Don't make this ONE STUPID MISTAKE when Baking Bread

  • Published on Feb 23, 2021
  • I feel really stupid now - this one unobvious and stupid mistake could likely make You miss on massive oven spring when baking bread.

    Recipe for the dough:
    - 350g bread flour (14% protein)
    - 50g whole wheat flour (14% protein)
    - 320g water = 80% baker's math
    - 80g sourdough starter = 20% baker's math
    - 8g salt = 2% baker's math

    Instructions for the overnight sourdough (video upcoming soon):
    - Mix all
    - Add a lot of dough strength
    - Wait until sample doubled
    - Shape
    - Proof 1 hour at room temperature
    - Proof 8-24 hours in the fridge at 4°C
    - Bake in preheated oven at 230°C for 25 minutes
    - Bake another 15-20 minutes without the lid

    --- links ---

    Flour I am using:
    Blog article on different flours in Germany:
    Drax Mühle Manitoba flour 14% protein:
    For ze Germans - T550 at Rewe 11-12% protein:
    Mulino Padano 15% protein:
    Strong whole wheat flour:

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    Banneton proofing basket (25cm length, 15cm width, 8.5cm height):
    Cooling rack:
    Digital kitchen scale:
    Dough scraper:
    Dutch oven for batards (Challenger Bread Pan):
    Dutch oven round (Lodge):
    Dutch oven with glas lid (Brovn) - BREADCODE = 5% off:
    Infrared thermometer:
    Loaf pan (30cm length x 12cm width x 9cm height):
    Loaf pan with lid (34cm length, 13cm width, 12cm height):
    No stick spray (vegetable based):
    Ooni pizza oven:
    Oven gloves:
    pH meter to check acidity (advanced):
    pH meter to check acidity (basic):
    The best bread knife (made in Germany):
    Weck starter jars:

    Useful videos:
    Debaked ep. 1 - Pizza journey to Napoli:
    Debaked ep. 2 - Journey to a flour mill:
    Discard starter bread:
    Fermentation time table:
    Make a sourdough starter:
    Make your starter more active:
    Recommend sourdough bread recipe:

    0:00 Intro
    1:05 The recipe
    2:05 No ovenspring
    2:52 Finding the mistake
    4:18 The best baking temperature
    4:31 Amazing oven spring
    4:52 Testing different temperatures
    8:00 The best temperature for oven spring
    8:40 Comparing the results
    9:57 3 tips on baking temperature
    10:50 Further research ideas
    11:23 Closing remarks and taste test

Comments • 819

  • Brad Rogers

    I went through a similar troubleshooting process. For years, my bread had fantastic oven spring, and I was able to develop a great ear. Then suddenly, with a different starter, and a change to the flour that I was using, I was getting awful oven spring, and no ear. I tried increasing hydration, decreasing hydration, increasing and decreasing salt, changing my bulk fermentation and final proofing times. All to no avail. Then I started playing with temperature. Previously I had baked covered at 500f for 30 minutes, then uncovered at 450. The magic bullet was preheating the dutch oven to 500 for an hour (and checking it with an IR thermometer), adding the dough to the dutch oven and immediately turning the oven down to 425. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover, and bake at 425f for another 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, crack the door, and leave for another 30 minutes while the temperature coasts down. Suddenly I was getting amazing oven spring, a great ear, AND it solved my longstanding problem of overly moist and chewy crumb! Another benefit is that the bottom of the loaf is now thinner, and doesn't need a saw to cut through. That has been my standard technique for a year now, and it has never failed. I was simply cooking too hot.

  • Miles Morse

    You're getting plenty of oven spring on most of your loaves. The phenomenon you're calling "oven spring" is usually referred to as an ear. For most sourdoughs the only case in which the heat can be too high is if you don't have adequate steam (and the excess heat sets the crust before the loaf has time to fully spring). Adding an ice cube to the inside of your dutch oven or just using sufficiently high hydration dough such that it releases enough steam naturally. If you want to consistently get ears you need to develop enough gas and strength in the dough during bulk fermentation. You also need to make sure that you generate enough tension in the final shape such that the dough still spreads in the way you want, even as it runs out of gas while baking. Finally when scoring it's important not to completely relieve all the tension in the dough by cutting too deeply. This is hard to describe but basically the phenomenon of the dough pushing against the score as it opens plays a huge role in the development of an ear. You can score an underproofed dough more deeply and an overproofed dough should be scored much less. Your loaves are fairly small as well so I'm not sure how much steam they're generating inside the challenger pan. Great looking bread regardless!

  • Cuppytan

    Very true about the variability of the oven temperature- as home ovens aren't calibrated routinely (as you would with a critical lab equipment). We do need to learn and adjust the settings based on previous results (in manufacturing, we call this validation process) until you find the perfect parameters! Thankyou for sharing this video.

  • Danielle Stoor

    Great experimentation! I love seeing that other home bakers need to figure things out 😄. I do regular and gluten free for my son and that brings out tons of 😫! These two doughs work so differently so I have to remember very different procedures haha 😄. Thanks for the fun and may the gluten be with you haha😆.

  • Jen Humphrey

    So excited! Yesterday I followed everything you shared in this video, as well as dough strengthening, fermentation and proofing times. I wrote notes like crazy about times, temperature, etc. and this morning I finally had success all the way through the process!! Huge oven spring! Great crumb, taste, and moisture inside. And the whole trick that made the difference is your discovery that if you preheat and bake at 230c instead of a hotter oven, the crust doesn’t bake hard so quickly and the oven spring can keep expanding. Thank you so much 💗 for all you teach us , excellent videos and truly caring about your followers and wonderful sourdough bread.

  • Natasha S

    I know that my oven drops a lot when I open it to take my cloche out to load the bread. So have you considered the differences occurring that are a result of the actual temp of the Dutch oven vs oven itself and the changes in temp that occur while loading?

  • Alexis84DE

    I’m an avid baker myself and I know baking is a science, but you took it to another level 😂

  • Thierry Balfroid

    Just at tip to calibrate your oven : use phase transition.

  • Cindy Lutz

    I've been baking sourdough for about 6 weeks now, averaging a loaf a day. Got my first "lip" (?) with a loaf I baked at my mom's house. I'd already worked out that oven temp must make a difference, but I wasn't sure how. Just ordered myself a probe so I can at least know what temp I'm actually at. 😅

  • Frank
    Frank  +2

    Hey there, really loved the video. I’m extremely new to bread baking so these videos are great! I just have one question. Is the dough coming straight from refrigeration or is it room temperature?

  • Les Essentiels PHOTO

    Thanks Hendrick! Very interesting. I was wondering what that mistake could be, but wasn't expecting it to be the oven temperature.

  • Alex Rock-Blake

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Trying the lower temp + introducing water into the dutch oven for more spring has been a revelation - it's like an entirely new bread. Never thought I could get this much oven spring or such a gorgeous ear as a beginner bakey. Seriously this video has been a breakthrough for me.

  • Jose Lausuch

    The stone "steals" a lot of the heat so it takes more time heating everything. I normally take it out if I use dutch oven. And I normally bake at 250ºC, but now I'm gonna try 230, just to see what happens. Will share results soon :)

  • Donald Best

    Thank you so much for this inspiring lesson. I'm just about to bake my first bread this weekend... first ever! It won't be sourdough - but I'll give that a try in a few weeks. Cheers from Barrie, Canada.

  • H Nelson

    I appreciate all your hard work! I would have given up. I have never had consistent results even with plain old white bread. Your tenacity gives me the motivation to keep striving for better sourdough bread. Thank you!

  • Michael Lind

    Thanks for testing that temperature parameter. I have a combi steam oven that only goes to 225 C. So, I always thought I was shut out of good spring because I couldn’t get to those upper end finishing temperatures. Now, I will try to play with other recipes.

  • Jess Rabbit

    Im actually happy to see that even a good dough baker has issues with sourdough sometimes. Im pretty new and am getting frustrated thinking Ill never figure this stuff out

  • Rachael Diane

    I'm so glad I've found your channel! I have been struggling to make my American sourdough recipe work here...trying to find the best flour, hydration etc. Cant wait to try your recipe tomorrow!

  • Jonas Haas

    I wonder why you even decided to up the temperature since your bread last year (which is when I watched a lot of your channel) was always on point already. Also thank you so much for now always sharing the protein content of your flower. It took me ages to figure out why my bread never looked as the ones I saw on TheXvid. Until I asked about the flour underneath a video once. And that was quite the game changer. Well I haven't baked in ages due to it being so time consuming but I really want to get back into it. So I'm gonna try out your easy overnight recipe.

  • F&Co. Nutrition

    This video offers a helpful perspective. A few days ago I baked two loaves back-to-back and the second one had much better oven spring. It makes me think the temp was too high for the first loaf, and that the dutch oven cooled a bit by the time I baked the second loaf. I will try lowering my oven temperature from the get go next time and see what happens.