Why is there a big air-bubble hole in my bread?

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labradors's picture
labradors
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Why is there a big air-bubble hole in my bread?

The last four weeks, all but one of my loaves of "English-Muffin" Bread have turned out like this:

Prior to that, I hadn't had any trouble and I have not (knowingly) changed any ingredients, procedures or equipment. 

Why is this happening and how can I prevent it? Thanks. 

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labradors
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Update: For a while, I tried eliminating the air bubble by using my Thermapen to poke three holes in the dough just before putting it into the oven. It did seem to help, but my last couple of batches have gotten big holes again. 

What can I do to fix this? 

Thanks. 

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The large hole in the center is called a "Mouse Hole." It usually is created from not completely degassing your loaf in-between bulk fermentation and shaping. Try to fully press out the air when degassing, and seal your seams really tight when forming your loaf. A couple firm smacks with the heal of your hand along the seam should do the trick.

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Interesting, but this type of bread has only one rise. The yeast, sugar, salt, baking soda and half of the flour are put into the mixer, the heated water and milk are added to that, then the rest of flour is added a little at a time. After that, the dough is poured into the loaf pan(s) and allowed to rise and then is baked. 

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That's exactly what's causing it then. Because you're not punching down for a second rise, the gas isn't being redistributed throughout the loaf. If you're going to stick with a single rise, then I would try mixing the dough less so you don't incorporate any extra air. Let the gluten structure form just through hydration.

Even though it's a loose dough / batter, you can still bulk ferment in a bowl, and then de-gas by hand mixing or stirring with a spatula before pouring it into a bread mold for final proofing and baking. Just a thought, but it could lead to more consistent results. I'm interested to see how your next batch will turn out.

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Could the KitchenAid be adding too much air? I use only the paddle and only long enough for the gradually added flour to be fully incorporated. In addition, I've been doing it the same way for more than a year and a half and this problem only began recently. Same yeast, same flour, same mixer, same speed, same length of time, same milk/water temperature, same room temperature, same pan, same method of transferring from the mixer bowl to the pan. I can't think of anything that is different. 

This morning, after it had partially risen, I tried patting it down a bit with the palm of my hand, letting it rise the rest of the way, then patting it again, a little bit, just before baking. There wasn't any huge hole, this time, so we'll have to see how it goes the next time. 

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