Bread Question: How do you get a good oven "spring"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 03-22-2010, 06:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I bake bread regularly. Usually I make whole-wheat bread, often with some rye flour mixed in. I can get a nice tender, fairly light bread, but I have never, ever been able to get any "spring" from the loaf when I put it in the oven.

I wait until the bread is risen to the point where if I poke it gently with my finger, it dents and doesn't fill back in right away. I really don't think it's over-risen at this point!

Today I read someone's comment on a different thread that they slash the top of their bread for a good oven spring, and I tried that on today's bread. Well, I don't know if my knife wasn't sharp enough or what (sharpest knife I have), but when I checked on the bread in the oven, it had actually collapsed a little bit around the slash. No oven spring. I was also out of gluten today, so maybe my bread had a little less structure than normal because of that, so maybe that's why?

Could my dough be too wet? I've found that a fairly highly hydrated dough helps me make a lighter textured whole-wheat bread. But maybe that's why I don't get a good oven spring?

Any ideas?
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#2 of 5 Old 03-25-2010, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone? Help, please!
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#3 of 5 Old 03-25-2010, 06:12 PM
 
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Er, does it matter? I mean, if it tastes good and light without the oven spring...

I've heard of two things you could try. Put the bread in the cold oven (with a pan of boiling water on the rack beneath if you like) and preheat it, so the bread will ontinue to rise until the oven gets too hot and kills the yeast.

Or bake your bread on a hot pizza stone/baking stone. The heat of the stone causes the bread to rise up rather than spreading out (which reminds me very much of an episode of DS9, actually). I've never tried this one, don't have a pizza stone...

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

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#4 of 5 Old 03-26-2010, 03:53 PM
 
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I am not adventurous enough to "wing it" with my bread recipes. But I make lots of recipes from "Healthy Artisan Bread In 5 Minutes A Day," and I get incredible oven spring from all those recipes. I'm not sure what is the secret: the wet dough, the bread stone, the steam? I do know that slashing the top is a must to allow the dough to spring up.

Nichole
wife to Sasha, mom to Marlena, nursed for 3.5 years, aunt to 3 adorable nephews
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#5 of 5 Old 03-27-2010, 09:48 PM
 
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I've found that I get the best spring when I proof it in the oven with the light on, then turn the oven on while the bread is in there.
I hope that makes sense. I have 4 kids running around being crazy

Thea, wife to Daniel Homeschooling Momma to 4 beautiful, engergetic children.
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