The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How is this for oven-spring?

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ericjs's picture
ericjs

How is this for oven-spring?


A quick phone cam pic of my latest pain de campagne (over the kitchen sink where the light is bright).


Scoring was easier and smoother than usual this time. (Perhaps I've been over-proofing and didn't this time?)


Does that expansion of the slash look excessive? Is there such a thing as too much oven-spring?


Still hot, haven't opened it up yet.

Comments

rayel's picture
rayel

Hi ericjs, Did you use a bike pump for this one? Love that spring, never too much for me. Nice picture. Now tell us how this happened.  Ray

ericjs's picture
ericjs

Thanks, Ray. Heh, yeah, it does look rather like it's pressurized. To be honest I'm not really sure what made this one puff so much higher than my other loaves. I've been working the pain de campagne recipe from Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice lately and this was one of those.


I can only imagine I must have gotten a really good cloak on it when I shaped it, and let it proof just the right amount of time (if so, it was luck...I can't say I've perfected knowing when a loaf is perfectly proofed, though my guesses are usually good enough). I generally do the proofing directly on a peel (on a good layer of semolina), so I don't disturb the loaf much before it goes into the oven.


Perhaps another factor was the dough finished its first fermentation on Saturday, and I only baked 2 of the 4 loaves that day. This one sat in the fridge until Monday, at which time I took it out and proofed it and baked it. Maybe that extra stay in the fridge contributed.


Crumb-wise though, it was just ok. I actually got bigger holes from some loaves that ended up flatter due to over-proofing and a less than graceful trip from the peel to the oven.

ericjs's picture
ericjs

I just baked another loaf from the refridgerated remnant of a batch 2 days ago. This time I know I didn't get an especially good cloak and the loaf stuck a little to the peel (I was too lazy to add more semolina and had just brushed together the remains left from a previous load), and so it went into the oven a bit clumsily and ended up a little funny-shaped. Desipte all this it was one of my plumper loaves though not as plump as the one pictured here. So I have to think the extra time in the fridge is part of the reason.


If anything, it was on the under-proofed rather than over-proofed side, and I wonder if that doesn't contribute.