The Fresh Loaf

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Better oven-spring?

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kolobezka's picture
kolobezka

Better oven-spring?

Hi,


I would like to ask for help some more experienced bakers. I started baking bread in the oven only 2 months ago and the results are inconsistent.


One of my problems is the oven spring - especially with high hydration doughs. For example the bread bellow was about 65% hydration but when I added minced garlic (request form my husband :-) the dough got much wetter.


However after the proofing in a banneton, it looked very nice, even immedietaly after the turn-over. But in the few seconds when I scored it, the bread split and did not catch the high in the oven.


Formula:


320g flour (50% whole wheat)


1tbsp Vital Gluten


180g water


160g sourdough (100% hydration, 50% rye)


1/2 tsp instant yeast


1 tsp sugar


15g butter


3/4 tsp salt


6 cloves minced garlic


The dough was made in a BM with dough program.





I would appreciate any comments.


zdenka

jeremiahwasabullfrog's picture
jeremiahwasabullfrog

I think most new bakers (including myself!) overprove their loaves. You get better over spring from a loaf before its peak than one just after. When you dimple the loaf with your finger it should push back a little, This is esp important in high hydration doughs, because they tend to be weaker (which is what allows you to get those big holes).


I think this will fix your problem, but also make sure initial temps are high and that you have plenty of steam at the start of the bake, but you are probably already doing that.


Good dough shaping and stretch and folds will also help oven spring by building tension in the loaf.


Best of luck!

hutchndi's picture
hutchndi

I am still new to this forum, maybe this was covered in older posts than I have been reading, but it was pretty obvious in your pics (which disappeared for some reason) that they were not in need of slashing. A loaf that has been proofed sufficiently will not need any slashing at all. The bread you showed us would have had a much higher profile if you had refrained from making the cuts. I have done side by side bakes of well to somewhat overproofed loaves, one slashed which flattened like a pancake, while the twin loaf minus slashes puffed up like a football. I have done this purposely to try to get a feel for the condition of the dough at bake time.


  Pretty pictures of artisan hearth loaves, the ones with such dramatic stretch marks in the crust from oven spring exploding from open slashes that everybody wants to emulate, are basicly pictures of loaves that were not allowed to proof to their full potential. I am not saying that the longest proof possible is best for the particular bread you are going for, but one needs to think underproof if you want to have both good looking slashes and at the same time retain volume. A well proofed loaf of bread can be really good eating and have good volume too if you know when to slash or not.


 


,

LindyD's picture
LindyD

While some breads (ciabatta, braided loaves, panned breads) are baked without scoring, most breads are scored before baking.  The purpose is to help the bread expand fully and evenly, and avoid blow outs from weak spots.  Crumb structure is improved as well as the appearance of the loaf.


The experieced pros, i.e., Hamelman, DiMuzio, Glezer, Reinhart, etc., all advocate scoring for the betterment of the bread.


If you haven't seen it before, given you are a new member, David Snyder has an excellent tutorial on scoring.

hutchndi's picture
hutchndi

 I am sure the pros know when a dough has proofed to a point when it would be better left not slashed, as was my point, and not to try to advocate one way or another. It makes no difference what anybody "advocates for the betterment of bread". A loaf about to go into the oven either needs scoring or not, depending on the condition of the dough at that time, and it can tell you better than some pro baker that is off somewhere golfing and is nowhere near your kitchen. Scoring an overproofed dough will improve nothing, in fact it will be detrimental to crumb structure and certainly do nothing for loaf appearance. I can and have sat and read and followed allot of advice from the pros, and God bless them, they do know their stuff. But if any of them would advise the author of this post to slash the bread that was pictured here earlier, just because whatever type of bread it was supposed to be called for scoring, I certainly would be NOT be in a hurry to read anything they were selling.


I know you have seen my stock pot loaves post, so you know I am not against scoring for any reason, most of my breads are scored. I just know it is one more tool in the bread bakers collection that is best used with careful consideration for what the bread is telling you it needs.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

No, I haven't seen your stockpot loaf post nor did I see the OP's original photos before they were removed.  


What caught my attention (and my disagreement) was your blanket statement that:  A loaf that has been proofed sufficiently will not need any slashing at all. 


I think that is incorrect for the reasons I've already stated.  

hutchndi's picture
hutchndi

I see your point Lindy. I probably could have gotten my point across better without that statement, which should have been put differently I suppose. Maybe something like


"a loaf that has been proofed beyond a certain point or for whatever reason is in a state that makes any significant oven spring unlikely would be less likely to benefit from scoring".


  How's that? There was someone, or a few someones, at rec.food.sourdough a few years back who used to like to proof bread until it was just about spent to squeeze the most flavor possible out of it. I went that route for awhile and when you play with doughs that are far along, you learn alot about whether or not scoring is a good idea after baking a certain amount of hubcaps from that kind of dough.


 

LindyD's picture
LindyD

My favorite analogy about overproofing is from Jeffrey Hamelman's Bread, where he states that just as we'll fall on our faces if we lean over 100 percent, our loaves will collapse if they're proofed to 100 percent before baked.


At that point of overproofing, of course you don't want to score the bread unless you want to see the implosion immediately.  I'm not sure it would even be wise to attempt baking and have read some suggestions that you deflate the dough and try again. 


Fortunately, I've never had to try that technique.

kolobezka's picture
kolobezka

I have thought that scoring is always better - just as Lindy says. On the other hand, as the loaf looked really well after getting from the banneton and before scoring, I had the same idea as you say.


In fact I learned about scoring only in English books and forums. Here - commercial Czech breads (both from small and big bakeries) are almost never scored and still very, very tasty and good-looking.


Thank you for your suggestion -  nnext time I may do the same test you describe with two parallel loafs


zdenka

hutchndi's picture
hutchndi

 Good for you Zdenka. Book learning is great, but nothing beats some hands on experimenting to become a better home baker. Simply following a recipe, does one really learn much? Unless you have a completly controled environment in your kitchen, temperature fluctuations in your house are not going to match what exactly is in a book. I hated just blindly following instructions in bread baking, they are rarley perfect for your own situation.  I need to know the where-fors and why-tos for myself, and it is well worth it in most cases. Whether you prefer to score or not, it is good to be able to know the dough. I work all day and come home and work on my 100 year old house and it is easy to get involved in a project and miss the best time to finish proofing my bread, when that happens making a decision to only very lightly score or not to score it at all has saved alot of loaves over here. I have on many occasions found them to be superior in eating quality too. I would love to see some pictures of your local Czech un-scored breads. A beautifully slashed loaf is an object de'art, but to this old sourdough hobbiest a loaf that has been proofed to the point that it can be baked without scoring and at the same time be able to rise to it's fullest without busting through the crust is a much more lofty goal.  

kolobezka's picture
kolobezka

I have not forgot your question about Czech unscored breads, but I have not found a page with several typical photos so far. Only today I have come across this one: inpeko bakery


I apologize for the delay,


zdenka

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

What are the procedures in the recipe?  Did you follow them? What was the temperature of the oven?  How long was it preheated?  Did you bake on a stone?  Did you steam the oven? 


Properly answering your question is difficult without knowing exactly what you did.


Jeff

flournwater's picture
flournwater

You might also want to post this on the bread machine forum.

saraugie's picture
saraugie

Sorry I am not familiar with the measurement what is a PL ?

kolobezka's picture
kolobezka

I forgot to translate... 1 table spoon. Thank you for alerting me!


zdenka

kolobezka's picture
kolobezka

This was a kind of universal recipe I got from somebody and use quite often. Originally it was made only with 1tsp of instant yeast, but now I also recalculate it for using the discard of my sourdough starter.


Last Friday I followed the same recipe, but without garlic, so the dough did not get so wet and the oven spring was appropriate. But even a wetter dough (once I added onions) turns out very well sometimes, sometimes not.


I do not have a baking stone, so I use a sheet with parchment, bake 15min on 450°F (my oven take about 15min to preheat) with steam (I spray water into the oven every 4 minutes) and then 35min on 392°F.


I always bake the same way (and always make the dough in the bread machine - as KA is really very, very expensive in central Europe. Well I know, most bakers here do not like the mread machine...) - but sometimes the bread is nice, sometimes flat like the one above.


Here is another I have made the same way, same recipe (but without garlic)



Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Your picture looks like a loaf that was underproofed.  When it hit the hot oven it sprang, not up, but apart. 


Learning when dough is properly proofed and ready for the oven is absolutely essential to good baking.  Spend some time researching the subject and then pay very close attention as your dough rises.  The dough is fully proofed when it is fully proofed.  Dough cannot read the clock and it has no use for minutes and hours.  The time necessary will vary for many reasons and you must "know" when it is ready.


Jeff

hutchndi's picture
hutchndi

The pictures below look like Jeff described exactly, but what happened to the other pics from earlier, which appeared totally opposite?

kolobezka's picture
kolobezka

does one recognize whether the dough is under or overproofed - both when the loaf is still in the banneton and from the photo of baked bread?


The loaf in the banneton definitely was at least double volume (difficult to measure exactly in a rounded form. And I forgot to try Mike´s Avery suggestion to put 1/4 cup of the dough into a measuring cup apart). When I pushed my finger into the dough, there was just a little and slow "come back". The proofing took about 1hour at about 70°F


...hard time for a beginner. But thank you very much for your comment


zdenka


 

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Zdenka,


As the dough proofs it expands.  During this expansion there is a peak of activity much like the peak that occurs in ripening sourdough.  You are looking for that peak or actually just a bit before that peak.


When the dough is close to what you think is fully proofed you want to push down gently on the surface of the dough with the pad of your finger.  This is a push with the pad not a poke with the tip. If the dough is ready, the indentation that you make with your finger will come back ever so slowly.  If the dough is not ready (under proofed) the dough will spring back to fill your indentation and if the dough is over proofed the indentation will simply stay there with no return.  All doughs are different and a yeasted dough feels different than a sourdough but this is a good general guideline for any dough.


In the oven the underproofed dough will spring up with vigor and likely break open the surface of the loaf much like the picture that you posted.  The overproofed loaf will spring up slightly before collapsing back onto itself.  The perfectly proofed loaf will do everything that you want it to do.


As a new baker there is a lot to learn but this is a very important element and I would suggest that you give it ample attention so that you and the dough might become the best of friends.  Do not get to lost on the idea of a dough doubling in size as that is only one indicator and certainly not the most important.  In your recipe it is a good indicator of when the dough might be near fully proofed but the finger test is the final test for deciding.  This topic has been discussed many times on this forum and a search will likely lead you to the good advice of others.  Also many books on bread give this subject at least some coverage to help you learn.


I hope this helps,


Jeff


 

kolobezka's picture
kolobezka

your comments are very helpful.


I think that a video showing how to test the dough after proofing, and what under-, over-  and correct- proofed dough look like would be very helpful for every beginner here - just a suggestion for experienced bakers


Thanks once again


zdenka

Neil C's picture
Neil C

I've found that an overproofed loaf will avoid collapsing if there sufficient gluten development. 


It all goes back to the understand of the interrelationships between each and every step in the baking process.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You guys are forgetting the garlic and the role it played.  The Garlic has made all the difference, keenly noted in the question.


Read this older thread as found by quickly using the search box:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/11172/defeated-garlic


Mini


 

kolobezka's picture
kolobezka

even if the antibacterial, antimicrobial properties of garlic are well known. I wonder if this would be similar for onions - but my onions bread were a bit higher than the garlic one.


I recieved the Hamelman´s book from Amazon just this morning, so I will certainly read his comments about the use of garlic


Thanks for the idea!


zdenka

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

crushed or sliced.