new sourdough maker!


 Hello you lovely people,

I'm newly empassioned by sourdough and am having the most wonderful time making it.  

here a picture of my first loaf (below)and the grigne on my second. the crumb was not very good on the second one aas i was too impatient to wait over night! but i love how it looks.


iI too have a problem with cracking on the bottom of the loaf when in the oven.  soooo frustrating.  i'm going to try and turn the loaf half way through and see if that helps.


my ingredients: 425g flour, 75g rye, 300g water, 10g salt, 250g wet starter.

so happy to be here!


273 users have voted.


mozzie 2012 February 2

Nice looking loaf, though.

Cracking? as in crust too hard/ shattering, or bursting, or splits opening?

What are you baking on (baking sheet/ pizza stone/ terracotta tile ...)?



tazalex 2012 February 2

 hello mozzie,

i'm baking on a baking sheet (i only started baking 2 months ago) but have got the bug and realised a stone/tile would be very good to have.

my loaves are splitting on the bottom where they are facing the front of the oven.

i'm going to try to play with the temp today and to turn the loaves as they bake....

do you have any experience of this?




Polenta 2012 February 5

You gotta have your temp lower, it seems.

The loaf looks good. If your loaf is splitting that means there is too much heat, It shocks the bread to rise.

The temp around it bakes the skin hard while the dough inside is still rising/expanding. Resulting in the split. 

Just take your temp down by at least 30 deg C. That might help.

You have not mentioned what your bake temp was.

Recipie looks fine as well as your crumb. 


tazalex 2012 February 7

 thank you polenta! that makes total sense!

 i turned my oven down during my last bake and the loaf was much better!!

all a learning curve though.

so thank you!

mozzie 2012 February 7

splitting at the bottom suggests the top is getting too firm too early (as Polenta says). Playing around with temperature is definitely worth trying. temps from about 230C to 260C are the usual range for my loaves.

It looks like you're using a bannetton - could the top (which becomes the bottom in the oven) be drying out in the final proof?

Introducing steam at the begining of the bake can also help stop the top drying out - there's lots of ways to do this, but a few squirts from a spray bottle of water before the dough goes in is a simple way to test. And after, if you like.

If your dough is going onto the hot baking sheet in the oven, then that, being metal, will transfer heat to the dough quickly and be at a lower temperature. The advantage of pizza stones/ terracotta tiles etc, is that they hold more heat, and don't lose it so quickly.

If you are putting the loaf onto the cold baking sheet and then into the oven, then the top will definitely cook faster, as the baking sheet needs to come up to temperature.


Old Possum's picture
Old Possum 2012 February 7

Hi Tazalex -

The others have said it - put some boiling water in a heavy pan or ice cubes in the bottom of the oven when you put the bread in, (or bake under a roasting lid or even in a covered roasting pan or casserole for most of the bake time - this keeps steam around the loaf while it is springing so it can rise further before the crust sets) removing the pan after the first 10 minutes or so if there's any water left and turn your loaf half way through the baking time to even everything up.


jesstaylor1603 2014 September 17

Taz - I am extremely jealous as my first loaf was a disaster and subsequent loaves are only getting a little better each time. I really wanted to nail bread making alongside going back to work after maternity and I'm being defeated.

Your ratios seem to be much drier than the ones I'm using by the tv baker Paul Hollywood. Please can I try your ratios instead and then if I use my existing starter I will know if it is the starter or my method.

Please could you give me your methos/ proving times etc? It'd really help me out 



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