The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Collapse instead of oven spring.. Help!

Segale's picture

Collapse instead of oven spring.. Help!

Hi everybody, thank you for the wonderful website!

I am a beginner at baking but I am getting good results with French breads and sourdough starters. A lot of room for improvement, but that is the good part: more baking to do..

There is one thing though that I get so awful that I don't know how to improve it: when I try "soft" loafs (eg. pan loaf, panettone), they rise nicely on both the first rise and after shaping, but they litterally collapse (and don't rise again) as soon as I put them in the oven. I thought the reason could be that I bake too late (when the loaf is risen too much) but I always followed the receipe also with respect to rising times/volumes.

Do you have explanation/suggestion?

Thank you and happy baking!

Sean McFarlane's picture
Sean McFarlane

Your original assumption about letting the loaves sit too long is correct.  The thing is, the times/volumes given by recipies are not always right.

As a general rule, you let dough double for bulk ferment, and then shape. After shaping you then let the bread proof.  The best way in my experience to test wether a loaf is ready to bake is the good old "finger poke" method.

This method is really simple, poke the loaf.  The degree of rebound or spring in the dough determins the readiness...the less spring the more proofed, as I get better i constantly push the limit of proofing my doughs.

One thing to remember about this test is, dont let a skin form on the dough or the test is almost useless, as a dry outer skin will not show you the actual readiness of the dough.

Hope this helps.



dghdctr's picture

Go with what you see in front of you -- the touch test can work well.

Rising times in recipes are estimates at best.

-- Dan DiMuzio

Segale's picture

Thank you both! I will definitely be more critical and depart from rising and proffing times indicated in the recipes when needed.

In the meanwhile I am also realizing that development is the one thing I need to understand better and I have the feeling this step is also the one that is more likely to be underestimated by beginners. I think that all the other steps are either more intuitive or more easy to understand reading books and watching videos, while development is often not even mentioned. Plus, a begginer could be too concentrate in precisely following the receipe steps to really think about the important (yet, barely noticeable) things that are going on under the surface..

For me this website made the difference when it comes to theory, let's see if I can put it into practice!