The Fresh Loaf

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in fan oven sourdough doesn't spring

majidmajid's picture

in fan oven sourdough doesn't spring

I am trying to bake sourdough in a fan assisted oven with out a Dutch oven. Just a regular pan in the oven I heated it up to 230C. 

I slashed it, then put it in. The oven has steam, but even with steam on all the time the bread will not spring. It just dries out and stops rising.

The bread is 70% hydrated. Same dough in a Dutch oven has a perfect bounce. How can I do the same in the fan assisted oven?


Thanks in advance

therearenotenoughnoodlesintheworld's picture

Most domestic ovens leak too much to hold the steam long enough in the oven...this is where the dutch oven makes up for it as confined space where the steam is able to work its magic.

In addition, the fan forced oven is only going to dry the surface of the bread faster...working against what you are trying to achieve.   

OldWoodenSpoon's picture

If you cannot turn off the fan in the oven, then even with steam you are up against it.  You will have to forgo the steam from the oven and protect/cover the loaf.  This is a hard thing without a dutch oven, but there are a couple not quite so effective alternatives. The basic idea is to cover the loaf for some/most of the bake time, and then uncover it to caramelize and finish the crust.  Things that work:  invert a roaster pan over the loaf.  Invert a large aluminum pan over the loaf.  I've even fashioned a "hood" from wide, extra-heavy aluminum foil that lasted a few bakes.  In the end I bought the dutch ovens.

Even these alternatives aren't very effective unless you use a baking stone, steel, tiles or something.  You need something under the loaf other than the bare rack to make covering it effective.  If the rack is not covered the fan blows the hot air in under, around, and still seals up the crust quickly enough to prevent good spring.