Always Zero Ovenspring, pls help :)
i have always problems with ovenspring and could need your help to figure out why. :)
Mixing Levain 1:4:4 , wait 12 hours for it to atleast double in volume.
Mixing the dough (72% hydration) 90% Breadflour 12% Protein, 10% Wholewheat 13% Protein
stretch and fold 5 times every 30 minutes
Bulk fermentation at 25-26°C until 60% increase in volume
bench rest 30 minutes
14 hours cold proof at 4-5°C
score and spritz the loaf
Baking at 245°C for 25 min with lid on, 20 min with lid off at 220°C
• even if the dough had 60% volume increase at 26°C, it is still underfermented (dont know why). So ferment up to 75% increase in volume?
• try to create better gluten development, with more intense s&f at the beginning?
• maybe i score to deep?
• tighter pre and finalshaping?
the whys and hows of oven spring are the following
1) in unleavened dough, oven spring is due to gluten development, the dough is kneaded and then stretched and folded a lot, so that the layers are very thin and when baked they are translucent. This achieves phenomenal oven spring, for example, in puff pastry, that has no yeast, no sourdough, no soda, nothing, just water vapor that makes it spring so tall.
But its oven spring is legendary. It increases in volume in the oven about 10-12fold. Just because its gluten is so well developed, rolled out and folded, and the steam during baking lifts it up.
2) in leavened dough, oven spring is due to gasses from leaveners and thanks to the extensible or soft consistency of the dough, such as in soda breads, cookies with baking powder, yeasted breads and sourdough yeast. It is stretchy enough to rise at least 4x during proof and then to double in the oven, to spring up under the gas pressure from those leaveners.
In your case, both things haven't been working well enough.
Your leaven is not mature enough (doesn't have enough yeast in it, it is too young when you use it) and your bread dough is not kneaded enough nor stretched and folded, nor let rise sufficiently when fermenting (which stretched the gluten as well).
So you can see that there are very few pores in your bread slice with very thick walls, and your leaven never rose to the max and started falling, nor your bread dough rose tall, so in the end the tight mass was too stiff to stretch and rise and there was not enough gas produced by sourdough yeast because there were few yeast cells to begin with.
My advice would be
1) Stir your leaven well when you mix it, really well, 300 turns minimum, then let your leaven/levain rise to the max volume (3x to 4x increase in volume), wait for its top to flatten out and start sagging a bit, then stir it and watch it rise again. If your mature leaven doubles under one hour after that, it is strong, with good gassing power, it will work very well in your dough. If not, let it rise to the max again and test its gassing power again: stir it and let it double, see how long it will take.
2) do knead Your bread dough at least to the initial stage of gluten development and then do stretches and folds with wet hands on wet or slightly, only very slightly, greased table surface, to create good layers.
3) let your bread dough rise as it bulk ferments, just to make sure that it CAN rise big and voluminous. Normally, bread volume is 4-8 times bigger than initial dough volume. You can measure your dough rise in a measuring cup, to see how big it is able to rise.
The rest of your recipe/process is ok, it should give you a good loaf of bread.
Reduce hydration. Reduce proofing time. Reduce dough temperature. Desired dough temperature is 23C-25C, my opinion is the lower range (23C) is better.
I had similar trouble (still have if) when ramping the hydration past 65%.
Proofing can be as low as ⅓ before retarding and still the oven spring is ok. This is not a case of your starter being young or weak, it is you where the fault lies.
Play with the hydration first, then the proofing.
I don't know what the optimal hydration should be for this recipe. But for sure, higher hydration => more slack dough which means that either you proof and bake in a loaf pan for support or you really work at building the dough strength and then handling it carefully.
Building strength for freestanding high hydration loaves requires a lot of expertise, most of which I don't have. But there are lots of videos on handling high hydrations doughs, including Rubaud's Method for mixing (much neater than slap-and-fold and perhaps more effective for slack doughs than stretch-and-folds) and pre-shaping/shaping techniques for slack doughs.
same recipe, but now with 10 min of slap and fold, more vigorous stretch and folds and 1 Lamination, the windowpane test looked perfect, but the loaf looks even worse:
Your starter is the problem. Your timing and method will work when your starter is viable. A photo of your starter or levain would be more telling than the loaf.
My starter doubles in 2-3 hours when i feed a 1:1:1 ratio.
Then you should make your make your levain that way in the morning and see what happens. Maybe your levain went past its peak during the night and turned too acidic before you made the dough with it. At this point I am only guessing. Is your oven working properly? Have you tried a different flour with more protein? Something doesn't add up here.
i mixed the levain at 3:00 p.m. ratio 1:2:2, nearly trippeld at 8:00 p.m.
mixed the dough, 10 min slap and fold, 2 x vigorous stretch and fold, 2 coil folds.
What i changed was the temperature from 26°C to 21°C and let it bulk ferment overnight.
At 7:00 a.m it rose by 120% in volume. 4 hours cold proof at 5°C. Final shaping, pretty tight. Baked like the other times.
Looks a bit over fermented but i rlly like the result.
Would be more than happy with that result and the difference is night and day from the previous bake. I don't see any signs of it being over fermented. I am thrilled for you turning it around so quickly to produce a rlly nice loaf of bread:-)
Congratulations, Charlie! Such a beautiful loaf of bread, amazing. Look at that crust color, at that oven spring, huge improvement! Wow!
That is an impressive bake Charlie, I too do not see any signs of over fermentation there. All I see is a great crumb and a loaf with wonderful oven spring and bloom. Well done.
No sign of over fermentation that I can see. Beautiful bake!
Thanks for the help and the nice comments :)
I will aim for 100% instead of 120% rise for the next loaf. Maybe the crumb will be more open.
Amazing improvement. How many hours did it bulk ferment at room temperature?
Thank you, about 11 hours.
That’s interesting, thank you. My kitchen room temperature during th e day is about 21C. For BF I put the dough in the oven which I turn on briefly to get to 24-26C. I go to 100% rise in about 8 hours . My rise isn’t as good as yours though. I might try an overnight BF at room temperature and see how it goes .
sourdough remains a mystery to me. did the same as with the last loaf. but at 7:00 a.m. the dough was only 30% risen.
I then formed the loaf at 2:00 p.m. and baked it at 4:00 p.m. With 55% increase in volume. If I had waited any longer, the gluten structure would have collapsed completely. Was very difficult to shape.
Somehow my Levain probably lacked the strength. I fed the starter every 12 hours as usual and the levain tripled in 5 hours. I do not get it.
Everything about my baking improved when I started using the hint in the Tartine recipe for country bread. The hint is: wait until a bit of your starter floats before mixing the dough. Since I started using that hint, my loafs are not gummy and they rise well.
I read somewhere that the float test for a rye starter (mine is whole/dark rye @ 100% hydration) doesn't always work. But you may be using wheat flour.
I don't get great volume or very open crumb, but I think it's OK for the 100% whole wheat that I make. The high whole grain ryes have even tighter crumb and less oven spring. But rye doesn't make gluten.