The Fresh Loaf

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Better Oven Spring Wiith a Double Loaf?

louiscohen's picture
louiscohen

Better Oven Spring Wiith a Double Loaf?

With white flour, I don't have any problem with oven spring, even for a man my age.  But for a long time I have had difficulty with whole wheat breads over about 60% whole wheat.  My single loaves use 450g total flour (formulas here Bread Formulas),  

I had a nice result recently with a 60% WW at 80% hydration double loaf 60% WW w/ Rye Photo.  So I tried an 80% WW @ 90% hydration, double, 900g total flour, and the oven spring wasn't bad, despite some less than perfect shaping. And, BTW 135g of leeks, scallions, and Kalamata olives.  

Is there some bulk effect/mass effect that creates better oven spring with a bigger loaf than a smaller one, everything else equal?

Thanks

suave's picture
suave

It could be a combination of effects brought about both by the size of the loaf and your baking vessel, and it's a really nice one, by the way.  Think about it this way - a larger loaf will heat up a little bit slower, and at the same time evaporate more water in a smaller space, and it's entirely possible that it creates conditions that in this particular case promote better oven spring. 

Another possibility I can think of is retardation, if you use it.   Double the size of the dough, change the bowl, and the dough starts cooling down and warming up at a different rate, and that can change degree to which the dough is fermented.  More oomph left in the dough - more oven spring. 

louiscohen's picture
louiscohen

You may well be on to it.  I have generally settled into 3 day bread bread: poolish, mix/overnight retarded b.  ulk fermentation, shape/proof/bake  The oven spring today was perhaps a little better than usual but not as much better as I had hoped.  

I bake boules in a round dutch oven and batards in the Emeril stovetop smoker in the photo.  Baking in the container seems more effective than the other steaming methods.  I've got about 20 minutes before I can slice today's bread to check out the crumb. 

semolina_man's picture
semolina_man

What do you think is lacking from the bread in the photo? 

 

With nearly 1/3 the flour weight in additions (leeks, olives), this is a major stumbling block for oven spring.  What do you think? 

louiscohen's picture
louiscohen

The one in the picture was 60% whole grain (whole wheat and some rye, treated like multigrain). With 40% or more white flour my oven spring is OK.   The garnishes I use are 15% max of the flour, 135g garnish w/ 900g flour.  for a double loaf.  

I probably need to improve my shaping to build better strength and make sure that the couche holds the shape during proofing.

Benito's picture
Benito

I think yes and no.  In general if you can get equal steam, then the smaller loaf will rise more in the oven because it is lighter than the larger loaf.  So if you had a smaller dutch oven to bake the smaller loaf in, or could increase the humidity in the larger dutch oven, the smaller loaf will rise more.  If you only have one large dutch oven that is better sized for the larger loaf, then because it can raise the humidity more the larger loaf may rise better than the smaller one.

Benny

louiscohen's picture
louiscohen

Good point.  My cast iron vessels are better sized for double loaves (900g flour).