The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

why oven spring is good to have?

liming's picture

why oven spring is good to have?

dear all,

        I'm recently puzzled about the need to have an oven spring. If I can almost make sure not to overproof my dough, letting it rise to just double its original volume, then there won't be an oven spring but the bread will still have a nice open crumb and a doubled volume. And I think an oven spring would just result in a bread having the same kind of crumb and volume. 

       I guess since oven spring requires the baker to make a judgement about when to finish the second proofing stage, which is difficult for amateurs like me. This could be a risk factor that may lead to an inconsistency in the resulting bread quality. 

       So the safest way to go is to make sure the proofed dough rise just to double the original volume, and not hoping for any oven spring? And in this case, the dough will not show visible expansion along the scoring lines, will it? I had this happen to my bread twice. 

       My another question is do I still need to score a dough if I don't aim for an oven spring? 

        Thank you!




Les Nightingill's picture
Les Nightingill

Liming you may be conflating oven spring and proofing... 

Oven spring is the result of steam being created in the dough from the water you added. When there is good gluten development, and no over-proofing, this steam will give an open crumb. The openness of the crumb can be controlled by controlling hydration, but it's generally a good idea to try to proof to the optimum point for the best gluten strength.

You can't achieve the same thing as oven spring by optimal proofing alone.

But if you're not getting much oven spring, and you're happy with your results, you should stick with what you're doing.

pall.ecuador's picture

It is not only steam that is giving oven spring, but also the expansion of CO2 as it heats up. Unless you have really punched down your bread, there are going to be pockets of CO2 that will expand until they are either released or they can't expand anymore. 

liming's picture

thanks, maybe i will let my dough rise until it reaches 85% of original volume for the second proofing and see what happens.

by the way, would 78% hydration hinder any oven spring? my 78% dough was basically more spreaded out than my 75% hydration dough.