The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Oven spring in professional deck oven

  • Pin It
Liverpoolbaker's picture
Liverpoolbaker

Oven spring in professional deck oven

I've just recently started doing some baking in a professional deck oven, its a mono oven 4 years old with a steam system. I was quite excited about baking in it, as I've only every really used my old domestic gas oven at home. My basic white sourdough (800g of dough, 75% hydration, 4 hours bulk ferment, 12+ hours cold prove in banetons), is something I get consisten results with when baking at home using the dutch oven. I always get good oven spring and great looking blooms. 

So when I started doing it in the professional oven, I thought I'd be on to a good thing, but the results are really inconsisted. Infact, most of the loaves don't bloom at all, I get loaves with a failed slash that puffs up a bit but never forms a nice ear or rip. I've tried a few different temperaturses 260, 230 and 240 degrees C but results are always poor.

I thought that I'd get better results in the professional oven, with better heat transfer and the steam system but I can't seem to crack it. Any ideas as to what I'm doing wrong? Too much steam, too little steam, wrong heat? Any help would be greatly apprecieated. 

 

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Try lowering hydration to 67%. The dough is too slack without having the side support of the Dutch Oven. Steam for the first 10-15 minutes.  230 dC should suffice till you're able to "tune" the recipe.

Wild-Yeast

breaducation's picture
breaducation

I've got to disagree with this. I have baked many many breads 75%+ hydration in professional ovens with excellent results. Great oven spring and great ears. A professional deck oven would be my weapon of choice for anything high hydration due to the incredible heat retention and transfer abilities.

I think it's more likely a steam issue. Too much or too little steam can keep ears from opening. Try playing with the amount of steam you're giving the bread.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Changing ovens can be like moving from the tropics to the arctic or the other way around.  Baking multiple loaves in a deck oven will be an entirely different experience from baking a loaf or two in a home oven.  Listen to the oven and pay close attention as you need to learn from the oven.  You may have to make significant changes to your bread formulas such as the good suggestion made by Wild-Yeast.  You should expect a learning period before your final product is all that you want it to be.

Jeff

PeterS's picture
PeterS

I've had the opporunity to bake in a deck oven since last summer and found that it made me learn how to shape better--it's still a work in progress :). David's suggestions here are spot on and sum it up better than I ever could!

If you are up to it, try lowering your hydration (65-67% like wild yeast suggests) and hand shaping. Batards and boules were easier than baguettes. Once you comfortable, you can start pushing your hydration back up. I make a mixed poolish/starter sourdough (similar to a tartine bread) and, at this point, baguettes at 75% are doable, but challenging and 80% really separates the pros from the weekend warriors.

After your retard, how are you handling your dough?

Liverpoolbaker's picture
Liverpoolbaker

Thanks Guys, I've just dropped the hydration by 5% so will let you know how it goes.  The advice is great, I guess I just need time and patients, to figure out the oven. I tried some straight yeast dough at 65% hydration and they all came out fine. 

@peterS I do all my shaping by hand, I think its pretty good, although I've never had a true expert grade my work so I may not be as good as I think I am. After retarding, the loaves stay in their banatons for about 30 mins to bring them up to room temp, they then go straight into the oven.  

PeterS's picture
PeterS

Practicing with straight dough is dope. 

LOL (I am reading Eddie Huang's memoir Fresh Off the Boat)

A lot has been written on this forum about baking off cold dough; I don't recall a definitive conclusion one way or the other on it. Personally, I've found cold dough, especially at higher hyrdations,  to be easier to manage and score. I also suspect that it helps form a nicer ear (grigne). An experienced friend told me that they always did that at her bakery--more for commercial reasons, but in her opinion quality did not suffer. I suppose that it could result in the core temperature being lower longer while the crust forms at only a relatively slightly lower rate, but good steam should help with that.

breaducation's picture
breaducation

Completely agree with your thoughts. A cold dough is much easier to score and get a good ear on. I love baking loaves right out of the fridge.

Liverpoolbaker's picture
Liverpoolbaker

Thanks for all the help. Results are much better now with a drop in hydtration, I'm getting very consistent results. 

PeterS's picture
PeterS

Going from a pot to free-form in a deck oven is also a test of shaping skills. The sides of a pot will support a dough; in a deck oven it is going to spread if it isn't well shaped. Lowering the hydration will firm a dough making it easier to shape. If/when you decide to try higher hydrationa again, make sure you tightly form your dough. Bannetons, brotforms or couches help retain the shape as will the (slight) surface drying that occurs during proofing.