The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help - oven spring bursts through the sides

Hood49's picture

Help - oven spring bursts through the sides

Hello everyone. This is my first post here. I have been reading the discussions and come across some really good tips and tricks for baking bread.

About one year ago I started making my sourdough starter and it has been bubbling ever since. I have been experimenting with numerous techniques and I am more and less getting there. I had flat bread, I had loafs with larges holes,... But now I getting the hang of things.

I have one problem though. I have some problems getting oven spring. I have read that you should not oven-proof, and I have seen that it does the trick.

However, when baking the oven-spring comes out of the bottom of the loaf. The bread is still delicious but I would be perfect to have a nice loaf. 

Any ideas of suggestions.

Thanks in advance!

BigelowBaker's picture

Interesting! Based on how little expansion came from the cuts you made on top vs. what happened on the bottom, it looks to me like the crust on the top formed too quickly and the oven spring had nowhere to go but where the crust was weakest, seemingly on the bottom. 

Do you do any sort of steaming? That may help keep the crust moist enough for the spring to happen where you intend it to. Also, if you've never tried before, try baking in the dutch oven -- that's the best for major oven spring, IMO. 

Also could try making your cuts deeper on the top -- should give the spring a little more wiggle room for expanding there instead of the bottom.

adri's picture

I'd also thing: not enough steam and/or too little heat from below, that the oven spring happenes when the crust already is formed.

Hood49's picture

Indeed, I bake on a tray with oven paper. Not the ideal way to create a good over-spring I guess.

I need to get a over stone to bake on. You are right I think I need more heat from below.

I put a tray with water in the bottom of the oven and every 5-7 minutes a squirt water on the sides of the oven (250 degrees C). When putting in the oven I spray the bread as well.

Do you think I need to close the seams better? 

Thanks for your comments!

dabrownman's picture

2 of Sylvia's steaming pans 1 of David Snyder's steaming lava rocks.  All the pans are half full of water ad Sylvia's pans have a rolled up kitchen towel in them.  I put them in the bottom oven cold when it it hits 500 F on its way to 550 F for the preheat.  When it it hits 55O F the oven is billowing steam and the stones ( I use top and bottom stones) which lag the air temperature of the oven by 15 minutes are now 500F too.  Open the door of the oven but keep you face away from the door so you don't do a face burn, slide the bread on the bottom stone. close the door and turn the oven down to 475 F and don't open the door for at least 12 minutes adn 15 minutes for larger breads.  No more bottom blow outs. 

Your bread looks great otherwise and has to be tasty.- Happy Baking


Hood49's picture

Wow, it looks like you cannot get more steam than that! Thanks for the tips. I will try next time and keep you all posted!

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Just checkIng to make sure you score the tops or bake seam side up. 

If you lack a Dutch oven use a mister to spray the top before you bake to give it longer before it gets hard on top. 

Hood49's picture

Indeed, I do score the loaves. But as Bigelow suggests I will try to make deeper dust next time. I just scratch the surface, maybe it is not enough. I bake seams side down, but I will also try to spend more time in closing the seams.


Hood49's picture

I have baked again and as you can see from the picture I have the same problem.

I guess I know what the problem is: I need to get a baking stone. I can feel that the sides are still pretty soft and does not bake as good as the top. So when the loaf expands it is logic that the oven spring bursts through the sides.

Keep you posted when I use a stone (still need to buy one)