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#121 of 129 Old 07-21-2014, 09:05 AM
 
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Reviving this thread to report that I have become a slave to sourdough. I figured people here might understand.

I started following the Bourke Street Bakery feeding schedule over a month ago. I am getting beautiful loaves but since I hate just throwing away the starter when I feed it, I have been making endless amounts of waffles, crumpets, apple spice bread, banana bread etc.

Yesterday I made a plain boule, a spiced fruit sourdough loaf, 2 apple spiced cakes and i still have a bucket of discarded starter in the fridge.
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#122 of 129 Old 07-21-2014, 08:26 PM
 
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LOL! I don't understand yet but I'm planning to start a sour dough starter once the weather warms up so I'm probably looking into my future :-)

On another matter, how do people get oven spring? I happy with the taste and texture of most of my things now but they are all still much flatter than I'd like.
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#123 of 129 Old 07-22-2014, 12:26 AM
 
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Oven spring? Cook it in a Dutch oven. Night and day, seriously.

I use a big oval enamelled cast-iron one. First I heat the oven up HOT - 250C - for about 25 minutes. Then I pop the loaf (boule, usually) in on its square of baking paper. I coat the bottom of my Dutch oven with a layer of coarse cornmeal to prevent the bottom of the loaf scorching - I change it occasionally, but it lasts for several bakes.

Then I sprinkle a bit of water around the sides of the Dutch oven and on the lid, and pop it in the oven for about 40 minutes, turning the oven down a bit to 220ish after the first few minutes. Then I haul it out, take off the lid and inspect. If it doesn't look done, the lid goes back on and it goes back in for 10-15 minutes. If it looks done but pale, it goes back in for 10 minutes or so with the lid off. If it looks done and nicely browned, well, it's done.

You get more oven spring with high hydration doughs, but even fairly 'dry' doughs benefit from this method. Lovely oven spring, slashes open up beautifully, and you can get really great chewy, non-wimpy crusts. I love it.

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#124 of 129 Old 07-22-2014, 03:19 AM
 
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Oh cool, thank you! I will give that a try tomorrow.
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#125 of 129 Old 07-22-2014, 05:59 AM
 
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I made a list of suggestions for encouraging oven spring when I was having trouble with a recipe.You may want to experiment to see if just 1 of the suggestions works.

Before you start baking, make sure the final proof was adequate. The dough should spring back nicely when you poke it.

1. Wet the dough just before baking by spraying with water

2. Place a pan of water in the bottom of the oven

3. Use a baking stone or invert a baking sheet and place it in the oven while it pre-heats.

4. Pre-heat the oven 25 to 50 degrees Farenheit hotter than the recipe asks, then decrease the heat to the recipe's temperature (a) when you pit the bread in the oven or (b) after the first 10 minutes of baking.

Full disclosure, I never did manage a nice oven spring with the recipe I was using. I also experimented with the amont of yeast and the kneading and proofing times, but nothing seemed to work. I don't make it anymore.
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#126 of 129 Old 07-23-2014, 12:14 AM
 
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Are you sure you weren't over-proofing it? One of the things I learned on The Fresh Loaf (great site, incidentally) is that one of the most common mistakes in breadmaking is to overproof on the final rise. It shouldn't double, apparently; it needs to have rising 'room' to spring in the oven, as it were, or it'll just sort of sit there or worse, collapse. I only proof mine for about an hour (with a smaller amount of yeast than most recipes call for).

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#127 of 129 Old 07-23-2014, 01:19 AM
 
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Hm, that's interesting about over proofing. I wonder if that's where I went wrong today. My Dutch oven loaf didn't spring but it has a lovely crust. Do you grease the Dutch oven? I did the cornmeal and baking paper on the base and lightly oiled the sides but it stuck badly around the sides.

The second loaf I did in an ordinary tin with a tray of water in the base of the oven. I managed a modest spring. Certainly better than I've achieved before.

I used my standard loaf recipe but made it wetter than I usually do.
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#128 of 129 Old 07-23-2014, 11:32 PM
 
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Hmm. I've never greased my Dutch oven or had a problem with sticking. Is yours enameled? I use a really big oval Dutch oven. The bread isn't supposed to fill it up like bread dough in a loaf tin - there should be some space around the loaf (to contain the lovely moist steamy air, which helps with oven spring). My square of baking paper usually ends up a few centimetres up each narrow side of the oval, which is enough to keep even a round boule from touching the sides. I've had the odd occasion where a few centimetres of loaf touched the sides, but it didn't stick - maybe because by the time it 'grew' to touch the sides it had already formed something of a crust?

Curious!

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#129 of 129 Old 07-23-2014, 11:37 PM
 
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Ah, no, mine totally filled the pan. It was touching the sides at the end of the second rise. So clearly I put far too much dough in to start with.

It is enamelled but it's round rather than oval and not huge. I shall try again with a much smaller quantity.
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