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I'm having trouble with my hamburger buns cracking in the oven.

Bun with sesame seeds
click to expand

In this photo you can see a a bun with the crust cap cracking, isolating the bottom portion and exposing the crumbs. I used to have Hamilton Beach mixer for kneading and never had any issues. I set the Hamilton Beach mixer on speed 4 for 10 minutes. But now I got a KitchenAid Artisan mixer, and am having trouble with the exact same recipe.

I first tried to follow the KitchenAid instructions to knead only for two minutes at speed 3 which didn't work out well and the dough failed the window pane test. I then searched and found some advice to knead at speed 4 for about 10 minutes. I did and my dough passed the window pane test but somehow after rising during the shaping the crust/surface of the buns show a non-smooth surface (happens a lot more on whole wheat). What are some of the reasons this happens? The same recipe works perfectly with the Hamilton Beach mixer. Any advice on the technicalities would be appreciated.

I've read What causes the crown of the bread to crack during baking? (and I appreciate people citing that). But that question is about a loaf, and it's normal for loaves to crack like that, and normal to score loaves. Hamburger buns, in contrast, are not generally scored, and the recipe I'm making is not supposed to require it. It's worked fine without scoring sometimes, so there's something else going wrong besides the lack of scoring.

  • @fahadash I appreciate you editing the question. I am still not entierly sure why the other question does not apply to your situation. Rolls are frequently scored too, and I doubt that the cracking has different reasons in a small bun than in a large loaf. I will not handle the flag myself, maybe other moderators will know more. The usual thing would be that you cast a reopen vote instead of a flag, so the community decides whether it should be reopened, not the moderators. – rumtscho Apr 20 '17 at 14:43
  • I agree that a lot of bun recipes should work without scoring or steam (plenty don't call for it and don't result in split tops), but did you see that one of the answers on that previous question also mentions getting the proofing right? Does that not cover it either? – Cascabel Apr 20 '17 at 15:24
  • @fahadash I think I might be able to explain why (though not how to prevent it) but I need a photo or a link of your old Hamilton Beach mixer to be certain. I'm assuming it was a stand mixer. – Jude Apr 20 '17 at 16:58
  • I've reopened this with some clarification - seems like a no-scoring bun recipe that worked before is different enough from an often-cracking loaf recipe. It is still a little unclear in another regard, though. You say the exact same recipe, but you also mention different kneading times, and using whole wheat flour. I think you mean that you did actually try exactly the same recipe with both mixers at some point, but it'd be nice to clarify that. – Cascabel Apr 24 '17 at 23:26
  • I've moved some obsolete/tangential comments to chat. Nothing key to the question, don't worry! – Cascabel Apr 24 '17 at 23:26
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Your picture makes me want to say that it's a classic case of underproofing, but... You also mixed that dough at a pretty high speed. I think you may have over-developed the gluten. Sometimes if the gluten is too tight, it won't be stretchy enough to accommodate proofing and oven spring, which can lead to a rough surface during proofing and ripping while baking. This is more frequently a problem for buns since their shape requires them to be molded tighter than a loaf would normally be, and their small size means that they rise faster than the gluten can relax. You might have better luck only mixing for the recommended time on the lower speed, and then folding it once or twice during the rising time.

  • KitchenAid instructions recommend to knead at speed 2 and only for 2 minutes which hardly makes a dough pass the window pane test. Do you have a speed and time recommendations? With Hamilton Beach one I used to knead at speed 4 (which is significantly slower than KitchenAid speed 4) for 10 minutes. – fahadash Apr 25 '17 at 15:21
  • @fahadash I wouldn't go above speed 2 on a Kitchenaid, it can burn out the motor. I've kneaded for around 20 minutes for something like a brioche, but frequently I'll knead it for 5-10 (which won't pass the windowpane test), but then I'll give it one or two folds spaced out about 20 minutes. Even with only one fold, you can see that the dough will be dramatically smoothed out. – SourDoh Apr 25 '17 at 16:40
  • Using slower speeds and longer kneading times (speed-2 for 10-12 min), and proofing the yeast faster by getting the milk/water temperature to 120 instead of just 100 worked for me along with what's in your answer. If you want to incorporate what worked for me into your answer so I can accept it – fahadash May 1 '17 at 17:05
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I think the reason why the bread crown start to crack its because of high heat and moisture during baking, remember that there is high moisture in the centre of a bread(interior) than exterior. the crown of the bread receive heat firstly and rise while the centre of the bread take some time to rise because of the moisture content in the centre of a bread, as the centre of the bread start to rise it cracks the crown of the bread because the crown of the bread is already risen.Check the heat and moisture

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Possibly three reasons that I can think of:

  1. If the water content was less in the dough and because of less moisture the bread cracked.
  2. Over prooving of the dough during the second rise.
  3. If you baked the bread at less temperature for a longer time.
  • I tried all 3 you told me. My dough was so watery, it was a slime not a dough, I did not second-rise at all, and I baked at 20 more degrees for 5 less minutes than usual. Please note that I have absolutely no problem when I hand-knead or use other old mixer I have. – fahadash Apr 20 '17 at 13:41

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