Bread Faults

To understand bread faults first we need to understand what is meant by the term “Good Bread”. There are few parameters by which a professional judges the quality of the bread.

Those parameters are as follows.

1. Volume
2. Bloom of crust/shine
3. Colour of crust & crumb
4. Texture and structure
5. Shape
6. Moistness
7. Flavour
8. Taste
9. Oven break etc.

Now we will be discussing about ideal bread according to those parameters mentioned above.

1. Volume – it has to be considered with the relation to its weight (we can say specific volume). Too much volume will make the bread stale or crumbly whereas less volume will turn the bread less flavoured and heavy.

2. Bloom of crust/shine – this is a really delicate quality of bread. a dull bread will reduce the eye appeal of bread and an artificially shined bread will clearly indicate the presence of a chemical in bread which again can be repulsive for the guests.

3. Colour of crust & crumb – crust colour supposed to be attractive golden brown. Preferred crumb colours are like white or light brownish according to the grade of wheat.

4. Texture & structure – crumb texture has to be light, soft, fluffy & consists of small even gas pocket networks (gluten networks). Any unusual hole, damages in crumb should be avoided. Similarly a smooth, even crust is desired in good bread.

5. Shape – symmetry in shapes is a characteristic of good quality bread.

6. Moistness – the quality of bread is judged by the amount of moisture present in the breadcrumb.

7. Flavour – taste of any bakery product could be fully appreciated only when it is accompanied by matching the flavour. A number of acids, bi-products and alcohols are responsible to produce right flavour for bread. These products are generally produced during fermentation only. So it is very important to give proper fermentation time to get good bread.

8. Oven break – when the open top bread is getting baked, then upper and side surface crust forms earlier than the bottom surface. At that stage gas that has produced inside the crumb escapes out through the part where the crust yet to form (or you can say weaker part). Escaping of gas also can create some openings which technically known as “oven break”.

Some common bread faults and bread faults pictures

Flying Tops
also known as an exaggerated break, wild break or flaked crust
Here the top crust instead of rising gradually burst open under the pressure of expanding gas.Inadequately conditioned gluten Insufficient proofing Excessive heat in the oven Lack of diastatic activity in flour Lack of humidity in proofing chamber Bread is not covered during proofing which may lead to skin formation on the top of the bread, specially in moulded breads like loafs, and that skin will give an unsatisfactory bloom of the crust
Lack of shine on the crust/ lack of break shredLack of shine on the crust/ lack of break shredIn an over fermented dough gluten will loose its resistance power and will have excessive elasticity; in such a case gluten will not produce any break shred during baking. An under-kneaded dough Over proofing
Condensation marksDark colour patches on the crumb.If the bread is not cooled properly before packing some of the water vapours will deposit in the crumb.
Uneven textureOver fermented dough Underfermented dough
Stales/dries rapidlyRapidly drying of the crumbsToo cool oven, due to which baking time is prolonged hence more evaporation of moisture Too high dough temperature which again causes undesirable evaporation of moisture Over fermented dough with open structure which enables rapid drying. Too tight dough with less fermentation time. Use of milk without related changes to the ratio of fat & liquid. Excessive use of mineral improvers
Sticky/over moist crumbWhen flour is milled from sprouted wheat, it will have excessive diastatic activity, means the excess formation of sugar & dextrin which can impart gumminess. Excessive humid proofing chamber.
Close/dense crumbTight & dense crumbUsing excess milk, as milk has tightening effect on gluten. Excessive fat. Excessive oxidising improvers. Over moulding. Under proofed dough  Tight dough Too high oven temperature
Crumbliness of crumbThis bread will not slice neatly and may break into fragments by the pressure of slicer bladesDue to too over or underfermented dough. Too slack dough. Too tight dough Excessive fat or too low amount of fat. Excessive mineral improvers. Low salt content. Poor quality of flour Under mixed dough. Under baked bread
Lack of colour on crustToo over fermented dough Insufficient sugar Insufficient salt
Too dark crust colourExcessive sugar in formula Too much diastatic activity in dough Un ripened dough/young dough. Too high oven temperature High salt content. Too cold temperature Lack of humidity in the oven
Leathery crustUnder fermented dough Used too strong flour without giving enough time mature gluten strands Excessive humidity in oven or proofing chamber Too slack dough
BlistersAir bubbles on the crustA very humid proofing room can deposit droplets of water on the crust of the bread, that droplet can increase the elasticity of gluten due to presence of excess moisture at that point, which may cause blisters during baking. Too slack dough which is not mixed properly Air pockets present in the dough
Hard or flinty crustVery hard crust breaks like an eggshellUsing too strong flour without giving adequate proofing time. Too tight dough Too much use of oxidizing improvers
Too thick crustLess amount of oven spring can cause this problem. Less amount of oven spring can happen due to Lack of diastatic activity Lack of sugar & fat in the formula Poor quality or too strong flour Over fermented dough Lack of moisture in the oven
Less volumeToo tight a dough Too little or excess yeast. Under fermentation Crusting of dough Excessive slat or sugar Under proving Too less amount of salt  Over or under mixed dough
Excessive volumeToo slack a dough Lack of oven temperature Lack of salt Too much of yeast Excessive proving  Loose moulding
Holes & tunnelsElongated holes or tunnels in crumbThis happens if some gluten strands get damaged, they also try to damage all neighbouring gluten strands, until gluten starts to coagulate under the action of heat. Reasons for damaging gluten strands may be: Too soft flour. Too strong flour with high yeast content. Actually too strong flour needs to be fermented for longer period to condition the gluten properly, otherwise gluten strands break because of the excess gas produced by the extra yeast. If enriching ingredients (like milk, eggs, fat) are not mixed properly or form lumps in dough. These lumps can create extra pressure on gluten strands in order to damage them. Too hot oven sole forces the lower part to set faster, but the inner part of dough will still rise and create holes. Improper knockback. Large gas cell/pockets presents in dough can burst during baking to create this fault. These large gas pockets need to be removed during knockback. Excess flour that has used to dust the dough if folded in flour that also can create holes or tunnels in side.
CoresHard spots can be felt by touching the breadcrumbUneven mixing of dough Incorporation of small pieces or bits of dough that has collected by scraping the work table or mixing machine long time after the main dough has already set for fermentation.  Sometimes if the dough was not covered with a damp cloth during fermentation, skin forms on the dough. This skin can create this problem if mixed into the dough.
SeamsDense moist layer on the outer crumb area, especially near the top crust.This fault happens only to moulded or tinned loaves. Too hot or too cold bread mould can arrest the activity of yeast of the area of the dough which is in contact with the mould. The weight of dough is more than the capacity of the mould. Careless handling of a final proved dough Disturbing the position of bread mould too much in the oven.
SournessOver fermentation Excess yeast Less amount of salt  High room or proving chamber temperature. “Rope” affected bread
Amit Kumar
Amit Kumar
Hii! Welcome to My digital home, I am Amit – an almost no-code generalist, helping businesses with their online presence using WordPress and other tools and simplifying some of their operations with ideas and automation. A psychology and philosophy geek by interest and a graduate in Hospitality Management. I founded hmhelp during college, which got me into WordPress. I am a highly motivated and results-oriented professional with a proven track record of success in the hospitality industry. I’m also a Digital Marketing Enthusiast with significant academic and practical experience managing digital content across multiple platforms. Skilled at SEO optimization, developing digital content for social media platforms, I offer extensive knowledge of multiple software programs, strong attention to detail, and extraordinary communication skills. If you are interested in talking about any of the topics I have mentioned on my website, you are in the right place. You can contact me or learn more about what I do. You can also connect with me on social networks.

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