The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

I got my oven spring back, but WHY??!!

JWK1's picture

I got my oven spring back, but WHY??!!

I make a typical sandwich type loaf for my family that is 75% freshly milled WW (Montana Wheat Prairie Gold) and 25% KA Sir Lancelot, 68% hydration and 1 oz. oil.  Just shy of 2% salt.


I got to the point sometime last year where I came on the forum and asked why my loaves were so lop-sided.  Someone suggested my oven was starting out too hot (450) and the loaves were springing TOO much.  So I backed down to 410 starting temp, baking at my typical 350.  Perfect.  Now for the past six months or so I lost my oven spring.  Well, there was a little but not enough and the loaves were too dense.


Today I tried something I haven't done in a long time - the typical two rise system.  One bulk rise for 45 minutes and then split into loaves and rise until ready to pop in the oven.  BAM!  Perfect oven spring in ten minutes.


I don't get it.  I have done a ton of research on oven spring and I've never come across this as a reason.  I mean, the typical artisan bread only has one rise, correct?  Successful round artisan loaves have great oven spring from what I've seen.  I also want to try some round rye bread loaves on my pizza stone instead of my bread tins.  I also want to keep my nice oven spring.


Can someone tell me what's going on here?


dabrownman's picture

SD recipes have 2 rises.  A bulk ferment and rise, either on the counter or in the fridge, and then shape and let rise again either on the counter or in the fridge.  I also have recipes that have 2 hours of slap and folds and stretch and folds, skip the bulk ferment and go straight to shape with final proof in the fridge - a 1 rise recipe.  Both spring fine.

In my book high heat, at least 475 F, and mega steam make for great oven spring.

Hppy baking

golgi70's picture

And correct me if I'm wrong you used to mix your dough and shape it right away and then proof and bake. Now you've added a short 45 minute bulk ferment. Shape and bake 10 minutes later. I think the oven spring you have found is actually from baking very under proofed loaves. You don't mention your levaining agent but I'll guess its commercial yeast?

I think bulk fermentation is the most crucial step towards a great loaf. during this time you build strength, flavor , and develop a good population of yeast to raise your loaf. 

how much yeast or starter is in your dough?



PetraR's picture

I give all my breads, SD , yeasted breads the 2 x rising times.

1. Bulk fermentation.

For my SD this can be anything from 6 hours when I am in a hurry to 24 or longer when I do have the time.

For my yeasted Bread 1-2 hours.

2. Final proofing time

For my SD Bread about 2-2 ½ hours.

For my yeasted bread about 30-45 minutes.

I start the bake on high temperature for both kind of breads and then reduce the heat.

A lot of people who bake their bread in loaf pans wait to long and overproof their bread, they let it really dome instead catch it when it is only about 1inch over the sides of the loaf pan.

I did that in the beginning when I used loaf pans and they stayed at that hight and where dense and not nice.