The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Oven Spring . . . ? Help!

jbaudo's picture

Oven Spring . . . ? Help!

I have only been able to get a good oven spring for my sandwich loaves ONCE!(and I have made lots)  I have no idea how I did it but it was beautiful.  Best loaf I ever made.  Today I  tried preheating the oven to a higher temp and letting the bread cook for a minute or two before turning it down but that only got me a really dark top on my bread but no spring.  What am I missing? I am using just a plain ole honey wheat bread recipe.  Please help me figure this out.


LindyD's picture

It may be that you are overproofing during the final fermentation.  Try baking it when it is about 90 percent risen.

gavinc's picture

Steam will help keep the surface from becoming too firm too early allowing the dough to rise.  I use a ramekin of boiling water in the bottom of the oven and mist spray into the oven when the loaves go in.

Overproofing is also a likely cause as LindyD has already suggested.

jbaudo's picture

I have been known to overproof my loaves but this time I was sure not to, maybe they weren't proofed enough?  Also I am not sure how I can introduce more steam because my oven is on the small side and I have to keep the loaves on the lowest rack to prevent the tops from burning.  My oven totally sucks for making bread but my husband says we won't get a new one till this one breaks (hopefully since it is 25 yrs old it won't be long now)  If I put the steam pan ABOVE the bread would that work? 

ns's picture

My oven is also quite small. You can put the steam above the rack that your bread is on, and it will still work.
When I have used steam (and I don't always do this), I put the container of boiling water on the top rack and the bread below. Always get a really crunchy crust when I do this.