The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Why is the bottom of soda bread bursting?

AlisonKay's picture

Why is the bottom of soda bread bursting?

I am a sourdough wholegrain baker having a go at soda bread for a change.

I follow the Weston Price traditional food methods in most of my cooking. This requires overnight soaking of flours in an acid medium.

I am trying to get this methodology to work with the usually quick soda bread.

When I don't soak the flour and just mix and bake, the loaf is fine. When I soak the flour overnight in the whey\kefir\buttermilk (I have tried all three) the loaf, as well as being a little heavier and having a smoother crust, bursts horizontally, even though it is deeply scored on top. This happens both when I 1 - soak just the flour in the liquid then add the other dry ingredients in the morning, or 2 - soak the flour plus all the other dry ingredients overnight.

Why do loaves burst at the bottom? Is it to do with how I'm creating a 'skin' while the soaking is happening? What can I try to counter this? I lowered the hydration thinking it was too loose after soaking but that didn't help.

Think you can see a pic here. It's too big to upload to this site.

Thank you!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

sing it!   Oh, ok... photo looks like the skin on the buns could be drying out before the oven spring is done.  What's the texture of the buns when they go into the oven, dry?  Would covering with a damp cloth or a brushing of milk help?   Someone will chime in soon...

AlisonKay's picture

Thanks Mini. They are quite dry. I'm leaving them overnight with just a plate on the bowl, so not locking anything in, let alone encouraging it.

idaveindy's picture

The upper skin is too hard or too dry to expand, so expansion is happening at the weakest spot.

What happens between the soaking time and the baking time?

are you using a convection oven?

Maybe tenting the loaf with aluminum foil, or covering with an inverted pan/pot/bowl for the first 1/2 to 2/3 of the bake could prevent the upper surface from hardening before expansion takes place.

AlisonKay's picture

Once mixed they are left to soak in overnight with just a plate covering the bowl. Then I take them out, shape them and bake them - yes, the oven is convection. I like your suggestion of a cover whilst baking. I'll try that...and also I'll attempt to keep them moister during the whole process. Thanks.