Oven spring problems

scottl

Hello,

My sourdough seems to have suddenly lost its oven spring. It rises on first and second proves as always, but then does very little in the oven. Often, as well the bread collapses somewhat - leaving a hole along the top. Until this point I was close to considering myself a sourdough master.

Can't figure out why this has happened and would appreciate any pointers.

Thanks!

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Staff 2019 August 6

Difficult to know without knowing more about your process. But because you were previously getting good results, a change in flour quality can cause this. Or has there been a seasonal change. For example are your 1st and/or 2nd proofing temperatures now warmer? Could your dough be overproving?

For starters try: reducing water content to make a firmer dough. Mix less..partly because stiffer dough's require less mixing, and also because a lower quality flour could benefit from less development (depending on issue...which we don't know). And/or lower your temperatures. For instance you might get good results by doing everything the same as currently, but complete the last half of the 2nd (final) proof in the fridge (covered to prevent a skin).

Other option...try a different flour. I'm assuming you have already tried getting it into the oven when it is less proved (?). Just a few ideas. 

scottl 2019 August 6

Many thanks! I think I'm coming close to fixing the issue, which has been a process of learning more about sourdough-ing and figuring out what may be going wrong as a result. Your pointers will add more grist to the mill, as I believe over proofing is an ingredient (though don't know why as all my second proofing is done in fridge and the first certainly doesn't seem more extreme than before... 

I think perhaps key to the issue is having had a niece and nephew feed my starter incorrectly while away - I've deduced...

Anyway, things are improving immensely (though not quite there) and I know a lot more about sourdough as a result. So win/win, wth a little frustration!

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