why does my top crust on home made bread separate and break off when I slice it?

please help me

  • Posted by: nancy
  • March 26, 2014


Debra M. May 8, 2021
Thank you, for asking this question. I needed to know, also. Thanks for all the helpful responses on this page.
Theresa November 1, 2017
Why does my bread top crust crumble on top after it cool down. What can i do . I let ot cool off befor bage it.please help.
Theresa November 1, 2017
Why does my bread top crust crumble on top after it cool down. What can i do . I let ot cool off befor bage it.please help.
Lindsay-Jean H. March 27, 2014
Jim Lahey emailed in the following thoughts: "the error may be the result of the dough (it is wet) adhering to either the cloth covering it and or if they are inverting the dough, whereby the surface of the cloth during its removal causes a rupture of alveoli to make a big ass bubble. A photo plus more specifics about how they transferred the dough from proofing to the baking surface would be helpful."
nancy March 27, 2014
also..I let it rise in oven with light on and covered with damp kitchen cloth.and I do not cut the top loaf before baking.
Valentina S. March 27, 2014
Well...there you go :) let it cool completely before storing it, and there's no need for the damp cloth during proofing. What always works for me is some plastic bag. Try it and see how it goes!
nancy March 27, 2014
thank all of you..first..yes..I baked it in a loaf pan..and I used half bread flour and half ap flour..maybe I didn't let it cool enough before bagging it?..I kneaded it for as long as the recipe called for.I always butter the top when it comes out of the oven never cover it though.do you think I should let it cool longer?
boulangere March 27, 2014
Ah, there's part of the problem: the AP flour. Bread flour has a protein content of 12 - 12.5 %, while that of AP flour is in the 10% range, a significant difference. A pet peeve of mine is when recipes written for home bakers specify X amount of bread flour OR AP flour, as of they're interchangeable. They're not. Go with all bread flour. And do read the information about windowpaning (http://thesolitarycook.wordpress.com/?s=rustic+italian+bread). It's an easy little technique, and the only sure way to know if you've kneaded any bread dough long enough.
ChefJune March 27, 2014
Two things. 1) I think you did not knead the dough enough initially. For ap flour, 10 minutes, for whole wheat, at least 15. 20 is not too much. 2) I think you overproofed your second rise (in the pan). This has happened to me when I let the loaves sit too long before baking.

Voted the Best Reply!

boulangere March 26, 2014
It's called "layering," and it means that your bread was not kneaded enough. Kneading develops gluten, the protein which quite literally holds bread up. If it isn't developed adequately, once the bread hits the heat of the oven and the tiny pockets of carbon dioxide begin to expand, the strands of gluten surrounding them are not strong enough to stretch (rise) and contain them. They break apart, and the carbon dioxide, which is turning to air, escapes. The top crust is the first thing to form in the oven, so it ends up trapping a pocket of escaped air beneath its surface. The bread beneath it breaks easily when sliced, again, because of inadequate gluten development. Here is an explanation of how to tell if you've sufficiently kneaded your dough: http://thesolitarycook.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/rustic-italian-bread/ Most importantly, persevere!
spiffypaws March 26, 2014
yes,I'm thinking over proofed. Do you cut the top of your bread before baking?
April J. March 26, 2014
You may have over proofed it.
Valentina S. March 26, 2014
The reasons could be many, and we'd need you to share more details to answer effectively.
Still, when that happens, it is usually because there is too much moisture trapped in the bread. When the bread retains too much humidity, moisture gets trapped between the crumb and the crust, causing them to separate.
Do you let your bread raise in a very moist environment? Do you cover it with a towel as soon as it's out of the oven? Do you put it in a bag or something before it has cooled completely?
Theresa November 1, 2017
No o let it cool off . Theres lot of heat 26c
Theresa November 1, 2017
No i let it cool off befor bage it .
Theresa November 1, 2017
No i let it cool off befor bage it .
patty M. March 26, 2014
is it a loaf made in a loaf pan?
Recommended by Food52