The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

No Oven Spring in Sourdough Boule

KBreadBaker's picture
KBreadBaker

No Oven Spring in Sourdough Boule

I've been struggling to get good oven spring from my boules as the bread isnt rising to its fullest height. Can't figure out whats causing the lack of oven spring- under proofed maybe?

I've been following Ken Forkish's FWSY recipes, and get great taste from that. I start with building my levain from my starter (starter usually fed 12hrs earlier) let sit for 6-8 hrs, autolyse of the flour/water then add salt/yeast, then bulk fermentation for ~4hrs with 4 folds each, 3x in size, and then shape and into the fridge for 12 hrs. I'm baking around 445 in a dutch oven (start the oven at 480 and then drop the temp). Any ideas as to where I'm going wrong? Wondering if it's my shaping- still getting the hang of getting tension. 

Recipe: 

Starter: currently feeding every 12 hrs- 25g starter, 100g water at 80, 100g white flour, 50g whole wheat. 

Pain de Campagne, page 140 from FWSY

Levain build: 

100g starter, 350g White Flour (Ive been using Sir Gallahad Artisan, 11.7%), 100g Whole Wheat, 25g Rye, 400g Water at 88

Final Dough: 560g White Flour, 160 WW, 80g Rye, 620g Water at 90, 21g salt, 2g instant yeast, 360g Levain. 

MartiniConQueso's picture
MartiniConQueso

Coincidentally, I am having the same issue. I am baking from FWSY with King Arthur "Sir Lancelot" flour and getting no oven spring at all. Your bread there at least looks edible - I'm churning out hockey pucks over here. I don't want to hijack this thread but I am interested in whatever suggestions arise.

I have noticed that the last couple of batches seemed tremendously over-hydrated. The recipe indicates it should have been @ 78%, but the final dough seemed even more wet & slack than I would have expected at that hydration. In fact, both proofing baskets were soaked when I turned the dough out to bake; the linen lining on the one is probably ruined.

 

 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Martini,  please go ahead  and start a post/thread.  I'm sure several folks will jump in with helpful  ideas.

Start off with the recipe name, and page number from FWSY, but also, please, describe your exact ingredients and procedures, even if they are the same as the book.  I have found that many people make substitutions in ingredients and sometimes even procedures, thinking they are "equivalent", when in fact they misinterpreted something, or the ingredient/procedure is not really equivalent.  Putting things in your own words, while still being nerdishly detailed, lets your helpers know how you interpreted the book.  The regular "Loafers" have a wide range of backgrounds, and we seem to key in on various and different things according to our interests and experiences.

Bon appétit, amigo. 

KBreadBaker's picture
KBreadBaker

I just updated the original post with the recipe I used from FWSY.. Based on comments, I'm wondering if my dough is too hydrated from a very wet starter. 

KBreadBaker's picture
KBreadBaker

Ah, so glad I am not the only one! I have the same issue with the baskets as well, once done they are very wet after. After watching countless videos, my dough does seem much wetter in the shaping stages than most. Which makes it very difficult to shape so I'm probably deflating the dough by touching it too much. 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Kbread,

That's actually a very nice crumb!    Looks like you're off to a great start!

If it is a matter of lack of oven spring, then a  photo of the top of the baked loaf would help too.  A lot can be diagnosed by looking at your score lines, how they came out after baking.

Also, what name/page number of FWSY is this loaf from?   Was there anything that was not exactly the same as the book?

KBreadBaker's picture
KBreadBaker

Just updated the original post with the recipe I used. Unfortunately dont have pictures of the top, but will document for next time.

 

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

Slightly over proofed. The lack of oven spring is also a symptom. The tunnel under the top crust is the sign that your well developed gluten is beginning to break down.

Many people including me have had over proofing issues with his recipes. The bulk fermentation times you used are more in line with the proper times rather than the much to long overnight ones. So maybe it was a temperature thing or too long of an autolyse with the whole grains. I can't give you science behind it, but a long soaking of whole grains needs some salt and chilling to stop them from fermenting. Less than an hour for the autolyse is what I would try first.

KBreadBaker's picture
KBreadBaker

I'm currently doing about 30 mins of the autolyse. Maybe next time I'll bake one loaf after 3-4 hrs at room temp, and then try one proofed overnight in the fridge. The recipe does say that bulk fermentation should be 3x of the original dough, but 5 hrs feels really long for a bulk fermentation. 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

... you changed the formula by subbing in fast-fermenting flours.

1. substituted in rye flour for some of white flour in the levain.  rye ferments faster and makes a more powerful (more fermentation) levain or starter.

(1.a.  Left out 25 g flour in the levain, so it was just a bit too wet. But that probably didn't matter.)

2. Substituted in 100 g of WW for white flour in the  final dough.  WW ferments faster than white flour, again adding to over-fermentation.

3. Substituted in 80 g of rye for white flour in the final dough.  It ferments faster, super-charges things, so it also added to the over-fermentation.

In this formula, the  amount of levain, the length of bulk ferment, and the length of final proof are designed for a loaf of only 10% WW and no rye.

--

Easy Solution:  use a formula that more closely matches the ingredients you want to use, such as Overnight Country Brown, page 173.  (But note that rye usually ferments faster than WW, especially if it is dark or whole rye.)

--

Hard solution: If you have the time, and want to experiment by making a handful of attempts, and feel like inventing your own formula (and there is nothing wrong with that) you can keep the same ingredients as above, and experiment by:

a) reducing the amount of levain (by weight and as a percent of total flour.)

b) less instant yeast.

c) and/or shortening the bulk ferment.

d) and/or shortening the final proof.   

Some combination of those things will be needed to compensate for your faster-fermenting flour.  Less levain (when you have more WW/rye) will be part of any solution.

--

Gleaning clues from the book....

If you compare the Ovenight Country Blonde, to the Ovenight Country Brown, note that they use only 216 g of levain (not the 360 g levain of pan de campagne), no instant yeast, and both use the same bulk and final timings.  Granted they both have 12 to 15 hr bulks, not 4 to 5 like pan de campagne.

But.... also note that the Blonde has 26 g WW and 50 g rye, while the Brown has 276 g of WW and no rye, yet they keep the levain amount the same, and the same timings.  That goes to show how powerful rye is at fermenting.

Hope this helps.  Good luck, and bon appétit. 

KBreadBaker's picture
KBreadBaker

This is incredibly helpful and makes total sense. Forkish recommends adjusting the recipe to WW/Rye % as I followed,  but he clearly fails to note that the time needs to adjust. I'm going to test the same recipe with using the time for the Overnight Wheat Country Boule. Thank you so much!

Question- you dont think theres any issue with the feed of my starter? Ie. Flour > water

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

Both Forkish's starter and his levain are 80% hydration.  And his formulas take that into consideration.

--

As far as your dough seeming too wet, that is likely a factor of just using different flour than he is, and different bags of flour come with different moisture pecentages, depending on how long it was sitting inthe warehouse, on the store shelf, and in your cupboard. Adjusting hydration is a constant thing.

If dough seems too wet, just lower hydration a bit next time.  Many bakers use "hold out water" to add at some point after the autolyse to adjust hydration if needed.

--

And just be aware that I'm not saying that adjusting the timing is the only or main adjustment.  You still want time to create flavors.  Less levain and/or less instant yeast are just as likely to move things in the right direction.  I don't know which will work out best for you, so that's why I call it an "experiment." ;-)

Mr Immortal's picture
Mr Immortal

Thanks for this, Dave!  I think it answers some of what went wrong with my first loaf, in which I subbed in AP flour since I was out of WW.  I had not read yet about different flours fermenting at different rates.  You’ve put me one step closer to a better loaf on the next go-around!

JerryW's picture
JerryW

I found this discussion, especially Dave's advice, interesting and useful.  I hope KBread will update this post to let us know whether applying this advice improves the bake!  Thanks.

Jerry

KBreadBaker's picture
KBreadBaker

Currently mixing dough using FWSY Field Blend #1 Recipe (pg. 155). This recipe includes both WW (10%) and Rye (15%). I didnt use the full 2g of instant yeast that it called for, but does have a BF of 5 hrs and Proof of ~12 hrs- so similar to the original recipe I was using- interested to see if there is any difference. Will post photos of the finished product tomorrow!

One thing to note, I also came across another error as I was actually adding in 50g of Rye to the feeding of the Levain which I think contributed to the over fermenting as well. This time I stuck with just 400g of White and 100g of WW for the Levain. 

KBreadBaker's picture
KBreadBaker

I just finished my bake, used FWSY Field Blend #1 Recipe (pg. 155). This recipe includes both WW (10%) and Rye (15%). The only tweak I made was I did a little under 2g of Instant Yeast.

The BF for both boules was ~ 4 hrs.

Boule #1 had a proof over 11.5hrs. Still did not get the spring I was looking for, but man does it taste good! Crumb looks good, but also noticed some bubbles at the top of the loaf. Might give some indicators as to where I went wrong? 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

KBB, can you describe your oven and baking arrangement?   Gas, electric, convection, etc?  If convection, where are all the heating elements located?

Temps and times for lid on?  Temps and times for lid off?  Did you brush or spritz water on the dough? Added an ice cube?

Does your dutch oven have those nipple-like things on the inside of the lid?

Do you preheat the DO?  And do you preheat it with the lid off? (you should.)

--

The top of the loaf looks like you have a convection oven, or maybe it got too wet somehow.

KBreadBaker's picture
KBreadBaker

Oven is electric, not convection. Heating comes from the bottom. 

Proces is pre-heat the oven at 500 for about 40 mins with the Dutch Oven inside (lid on- lid appears to be standard). Drop it to 450 for 30 mins covered in a Dutch Oven, 20 mins at 445 uncovered. Anything higher than 450 and the bottom tends to burn. 

For the last 20 mins, I place a baking dish with water in it for steam. Wonder if the steam was the issue?

JerryW's picture
JerryW

The point of using a DO is that it creates its own steam during the lid-on period.  Then the lid-off period allows the crust to brown and crisp up, and that's when you DON'T want extra steam.  So omit the baking dish altogether!

KBreadBaker's picture
KBreadBaker

Good to know! I will try that for the next bake. Thank you!!

KBreadBaker's picture
KBreadBaker

Any thoughts on the lack of oven spring though? Cant imagine the water in the oven is preventing large oven spring. 

Breadifornia's picture
Breadifornia

It's difficult to know for sure, but oven spring is often related to how much oomph is left in your yeast when the loaf goes into the oven.  Over proofed bread usually doesn't have much oven spring, so you could try bringing down your total proof time in increments while keeping all else equal to see if that improves your spring.  I also agree that you should not be adding steam after the lid comes off the DO.  Looks like a yummy loaf, which is what matters most.  Good luck!

JerryW's picture
JerryW

In my zeal to suggest that your steam pan was wrong, I lost sight of your original question.  I too doubt that the extra steam has anything to do with low oven spring; it interferes with the browning of the crust.  I'm not expert enough to offer any further advice on the oven spring.

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

I'm looking at that last photo of your update and asking myself, "how is that not oven spring?" You can see it has split opened up enough to allow it to fill in the gaps. I will admit, I am only so-so at these bakes, but to me that looks great especially since it had some whole grains in the recipe.

KBreadBaker's picture
KBreadBaker

Thank you! I'm beginning to wonder if the lack of height has more to do with the whole wheat and rye than anything.. I havent really cooked with straight white flour yet, so think I'm going to try the Overnight Blonde recipe from FWSY next time to see what the oven spring looks like. 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

In one comment, you mentioned WW flour as part of the maintenance feeding of your starter,  In my experience, that supercharges things.  supercharged starter -> supercharged levain.  So try just plain store-bought white flour for feeding the starter.

--

Next Sherlock Holmes question: Is your WW or rye flour fresh-milled or recently milled (maybe direct from a mill) ? Freshly milled whole grains ferment faster than store-bought whole grain flour that has been sitting for months in warehouse or store shelf.

-- 

I forget what temp Forkish's ambient air temp is.  Is your temp warmer?  That could also speed up fermentation.

 

KBreadBaker's picture
KBreadBaker

Good to know re: the starter, I'll give that a try next time. The WW I use is not fresh milled, just organic from Whole Foods. Right now, I think my temp is probably warmer than Forkish's at the moment. Wonder if I should decrease the BF time even further given that its Summer here (and no AC!) 

 

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

I was too strong/strident in the subject line of my previous comment.  

(I have a bad habit of speaking too "definitively" online.)

Of course people can use WW to feed their starter.  Everything is relative.  Sometimes just an occasional boost of WW is good. Sometimes a very strong starter is used to compensate for other things.

As you've picked up, there are at least  ## factors that affect fermentation amount and rate:

strength of starter: when last fed, what it was fed, how much fed, temp, hydration, and the beginning number(population) and types of "bugs". (Some species of bugs are just more voracious eaters and reproducers.)

(As I go into below, once you get into "making your own formula" territory, having _consistent_ procedures is more important than _what_ those procedures are.  If step X has to be done in a non-standard way, due to scheduling or convenience, you can alter step Y to make up for it.)

Amount of starter used to innoculate the levain, if made.  Higher % = stronger and faster.

Strength of levain if there is a separate "build", same as above, ingredients, time, temp.

Length and temp of autolyse (without levain), what the actual main/final ingredients are, including water and add-ins.  More autolyse = more sugar is made by enzymes breaking down the starch.

Amount of starter/levain used to innoculate the main/final dough. 

Length and temp of "fermentolyse", after adding levain, but before adding salt, and before kneading/slapping/stretching/folding.  Faster fermentstion without salt.

Length(s) and temp(s) of bulk ferment. ie, room temp "and/or" fridge.

Lengths and temps of final proof, again perhaps multiple periods of varying temps.

--

So, there are ## (too lazy to count them up) ways to "adjust" the amount/degree/speed of fermentation.

--

The "key" is _consistency_, because consistency means repeatability.  Equal/same inputs will generally produce the same output.  Change just one input on that "chain" and it has a ripple effect all down the line.

So... doing the "same thing" is more important than "what" you do.  And the little tweaks, or "A/B testing" as is popular to say, helps you figger out how to get to your destination.  Or, what I call "dialing it in."

Buon appetito!

 

KBreadBaker's picture
KBreadBaker

That makes total sense and exactly what I am coming to realize. There's just so many darn steps that you can adjust! I do want to play around with my starter as its usually peaking around ~8 hrs which is too quick when trying to bake in the AM with it. I would love to get my starter on a schedule where I feed once a day, and I think minimizing the amount of WW is key there. 

I also dont have an indoor thermometer to track the ambient temp inside which I need to work on. Like mentioned before, it's warming up here with the Summer so imagine the ambient temp is playing a larger role 

For the most part, my times of BF and Proofing have not been consistent as Ive been trying to fit it into my working day (unfortunately a work meeting has to take priority over shaping the dough!). I also need to start documenting the exact times of the various steps to compare. Is there any app or website that you would recommend for this? Appears that most folks here just use a good 'ole excel doc to track!

Really appreciate your insight and help- thank you!

idaveindy's picture
idaveindy

danayo has a spreadsheet and printed forms.

I seem to recall that Forkish has a printed form in FWSY, or maybe it as Chad Robertson or peter Reinhart in their books.

Personally, I just journal it on lined notebook paper. Each entry starts with a time stamp.  I then typed those into blog entries on my TFL blog.

I also make comments on my note paper sheets about observations and recommendstions to myself for the next bake : "use more this" "use less that"  "do this longer or shorter", hotter bake, cooler/longer, etc.

So, every ingredient, as weight in grams, and as percent. Then  every time stamp lets me calculate all timings.

I start out with a goal weight, like 1200 g of dough, 88% hydration, 2% salt, and work backward to get flour weight, then forward to get water and salt.

KBreadBaker's picture
KBreadBaker

Thats great, thank you for sharing! Might borrow some of that :)

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

do you have a photo of the scored dough?  that may show how much spring potential it has.   But really for a 25% whole grain loaf that used very little yeast, it's got a really really decent crumb. 

KBreadBaker's picture
KBreadBaker

I unfortunately dont. But the crumb does look pretty good, would like some bigger bubbles, but not bad. 

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

The bigger bubbles that you're looking for are bubbles that are created during bulk fermentation. during dividing and shaping, if you're gentle enough, you'll preserve more of those bubbles.

Dough that is jiggly after bulk ferment and after shaping will have the nice big bubbles inside. The kind of big bubbles that are formed during baking would not be the kind you want. that means the gluten is tearing and small bubbles are merging together into voids usually making it to the top of the bread. 

KBreadBaker's picture
KBreadBaker

If thats the case, does that mean a longer BF time? Or the bigger bubbles that come during BF are just a result of your starter, stretch and folds, etc. Wondering how I can increase the bubbles during BF

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

the recipe and type of flour has a lot to do with it.  Too much whole grain flour will tend to pop some of those bubbles in bulk ferment.  A good strong flour with well built gluten definitely good. A wetter dough helps. A longer BF will help. Very gentle folding and shaping.

If you look at a ciabatta dough. it's crazy jiggly with loads of air inside. And you have to be delicate with it, that's why shaping is just a letter fold, and maybe a press down the middle to keep the dough connected.

berryblondeboys's picture
berryblondeboys

good point on showing what the score looks like. I simply cannot master that with high hydration.

She Bakes's picture
She Bakes

I am following this very interesting thread, and I wondered what is meant by "looking at the scoring may give a hint as to oven rise". (Not an exact quote) What is it supposed to look like? Does it pull apart slightly? If it barely separates, does that mean it won't rise well? I hope my question isn't out of place here. Thanks, Diana

ciabatta's picture
ciabatta

Not always definitive, but you can tell certain things from a photo of the scored dough.

This is maybe ~70% hydration. You can tell there is good tension in the skin and the air pockets are ready to expand when it hits the heat.

This one is a higher hydration one. yon can still tell the skin has tension and there are traces of air bubbles in the dough. (More apparent right after scored than here where it probably sat for a minute)

after steam

a chocolate hazelnut version, not sure if you can see the traces of air bubbles at this resolution...

icantbakeatall's picture
icantbakeatall

That's some super deep slashing on the last loaf isnt it? Nice job.

She Bakes's picture
She Bakes

Thanks, ciabatta, for the explanation of the scoring/oven spring connection. Makes sense.

Diana