The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question about ovenspring

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Question about ovenspring

Hi Everyone..

I just finished baking a whole wheat version of country blond from FWSY. I'm just starting to bake with pure levain (ie: not adding a pinch of commercial dry yeast) and am wondering if I'm getting enough oven spring? With the commercial yeast I would have a taller rise (using a dutch oven). This week the loaves look good - one is smaller as I didn't weight final dough before shaping to get two even sized loaves. My starter is alive, well and active so I' not too concerned, but i'm not sure if I should have had more of a rise. One thing that likely affected the rise is that the two loaves did slightly stick to my baskets as I think they might have been slightly over fermented/proofed. Thoughts on how to know? Thanks in advance! 

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

when they cool down..

AbeNW11's picture
AbeNW11 (not verified)

Many things can effect oven spring. You can do two breads both made out of yeast but some variable is off and you don't get the same oven spring. So many variables in bread. Type of flour, hydration, leavening agent, timing etc. Commercial yeast is stronger and more reliable. So everything else being equal I'd think commercial yeast would get more oven spring. But that doesn't mean you won't get good oven spring with sourdough. Done correctly and you'll get beautiful bread with good oven spring. 

Your bread looks so lovely. I'd be very happy with that. 

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

I'm happy with them, just trying to figure out the reference point with no pure levain experience. Thanks for the comment!

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Cut down on proofing time and try a drier ~ 65% dough next time and report back the results after your next bake.

Wild-Yeast

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Well, these loves may have been smaller than I was expecting, but they are mighty good! I sound like a broken record to my wife I'm sure, but this is the best bread I've ever baked. Great early, nutty crumb, great chew to the crust, crumb perfectly sublime. I would cut back the fermentation a bit more next time - it was about 9 hours at room temp (about 71/2).. gently sour but not overpowering. Truly a wow.. (for me!)..

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

What could i have done to reduce the larger air pockets in the half loaf? Is that because of too much fermentation?

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

An observation from what you've shown in the photos above tend to indicate over proofing wherein the gluten begins to break down and small alveoli combine to create larger bubbles in the dough and resultant bread. Large bubbles also occur in bulk fermentation and are usually "knocked Down" during weighing and forming of the loaves. Try gently punching down the dough next build and reduce the amount of proving time. Use "doubling" and the "finger poke test" to determine when the dough is ready.

Wild-Yeast

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Thank you for this. To make sure I understand, this recipe calls for an overnight fermentation of 12 - 15 hours and I brought it down to about 9-10 with this loaf. Then proofed for about 3 hours. I could bring it down to say 8 hours and proof until doubled. Sound fair? And your comment about gently punching down, that would be done before shaping obviously? Correct?  Many thanks, this was helpful!

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

I always bulk ferment in a large see-through plastic container with volumetric markings on it. I know exactly when the dough has doubled in the bulk ferment. Gently punching down is done before forming. You can generally see the larger bubbles popping them with the point of a knife. I don't bother to do that anymore as most all the large bubbles are deflated through the forming technique learned in this video:

https://vimeo.com/34325967

Watch her form the dough several times till you get exactly how she folds the dough and finishes forming the loaf. It is one of the most informative videos I know on the subject.

Wild Yeast

BetsyMePoocho's picture
BetsyMePoocho

Wild-Yeast,

WOW!  Thanks for the directions to that marvelous Video…. I am humbled by her, I'll never again think that it is hard making bread where I am.  What an oven, what a tub, what a timeless technique, what an operation of absolute 'Art'!

We have it made, huh?  I'm gonna try it, BUT on a smaller scale.

 

 

Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

Thank you wild-yeast. That was interesting to watch. I did so with my wife as she knows french and translated along the way. She really handles the dough with a very firm hand. Much more than I do normally. I can see how that technique would eliminate any large bubbles. I've thought I shouldn't 'rough' and leave them, but now I know. Thanks for the lesson. This was very helpful. I'll see how it goes this weekend!!