Flat bread


Hi, this is my whole wheat bread, why is so flat it seams proofed. I use combisteam oven for baking.

221 users have voted.


lpenzey 2020 April 24

couple of things that could help:

1. Increase the amount of white flour - using 100% whole wheat flour is really difficult to get right. 

2. Shaping is reall crucial for oven spring. Getting a nice taught outer layer before your final fermentation period is key to getting a tall loaf - this is also affected by using 100% whole wheat. Tension comes from developing the gluten strands, which is easier with more ap/bread flour in the mix. 

3. Autolyse the dough before you mix in the leaven if you're not already doing so - this will make the dough more extensible and easier to shape. 

Brian weetman 2020 April 24

Does the alcohol in a beer based starter boil off when the bread is cooked


Katie 2020 August 21

Hi there, I've had the same problem as you on multiple occasions, and it wasn't until I used one dough for two loaves that I learned an important lesson.  One loaf came out looking like yours (it was plain and it had sat on the counter while the other one was prepped) and the other was puffy with a decent ear (I had seeded the top and then fridged it while getting the other ready).  It turns out 100% whole wheat doughs need a lot more external help than doughs with AP/Bread flours.

I read somewhere that part of that reason is because the chaff and germ that make it whole wheat don't mill down smoothly, and so cause tiny tears in the gluten structure as it develops or is shaped.  This means the dough is inherently weaker than other doughs, and more handling won't necessarily help firm it up. 

I got my best result by minimizing preshaping, "over" flouring the exterior (which I think, in my absolutely unprofessional opinion, helped create a 'skin' for tension to sort of hold in the dough), proofing in a cloth-covered banneton to reinforce the slightly drier skin to the top and sides, and making sure the dough was refridgerator-cold when it went into the oven.

I didn't worry too much about whether the dough had enough steam because whole wheat dough already absorbs so much more water than AP/Bread flour. As long as you use a hot dutch oven it is pretty good at creating its own moisture-rich environment.

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