The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Wetting surface of proofed loaf improves oven spring?

venkitac's picture

Wetting surface of proofed loaf improves oven spring?

I made Hamemans Vermont Sourdough With Whole Wheat today (with one small change in recipe, 20% WW instead of 10% as Hamelman says). In addition to the usual steaming etc, this time I wet the surface of the loaf with my hand pretty liberally before scoring. It seemed to have improved my ovenspring tremendously, these cuts were about 1/2 inch deep, and as you can see, it came out pretty good. The left cut pretty much filled out completely:



I'll admit that I've not really had such good oven spring very regularly. Maybe this was blind luck, but I think wetting the surfce of the dough in addition to steaming helps. I'm sure the topic has come up on TFL before, and this is a repost in some way, but hey:)


Pablo's picture

That's a great lookng loaf.  You might want to try scoring along the length of the loaf rather than across for some ears and maybe a bit more spring.  If you haven't seen it already, there's a great scoring tutorial put together by David:


venkitac's picture

Thanks, Pablo. Pamela said the same in a different post, next time I'm going to try more "vertical" slashes.

avatrx1's picture

If it turns out that wetting the loaf improves the oven spring - perhaps I'll give it a try.  Then I'd probably buy a spray bottle at the hardware store and use that.  That way I wouldn't flatten my bread while applying the water.


As for the slashing?  I cannot seem to do that so I just use a really sharp scissors and make cuts.


photojess's picture

if you are baking on a stone, don't spray water on it with the mister, or it may leave you with a huge, usless, cracked stone!

Pain Partout's picture
Pain Partout

When my high-hydration loaves are ready for the oven, I douse them liberally with a small spray bottle of distilled water, then slash with a wet blade.   They are on parchment, and transfer easily to the stone.  Once in the oven, I spritz into the oven also,...and again in approximately five minutes (closing the door quickly between sprays).  I just do this instead of adding a pan of water to the oven beneath the stone.   I think the "pre-oven spritz" makes the loaves bloom better as they tend to steam more.  It also helps with slashing.

toyman's picture

I have similar results and a similar procedure.  After my final rise, I slash my loaves and then spritz them with water from a sprayer.  I get them nice and shiney and then into the oven.  I've not a had any problems with either of my stones (I use 2) spritzing when I put the loaves in and then again about 10 minutes later.  I also really like the carmel color and the crunch of the crust.