The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dough weight vs oven spring

Cellarvie's picture
Cellarvie

Dough weight vs oven spring

I’ve noticed my smaller loaves don’t achieve as much spring as my larger ones despite identical steaming and baking methods.  Is this simply down to the dough pieces being larger or is there some sort of volume-hydration alchemy going on?  Is there an optimum sized dough weight for achieving good oven spring?

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I would think your result would be the exact opposite. Unless you are baking a number of smaller loaves at once. Is the total dough weight being baked in your oven less when baking the small loaves? 

Is your result the same if you bake a single 250g loaf and then after that bake load the oven with with an 800g loaf?

When I think about it, I’ve never baked a bunch of flat rolls, but I have baked my share of flat breads. The heavier the dough, the more heat required.

Dan

Cellarvie's picture
Cellarvie

Hi Dan, I usually prepare about 1800g of total dough weight (the maximum my oven will take) which I divide and bake either as 3 x 600g small loaves or 2 x 900g larger loaves.  The larger ones always seem to have more oven spring.  I'm intrigued, and would love to know why.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

450 F but the real key to spring and bloom assuming both small and large loaves are proofed the same - is time.  A larger loaf will take longer to spring and bloom because it takes longer for the heat to drive into the center of the loaf.  So time under steam is less for small and longer for large loaves.  Really large loaves like a Miche you want to cut the temperature, so the crust doesn't burn and really let it steam till the spring is finished.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

that may be the difference.  Smaller loaves my be cooler during proofing, worth looking into.  

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I’m with Mini. It is possible that the larger doughs are proofing faster because of their mass.

albacore's picture
albacore

I presume you are using smaller bannetons for the 600g loaves?

Lance

Cellarvie's picture
Cellarvie

Thank you all very much for your insight (what a talented and generous community this is!).  So here's a little more information.  In both instances I prove at about 78f and use the finger test to judge timing (generally judging the large to take longer than the small).  I'm using smaller bannetons for the smaller loaves, but they're oblong where the larger ones are round, so yes, mass does sound like an issue and the smaller ones are probably cooling during proving, so thank you for that thought.  I'm also now wondering though, does shape also impact this?  

Thank you also for your baking thoughts.  In both instances I bake the first 12 minutes at 450f, then release the steam and reduce the temperature to 425f for the remainder.  Do you think 12 minutes of steam works for both sizes/shapes or is there an adjustment there which might help?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

It sure does!  And oblong loaves will bake faster than their round counterparts due to shape.

albacore's picture
albacore

And you will certainly get much better opening up of cuts on a batard. I'm also starting to think that you will get a more open crumb and more loft in a batard compared to a boule, but I haven't fully confirmed that theory yet.

Lance