The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Explosive Oven Spring

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Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Explosive Oven Spring

Performed the bi-daily bake tonight and was totally suprised with the amount of oven spring. The loaf nearly blew itself apart! You can barely see the slash pattern..., I've decreased the time of the bake to around 36 minutes with the first 15 minutes under the stainless steel cloche. Find out tomorrow what the crumb looks like.

Wild-Yeast

 

San Francisco Sourdough French

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I'd call that "exuberant" oven spring! To what do you credit it? Under-proofing? Extra-hot stone? Did you spray the boule with water before covering it?

After deciding that covering the loaf didn't make significant differance in my electric oven, I then baked a covered boule that had extra-ordinary spring. Now, I just don't know. I need more data!

Beautiful boule, Wild-Yeast. Show us the crumb, please.


David

Susan's picture
Susan

Thanks for your photo, it's nice to put a face with a name.

Below is the link to a boule I posted a month ago; it's totally representative of my bread these days. As long as my starter is fresh, the oven hot (470F-500F lowered to 450F), and I have a bowl to cover the loaf, this is predictably what I bake. Under the loaf I use a metal tray in San Diego (27" Miele electric oven) and a pizza stone in Prescott (30" Whirlpool electric oven). A covering of any sort simply keeps moisture close around the dough long enough (half the bake time) to facilitate oven spring. At least that's my read on it. Some parts of our sourdough process are so personal to us: our water, flour type, starter strength, altitude, etc., but I would think that heat would be heat.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/7240/bouncer

I now understand why recipes seemed so vague when I started my bread odyssey, so much depends on those personal points. Using AP or Bread flour instead of Hi-Gluten flour makes a tremendous difference, and I have had trouble with water from time to time and have finally begun to recognize the symptoms earlier. I also use a little more water in Prescott than in San Diego, but when I made bread in Raleigh I had to use a little less water. And if my starter isn't rarin' to go, the bread will suffer--still edible, but not what I shoot for, and I am loathe to spike with commercial yeast (yet another of those personal choices). Time to stop rambling...

Susan from San Diego

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I couldn't agree more with what you said about the need to be flexible in using recipes. But, I think each of us has to learn that this is necessary and how to accommodate to variations in ingredients and ambiant conditions.

I'm thinking of a forum topic a year or so ago where one (inexperienced) baker was condemning Greenstein for specifying "4-5 cups" of flour in his formula for Sour Rye. How sloppy! Why doesn't he just tell us how much flour to use! Useless book!

I think I would have had a much easier time if I'd grown up with a mother (or father) who baked bread. Chances are I'd already know what the dough needs to look and feel like to get a particular result. As it is, I'm really just learning now.

So many of us here have had to discover these things for ourselves, with some help from words and photos that only convey approximations of dough appearance, not to mention feel and smell.

Having said that, I am really enjoying the way we are sharing experiments and experiences with ingredients and techniques. It accelerates learning for us all.


David

Wild-Yeast's picture
Wild-Yeast

Hi David,

I've had nothing but success using a stainless steel cloche cover, baking stone and an electric oven. I think a partial reason for the explosive spring is the result of forming experiments that I've been trying, or, how to get the dough skin surface tension just right. The dough was a tad on the dry side as regards hydration with a slightly higher salt content. The final dough wasn't "glued" together that well allowing the separate sections to balloon freely. Note that this was not planned! Probably why it turned out the way it did....,

Wild-Yeast

 

The crumb shows no real difference from the ordinary.

Explosive Spring -  Crumb Section

 

colinwhipple's picture
colinwhipple

On Sunday I baked a boule of Hamelman's Vermont Sourdough with a steel bowl over it, on a baking stone in a gas oven.  I took the bowl off about 25 minutes in the baking.

 I was very happy with the results.  The interior stayed moister than usual even though it was fully baked, and the crust was less tough.

I want next to get a metal baking pan that I can put over mini-baguettes and see how they come out.

Colin 

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

Well said David.  I appreciate and echo your sentiments.