The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

No oven spring?

Lasttango's picture

No oven spring?

I am new to making bread. I tried the whole wheat basic recipe from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. I thought I had done something wrong the first time I tried it, so I mixed up another batch last night. I got new yeast, proofed it, even added a tablespoon of sugar to give the yeast more energy. The dough rose beautifully over 2-3 hours, and was refrigerated over night. This morning, I pulled out a one pound hunk, and let it sit for 90 minutes. I used my romertopf baker to bake it. After soaking the baker, I put my dough in it (lined with parchment paper), and baked for 30 minutes at 450 degrees. It is nicely browned, but it just doesn't rise when it bakes. It did rise a little more on the counter this morning, but I don't think there is any oven spring. I did add vital wheat gluten to the ingredients to help. I did start with a cold oven, and started timing when the oven reached the correct temp. I also had an oven thermometer in the to measure the temp. I am confused as to what to do. I am going to try another loaf using a plain pyrex loaf pan, preheated first, to see if it makes a difference. Suggestions anyone? I would just like sandwich sized loafs.

cranbo's picture

If it didn't rise in the oven, it means it was likely overfermented, meaning you let it ferment too long, probably both in the fridge and the next day, and the yeast & bacteria ran out of food to give it oomph. 

For initial fermentation, your dough should almost but not quite double. Likewise for your final proof you don't want your dough to quite double. Search these forums for info on the "poke test" to learn how to test your dough to make sure it's ready during it's final proof after shaping; it's really the best indicator. 

I don't know the recipe, but if you let it nearly double at room temp then stick it in the fridge, it certainly will be overfermented by the time you bake the next day. 

Also, you can successfully bake with cold dough right out of the fridge; especially if it's gone through a long slow cold ferment anyway, there's not necessarily a need to let it rise at room temp again. 


Chuck's picture

My experience was I couldn't produce oven spring every time until I'd been trying for six months (sometimes it happened, sometimes not...). Shape your loaves such that they'll be acceptable even if no oven spring occurs. Then just keep baking. When oven spring occurs, try to remember what you did. But when it doesn't, don't beat yourself up over it.