Unpredictable Oven Spring Issues with Whole Grain Breads
I am a home baker regular baking approximately 6+ loaves of whole grain breads per week. I use Peter Reinhart's delayed fermentation method exclusively and I am having issues with my oven spring...or lack there of. It's totally unpredictable...I baked three anadama loaves last night and each of the two rises went as planned, yet when I put them into the oven...nothing. The night before, however, I baked two loaves, both of which sprung nicely in the oven. In short, my oven spring has been consistently inconsistent and I do not know why.
Here is some general information about the process:
Room temp in my house is usually right around 76 degrees
Soaker is kept at room temp for 10 - 12 hours
Biga refrigerated for approx. 10 hrs (two additional hours at room temperature to take the chill off before final dough mixing_
Use King Arthur whole wheat flour exclusively
My yeast is kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator and is only a month of two old
I use 9"x5" loaf pans
First rise usually lasts approximately 45 - 50 mins to achieve recommended rise of 1.5x's original volume
Final rise in the pan usually takes no longer than 50 mins until i press the dough with my finger and it slowly springs back (sometimes a hint of the indentation remains)
I do not use vital wheat gluten
I have noticed that when I make breads such as challah or brioche which include eggs and milk that the oven spring is usually significant
I have been baking for more than three years now with no formal training whatsoever. In the past, a loaf here or there that did not spring was not the end of the world, however, I now have a number or people for whom I bake a loaf of bread per week and I cannot be giving out whole grain bricks!! Please help!