The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

restricted oven spring

CT's picture

restricted oven spring

Hi all,

I need a bit of help debugging my bread.  I recently started trying to make bread again.  The problem I'm having is that my loaf clearly wants to spring more in the oven as is evident by the final shape being tube like even though it started flat on the baking stone, but the crust won't let it expand enough.  

Right now I've got about 75% hydration with 2:11 rye:white flour ratio.  After shaping I place on my pizza peel and let rest for 40 min, then paint with cornstart+water and slash.  Then into a 450F oven with a cup of 95C water (my oven reads in F and my water boiler in C) into a broiler pan right below the stone.

Below are some photos of my result.  Any tips on getting the bread free enough to spring more?  The water in the broiler pan doesn't last long, would replenishing it help?  

The photos above come from approx 400g(~1lb) of uncooked dough

Gluten-free Gourmand's picture
Gluten-free Gourmand

CT - The scores you are making on your loaf do not go in the direction that helps the bread expand the most.  I found this video very helpful for explaining the scoring for this loaf shape:

I hope that's helpful!

MichaelLily's picture

I agree with GFG regarding scoring direction.  With practice and watching some videos, you should be able to imagine how the loaf will rise in the oven (which is always outward and upward).  You want your slashes to allow that outward and upward expansion.

If you want more steam, you might want to try putting some wet kitchen towels in a pan in your oven for several minutes before you load your bread.  If you put the towels in at the same time as the bread, you will not have enough steam for the initial portion of the bake.  I put two wet towels in at 500F for 20 minutes with my bread, and they were still wet, so don't worry about starting a fire within a half hour.