The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Loving that convection

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loydb's picture
loydb

Loving that convection

The oven that was in our new house was pretty much the cheapest exposed-element electric that they could find when they did the kitchen remodel pre-sale. We replaced it with a Frigidaire FPEF3081MF, from their 'professional' range. It's my first glass-topped unit, and my first convection oven (sadly, no steam). While I still can't find the (in a box somewhere) stuff I need for breadmaking, I used it last night to roast some potatoes and carrots and a pork tenderloin. 

I am now in love with convection. I wish I'd gotten some picture (camera -- in a box somewhere).  These were - by far - the best roasts I've ever produced. The potatoes were well-browned and slightly crunchy on the outside. The carrots were sweet and caramalized. The roast had a perfect crust.

I don't know how much use it will be for bread, but I'm in love with the feature so far...

 

 

Comments

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Loyd,

Can't remember if I told you or not so sorry if this is a repeat.

Due to summer heat I purchased a counter-top oven (Cadco XAF-113) that 'lives' in my garage which is now where I do all of my baking.  It only 'does' convection which I was worried about before because I have never had a convection oven either.  It also has steam.

Long story short...I love it! There are a lot of posts here about baking with convection and the one I have adopted is that of loading the bread onto my hot stone - giving it some steam and then turning the oven off for about 10 minutes.  I get great spring due to he heat transfer from the stone and the crusts turn out nice and crispy.  The loaves bake in much less time too.

 I love it so much that when my daughter heads off for college in a couple of days I have already called 'dibs' on floor space in her room so I can move the oven into it when our weather cools down.  I know one isn't supposed to make any changes in a child's room when they first head out but I am not one to pay too much attention to what 'they' say.  I did explain to my daughter what I was doing and told her that I still love here.....She took the news well. The crying slowed down after a couple of days and dried up all together when I told her it was going to be on a cart with wheels so that when she comes home to visit all I have to do is roll it on out of her room and she will never know difference *-).....

I am sure you will love the convection when your missing 10% gets unearthed and your are able to bake breads again :-)

Take Care,

Janet

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

I still haven't tamed my convection oven. I'll try with your method. The fan on my oven is far too aggressive and because of this it dries the crust very soon, preventing the spring. This turn-off seems to be a very good solution!

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi Nico,

Mine is very aggressive too.  Like a wind tunnel.  It blows the parchment paper away if not secured down and I can't use aluminum foil on the tops of my loaves or else it blows that away too.  Lots of wind in a small area but my loaves don't get dried out because they bake more quickly now - like in almost 1/2 the time of my regular oven.  

Like David said turning the heat down 25° will give you the heat like a conventional oven but some are already calibrated for this so you might check the temps you are getting with an oven therm. and see if they correlate to the temp. you are setting your oven on.  In mine when I set it to 400°F/205°C the therm. in the oven reads 25° less.  Baking time is less due to the distribution of the heat - much more even.

Take Care,

Janet

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Did anyone of you get a good bottom crust? Mine is always soggy, regardless of how long I preheat the oven, wether with pizza stone or aluminum pan at the bottom. I also tried to move the base a bit higher, a bit lower... but still the bottom is always soggy.

The crust on the top is perfect: very uniform and crispy. My oven has a wheeling turntable, so baking is really uniform.

The oven is a sharp R939-bk.

http://www.sharp.nl/cps/rde/xchg/nl/hs.xsl/-/html/huishoudelijke_magnetrons.htm

I also tried the convection+microwave at 90W and I have to say that it does bake quicker, but still with a soggy bottom. It's hideous, especially because Sharp was the only company that used to produce combination microwave ovens with a grill at the bottom, too. I re-read the manual shipped with the oven and unlike in other models (the 898 with double grill) -guess what? There's not a single recipe for baking bread.

The thermostat is reliable, in the sense that the oven thermometer always reads 10°C less than the temperature specified.

I might bake bread in the 898, but there's a contention ongoing between and this convection  oven. I *can't* accept this defeat.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Finally I won this battle! The bread came out uniformly crusty and browned on all sides,  even at the bottom. I changed only one thing: I placed the loaf right in front of the fan! I suspected that  placing the loaf in the usual position -that means right *below* the air flow- it wasn't receiving a fair amount of heat and so it was.

Evidently even in convection ovens the heat is not equally distributed in the cavity as builders want to make us believe.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

The convection feature, which is so nice for browning roasts, also helps to evenly brown and dry the crust of hearth breads. What I have been doing is baking on conventional setting for the first 12-15 minutes, then switching to convection and lowering the temperature by 25 dF for the rest of the bake. It seems to work well for me. 

Please let us know how your oven works when you started baking bread in it.

Happy baking!

David

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

with your new oven.  I do exactly what David Snyder does because .....Oh yah....I learned it from him :-)  It works great in both my big GE and mini convection ovens.

I'm kind of confused about whee you ended up.  I though your were moving to BC and then saw a post about moving to Providence RI and then one about BC again.  Are you in BC now?

loydb's picture
loydb

I'm not sure who is moving to BC, but *I've* never mentioned it :) We're in East Providence now (formerly Austin).

I fed my starter last night, I guess I'm going to do another loaf by hand this week since I have no mixing bowl. I'll try convecting it!

 

d0rifto's picture
d0rifto

hello,

has any here with the Cadco XAF-113 used the air deflector plate?

 

http://www.cadco-ltd.com/XC600_Spec_2007.pdf

 

seems interesting...

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I have a Cadco but bake breads only and do not use any type of deflector.  From the looks of it you could probably make one yourself....

Janet

d0rifto's picture
d0rifto

double post

loydb's picture
loydb

After having cooked on it for awhile, I'm pretty happy with the oven. I'm not sure the glass top was made for people who cook vigorously with metal pans -- some of the "lines" on the surface are starting to wear off from pans being agitated. It doesn't seem to affect the performance, it's just a cosmetic issue.

 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

I have to say, the best loaf I have baked so far came from my parent's convection oven.  Even dark brown crust and amazing oven spring.  Don't know how much was due to the convection, but all I know is I haven't been able to make a loaf like that one since. 

John

loydb's picture
loydb

This oven also has a sealed floor burner, so steaming my oven has become much easier with a pan of boiling water...