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Old 09-16-2006, 10:12 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Gretchen
Whoa. You ARE letting it rise in the baking dish aren't you? You let it double in the pan, put it in the oven and bake it. Oven spring refers to the amount that RISEN dough increases in the oven.

Maybe you just left out the second rise in the above quote. But it certainly would explain it. Tone your oven down. That higher temp is for a different kind of bread--crusty atrisanal loaves often.

Salt in bread is good--better flavor. It may inhibit yeast when just in water but in bread dough, it is a valued ingredient. don't leave it out.
No, I actually do perform the second rise though it tends to take much longer than the recipe specifies. It's probably the yeast.

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Old 09-18-2006, 09:43 PM   #22
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Salt kills yeast, so try not to combine those two ingredients until the mixing stage. And if you're having trouble proofing the yeast in water, then use instant yeast, you don't need to proof that first, you can just add it as a dry ingredient.

If oven spring is the amount of rise that the dough experiences in the oven, then theres two reasons why it happens. First, the increasing temperature increases the rate of yeast fermentation in the dough, so the quality and liveliness of your yeast must be taken into account. I think that the other factor is the amount of water in your dough. When the dough heast up past the boiling point of water (225 Fahrenheit or 100 celsius), it will vaporize, turn into water vapor, and lift the dough a little.

So maybe good quality yeast, and a dough that isn't too dry will help you out the most. Maybe using bread flour will help more too, bread flour has more gluten, which is supposed to absorb more water.

I always use instant yeast unless i can't help it, and oven spring is never a problem.

Bread can sing. o.O
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Old 09-18-2006, 10:10 PM   #23
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And don't forget your oven temp. That isn't going to let much more happen. I think it is too high.
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Old 09-21-2006, 02:35 AM   #24
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It rose! So it was the yeast after all! Thank you all so much!

I added a spoonful of sugar to the yeast mixture and it became all frothy like beer or something. Not surprising since beer is made with yeast.
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:27 AM   #25
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"... and how high is your mother?"

Ah, the mental imagery that this thread is providing! First I cannot get out of my mind the picture of a very large coiled spring in your oven, and as for the above, does it really need an explanation?!

On a more serious note: get ahold of the Paula Figoni book to really understand what you're doing and how to control it. I spent much of last winter learning how to make one specific type of bread (tsoureki) and only after much help from Ms. Figoni and a lovely, lovely woman at King Arthur was I able to make beautiful, consistent loaves time and time again.

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