The Fresh Loaf

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Setup for maximum oven spring

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MBaadsgaard's picture
MBaadsgaard

Setup for maximum oven spring

Hello again, I am just breaking my questions up into different threads, hope that is ok...

As a seeker of the magnificent open crumb, I have been trying to figure out what gives the best oven spring setup, and I have a few options right now, but I get myself lost in variables to really figure out what works better. so I still have not figured out what really makes sence and what doesn't.

As far as I am aware, the more heat, the more evaporation/expansion, but also, the quicker the bread (especially the crust) sets.

Steam prevents crust from setting, but it also transfers more heat to the crust, right? that might give more expansion, but does this not set the crust faster?

Heat from below should contribute more to the rise, I imagine, is this true?

Is faster heat transfer a must for good spring? Since some recipes call for putting the bread in a cold oven.

 

Untill now I have the impression that the best result would be for me to put my steel plate of 8,5kg (19lb) into the oven, second lowest rack, along with a metal bowl on the floor of the oven. Preheat for an hour on highest temp of 275C (525F) and convection, and then turn down to baking temp and put in bread, along with boiling water in the bowl. Any thoughts on that?

isand66's picture
isand66

Your set-up should work just fine.  Don't turn down the heat though until after you put the bread inside since you will lose some heat just by opening the door anyway.

I have 1 baking stone on the bottom of my oven and one on the top with rimmed heavy duty pan on the lowest shelf of my oven.  I use 1 cup of boiling water and it works great for me.

Some people like to use lava rocks or the steamed rolled towel method which you can find many posts by using the search engine on this site.

Experiment until you find what works best for you.

108 breads's picture
108 breads

To create a mini-Roman oven in my normal oven, I use a baking stone on the rack and cover the dough with the top of a clay la cloche. I preheat the la cloche and the baking stone inside the oven for an hour before baking.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

much better than 1 stone.  i use the lava rocks in a large Pyrex pan half full of water on the bottom rack with the bottom stone above - this puts out at least 2 tmes more steam than water in a pan - more hot surface area to vaporize the water.

Preheat to the highest temperature you oven will go, Mine is 550 F,  When ti says it is at temperature then put the lava rock Pyrex pan on the oven bottom rack,  Since the stones lag the oven temperature by 10- 15minutes o so, by the time the stones get up to temperature the lava rocks are putting out 'Mega Steam',  Put the bread on the bottom stone and as you close the door throw a half cup of water onto a metal pan on the bottom of the oven to create  more instant steam as you close the door.

2 minutes later I turn the oven down to 525 F and 2 minutes after that  down to 500F,  2 minutes after that go down to 475 F where it stays until the streaming is done.  My oven is actually 25 F lower in them then the set point so take that into account and how accurate your oven is temperature wise. 

Total time steaming depends on the size of the bread 10-20 minutes.  Then the steam comes out and I turn the oven down to 425 F convection this time  until the bread hits 203 F on the inside.  i then turn off the oven off, crack the door ajar and leave the bread on the stone for 5-8 minutes until it hits around 205 F - 208 F on the inside which crisps and finishes browing the crust  

I bake just about every high temnperature non eniched bread this way. That way you eliminate one problem (not enough steam) and if the bread doesn't spring, it is because it is over proofed.

Happy baking  

MBaadsgaard's picture
MBaadsgaard

Aaah, this all sounds interesting!

I tried a clay pot today, and the result was amazing! But that keeps the steam in, and can hold a good amount of heat when preheated. So now to find a way to get same without, so I can make buns :PI have a small pizzastone, should i preheat that on the top shelf along with the baking steel maybe? So there would be a stable, high capacity heat source just above and below the bread.

Also, lava rocks, gonna have to find a place to get those. I guess there are a lot of ways I could increase the amount of steam, for example by not using a very light aluminium bowl. I just can't get myself to put my brand new cast iron skillet in the oven for that purpose.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

very inexpensive too - and they come in various colors:-)  Don't ruin the seasoning on your CI skillet like I did mine. Took forever to get it back to normal.  A couple of cheap metal baking pans with lava rocks in them will work fine if you don't have glass Pyrex.

isand66's picture
isand66

Yes, you can put the pizza stone on the top shelf and that should help.  I use a rimmed heavy duty baking sheet and my results are excellent so give that a try first before using you skillet.

MBaadsgaard's picture
MBaadsgaard

Sounds good, thanks for the advices. I'll go have a look for lava rocks then.