/2" tall, and extends most of the length of the loaf. Could it be the way I'm forming the loaf? I've been trying the method in the Baking With Julia book, where you roll the dough into a 9"x12" square, and fold it like you do a piece of paper before putting it into an envelope.

Or, would something else be causing it? Over working the dough? I have no idea, but I wish I could make a nice loaf of sandwich bread.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Big holes in my loaf bread

It's the way you are forming your loaf...when you fold bread, unlike folding puff paste, you try to eliminate pockets of air.
I roll my bread...that is pat it out and roll into a loaf.
Linda C

RE: Big holes in my loaf bread

There's usually not just one thing that causes a problem in bread making. Some possibilities...

1. Did you do a good job punching down the dough and removing air-holes before shaping?

2. Did you allow it to rise too long after it was panned? This would be what I would guess is the problem.

Never allow dough to rise to the clock - a certain amount of time. Time is only a poor guess. Dough rises based on ambient temperature, yeast activity, and humidity - NEVER a clock.

Rule of thumb, the dough log is 1/3 the size of the finished loaf. Allow it to rise to double (just under is actually better because our flour is no longer bromated and doesn't have the extensibility it once did), so that accounts for 2/3 of the finished size of the loaf. The oven-spring (the amount the loaf rises once it's in the oven) accounts for the last 1/3 of the loaf size. If you are allowing the dough to rise to the size you'd like the finished loaf, you are over-proofing.

If you are putting the wrong amount of dough in the pan, that can be another way dough can over-proof. A 9x5-inch loaf pan is designed for quick breads and is often used for yeast breads as well. They hold 2-pounds + of dough (you may want to scale your dough so that you use the correct amount of dough in the correct pan). If your recipe makes 1.5-pounds, then use a standard 8-1/2x4-1/2-inch loaf pan.

A couple lesser causes:

3. Too much yeast can also cause large holes.

4. Under-kneading is yet one more cause.

Check out the troubleshooting information at the link below. You can also find troubleshooting information at most of the yeast brands web sites.


Here is a link that might be useful: Baking 911- bread problems

RE: Big holes in my loaf bread

My bet is on what Grainlady stated above about over proofing the dough. I know this happened to me a few times when I first started making bread. I was always leery of putting the dough in the oven less than the size I wanted the finished bread fearing that it wouldn't rise anymore and I'd have wasted all that effort making it

RE: Big holes in my loaf bread

Grainlady: Do you always have to be a Lady ???
And so Professional. I Dare you to throw a joke in there once, for me.
OK . I'll double dare you.
I wish I could read that much. I get bored and always have do things faster.
I'm never completely happy and have to add new things to my recipes.
That is why I usually do , down home cooking
But I can say I use my own, good or bad.
I had a hard time; in transition, from Army cooking (large amounts) for 250 guys,
to small Home Style meals, or Baking. I had a lot of experience from Family.
But I learn a lot from you.

RE: Big holes in my loaf bread

hawk307 - Chalk it up to my Sgt. Joe Friday (Dragnet) personality - JUST THE FACTS..... I did crack a small joke in my contribution to the parchment paper thread.


RE: Big holes in my loaf bread

Grainlady: I missed that!!! I'll have to apoligize.
You can keep me after school.
I will go back into Parchment Paper and check it out.
By the way I do use Parchment Paper. I was just stirring things up a little.

RE: Big holes in my loaf bread

I wouldn't be surprised if all of you are correct (Including Lou - Grainlady IS a lady!) (And the disappointment in seeing the big hole in my loaf when I have eagerly sliced into it is no laughing matter - well, maybe it is. If I turned the slice upside down it made a big smile ;-D)

I've been using my Kitchenaid to do the kneading. Maybe I should go back to hand kneading a few times to remember the feel of the dough.

This last batch I forgot the salt, so a minute or so after setting it out to rise I remembered, and hand kneaded the salt into the dough.

I'm sure I'm guilty of letting it rise too long. I used the timer, plus I poked at the dough per instructions. The dent was supposed to stay put, not spring back. Well, it always sprung back, while the dough kept rising. It was definately pretty close to finished loaf time by the time I put the loaves in the oven. I used the size of pans recommended by the recipe, the 8-1/2x4-1/2-inch loaf pans.

Well, it will be fun trying again. Thanks for the help!


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