Some Good Advice For Little To No Oven Rise In Your Breads



I have been baking bread for many months now. With all my success and failure I have seen

many people post about not getting enough oven spring out of their bread.

This was my case also. So, I went down to my local bakery and asked for some advice from the bread bakers.

They suggested that I cut my prooving time from 60 - 90 minutes to 20 or 30 minutes in 30 degree

weather. They also stated that my dough is being exhausted the way I am doing it and I'm not leaving

enough power in the dough for it to rise in the oven.

I went home that day and began. Sure enough I made a very nice loaf, it was almost too good to be true.

So if you are experiencing this problem, try what I did and reduce your prooving time.

You might be surprised!






263 users have voted.


dorisw 2011 October 16

I was wondering about the same thing already , and here is your madscientist experiment to support my suspicion.

To get the complete picture,  at 30 degrees temp.  how long did you bulk ferment your last nice loaf?

I started baking with sourdough last winter and remember getting good oven spring for my first several loaves, except a few other things did not work ( cracking etc.). I made a lot of corrections since then, learned a lot, but then the oven spring disappeared. Good tasting loaves, no cracking, but no ovenspring. Now I can see that as time went on,  in the summer time with temps around 27 - 32 degrees, although I reduced times, still, I was bulk fermenting too long, and probably also  overprooving my loaves, since I prooved them for the same length you were indicating. . . But now we are back to heating the house ( 20 degrees), and I tend to stick the dough in the oven with the pilot light on, or else fermentation and prooving time would take forever. Which throws me off again, hopefully not for long.

TheMadScientist 2011 October 16

Hi Doris,


From my experience with the flour I am using and the temp I'm usually at, I don't proove the second time and my

bread turns out just fine. In fact, if I do the 2nd prooving time I get more of a brick, non-rising loaf. Not good!


I have just done away with the second prooving all together. for me it's not needed. My temps in my home

range from 28 - 30 degrees. I stick my loaf in the oven at 100 degrees F for 20 - 30 minutes and keep an eye on it

from 20 minute mark on through 30 minutes. When I feel I have reached a safe rise time that would allow me to

have enough power left in the loaf to continue to rise in the oven, I then just crank up the oven to 400 degrees F

and when it gets hot enough, I pour some water in the bottom of the catch pan of my oven to steam the loaf,

Then about half way through I steam again.



Madame de Fleur 2011 October 17

Just one degree is significant with proofing times, and as home sourdough bakers we have to adjust to seasonal temperature changes all year. It can get tricky, and summer is my least favourite time for baking. As you've found, dorisw, you have to slash your proof times once the temperature gets into the 30s.

I've bulk proofed as short as one and a bit hours on very hot days, then shaped and done the final proof in the fridge. I've found it's the only way to extend the proof times in hot weather. Just bake out of the fridge next day.

Never have tried baking the same day when it's so hot, but I imagine you would lose flavour with such short proof times. However, good home baked bread always beats the supermarket rubbish.

dorisw 2011 October 24

 Interesting to know that you proove your sourdoug in the oven, then leave it in while increasing the temp to 400 degrees! During cooler temperatures ( our fall, winter, spring) I used to proove my SD in the oven with the pilot light on. But then, after it had risen, remove it from the oven while heating up to 450degrees, with a pan with water in the bottom.  Then returning the dough back to the oven once it had reached the 450 degree temp. Then after 10 min decrease to 380 degrees.  

Do you leave it at 400 degrees until its done?

Today I am baking again. I will experiment with putting the SD in the oven for prooving time and leaving it in while increasing the temps.  If it works, its going to be less hassle for me. 

I am also experimenting with adding cooked rice. Hope these are not too many experiments at once

dorisw 2011 October 25

 putting the SD in the oven for prooving time and leaving it in while increasing the temps. worked for me!

I had expected the worst.  In fact, I was prepared to use the loaves for turkey stuffing ( that's what we do with our discards). We had left in the morning, with the dough on the counter for bulk fermentation. I thought we would be back home 2 -3 hours later, but it turned into a lovely drive in the country, picking apples at a friend's farm.  When we got home 8 hours later, I feared that the SD would have risen and fallen. Not so, it was just a bit more than double in size, still looking good. I then shaped it and put it into 2  glass pans. Placed the pans in the oven at 100 degrees more or less ( my oven has no temp. indicator for this low a temp).  Within abt 45 min. the dough rose again. Then I increased the temp to 450 degrees, put in a dish with water, and the dough rose a bit  more. After 10 minutes I reduced the temperature to 380  degrees. We  could not resist, once the loaves were cool, we tasted one; certainly worth repeating! As I mentioned, I was also experimenting with  adding 1 cup of cooked brown rice. We found that the rice makes the bread nice and moist, we quite like it.



TheMadScientist 2011 October 31

I have been experimenting a bit lately,


I have switched flour just before I posted this post. I can say baking with flour that is ment to be used for bread

is very important. Getting REAL flour here in China is a pain in the ass, but I finally found some.

RANT :Getting anything real in China is near impossible. God help this country! I can't wait to get back to Canada!

On with the story: I have also noticed my proving spring and oven spring has gone up significantly!

Now that the weather is getting slightly colder here in China, I have started to leave my dough to rise

in my over at 100 degrees with water in the bottom catch pan. I use bread molds and I place the dough into the

mold and flatten it level. It is usually 40% as high as the mold. I wait for it to reach the top of the mold while keeping

the air humid in there with the water from the catch pan.  After the dough gets to the top, i notice it is extremely sticky

I can tell it is inflated and bloated by then. I then take the pan and dough out of the oven, crank up the temp to 400.

When it's at 400 I then place the dough back in and splash about 20 grams of water into the catch pan and quickly

close the door. The instant steam effect I beleive assists the dough in getting a nice crust. I then steam it like that

again when there is 15 minutes left to bake on a 60 minute bake. I have increased my bake time to 60 + give or

take. This is due to the fact of be turning out loaf after loaf of almost fully cooked bread.. I have when that happens.


I just turned out an amazing loaf of bread the other day. It was so light and fluffy that I did not beleive it was mine!



So now I'm just proving a loaf now to see if I can repeat the same results.


Keep you posted.

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