The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

oven spring

loaflady's picture

oven spring

So, before I ask my question, I must crow just a little.  I finally 'got' how to knead dough in my DLX.  I have successfully produced about 10 loaves of wonderfully soft and fluffy sandwich loaves of bread that my children will finally eat without being held down and forced into there tiny little mouths.  Go me!

Anyways, never before in the past, when using any combination of dough/recipe/mixer did I acheive a decent oven spring.  I always got some decent rise at first, but when a punched the dough down and put into my pans, rarely did I get a double rise.  It didn't matter how long I allowed the dough to rise, it never doubled.  And when I would bake it, it would just stay at the same height from when I put it into my oven. 

So after watching about 4 hours of classes from the Bread Beckers, I used their basic recipe, using all purpose flour since it was all I had available to me (I was camping in my RV).  I used just a smidge less flour than the recipe called for, did not do a first rise, just allowed to rest for 10 minutes, shaped, let rise for one hour, and baked. 

And FINALLY, when I took the pans out of my oven, had bread that had crested the top of my loaf pans!!!  And the texture, was so soft, so enjoyable.  There was no choking or gagging on dry bread.  Even the next day (that's as long as it lasted, I'm happy so say) it's texture was nearly the same.

I've since repeated the above with a few different types of flours, and it's worked ever time.  So here's the question: Why do I suddenly have oven rise, after  8 years of stumpy loaves of bread?  Is the answer simply that I've been using too much flour? 

Any insight would be fantastic!

meirp's picture

The experts here will probably ask you for your recipe before they make a diagnosis, but I'm not an expert, so I'll give you my 2 cents anyway :-). Since your dough is rising (at least in the beginning), I don't think the main problem was the flour (although too much flour may make your bread taste like sawdust, speaking from experience :-(). Overproofing. You didn't get it to the oven in time previously. The rest of the story is in the details (e.g., maybe your dough is rising too fast). Way to go and enjoy!


nadira2100's picture

From my experience, if my first rise was too long I would never get doubling during my proofing stage and no oven spring. I started shortening my first rise and I rarely ever punch down the dough. That seemed to fix it. I am also not an expert, but from all my research and experience that sounds like what's causing your problem. Hope that helps :)