The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help - no oven spring! Should I give up on tartine??

Katnath's picture

Help - no oven spring! Should I give up on tartine??

Hi all. I've lately converted to sourdough a la tartine and while it's getting better, I'm still having a lot of problems, especially at that last in the oven spring. 

Here is what I do - basically follow tartine country loaf method. Build levain, combine flour, water, levain. Autolyze 45 min. Add additional water and salt. Bulk ferment, s&f 4-5 times. Total time 3-4 hrs. gently bench rest, shape into proofing basket, fridge retard 8 or so hrs. Bake in Dutch oven a la tartine. 

So far, all normal. But I tend to put more water than tartine (up to 50-75 mls more). Am I making too slack a dough? 

Am I over fermenting? Under fermenting?

i can see when I do final score that there is no spring. At all on the latest attempt. I haven't cut it open yet to see whether interior is really dense but it doesn't 'feel' too heavy weight. 

Also in previous poolish baking, I have done the slow retarded rise at the bulk fermentation phase, then a short final rise on the counter, rather than tartine's method of shorter bulk fermentation and retarded final proofing. Should this make a difference in flavor profile or oven spring?

my ideal bread would be tartine open crumb, good crust with no pronounced sour flavors. 

Thanks for any help. 

ccsdg's picture

What does the crumb look like?

No oven spring says to me either very underfermented (no bubbles to rise) or overproofed (max bubbles, was on its way down, but you baked it just in time).

ericreed's picture

What ccsdg said.

But you are also making a very slack dough. If I recall, the tartine loaf uses 750 g water to 1000 g flour, but that doesn't include the flour and water in the 200 g levain, so it's really 77% hydration to start with. You are pushing up to 81% or so hydration, which is pretty slack. It's possible you aren't getting enough gluten development. When you shape it, are you able to maintain a decent round? Or does it just gloop flat?

gary.turner's picture

Why are you modifying a proven formula and method before you have had success with it? That (not following instructions) is the single most common cause of errors. Try again, following the instructions exactly.



Katnath's picture

I think you are all probably right. My hydration level is too high. I started adding more water because in my previous bread baking experience using a poolish, the dough felt wetter than tartine's and I thought that it needed the extra water. Which leads me to wonder whether using a poolish allows you to get away with a wetter dough than using a sd levain?? 

Btw this latest attempt (tartine's polenta pumpkin seed loaf) has now been sliced open and it looks good, light crumb, lots of air, yet still the crust has none of the desired spring. 

Thanks for the input. 

WoodenSpoon's picture

it has gotta be a fermentation issue, I have great success with 81-86% hydration doughs and every thrid person in TFL seems to be having good luck with tartine recipes, so I'm fairly certain thats not yer problem. That being said I totally agree with Gary T that you shouldn't be trying to adjust a recipe that you don't fully understand yet. stick with whatever tartine's basic loaf is then once you are comfortable with it change it to yer liking.