The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Newbie in need of help! Hot ovens etc.

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Bakingmadtoo's picture
Bakingmadtoo

Newbie in need of help! Hot ovens etc.

Hello to all. I have been 'lurking' for a while and am diligently working my way through all the old threads (yes, all of them!) and I have been learning lots and lots.You certainly are a knowledgeable bunch. I have several questions,but expect I will find the answer to some yet, so will hang fire. But this one I could do with a little help with for starters.

Heating my oven. Nearly all recipes say to heat the oven for at least an hour to just about the hottest setting (for a domestic oven anyway). I simply cannot afford to heat my oven for that long and have no choice other than to bake bread as soon as it reaches temperature (I have an oven thermometer so know that my oven is pretty accurate). I know that the heat is needed for good oven spring . So, bearing in mind that I can't preheat for hours, what can I do to get the best spring possible? I have an enameled steel pot with lid that works as a substitute dutch oven, many baking sheets and pans and various tins. I use a tray that I fill with hot water in the bottom of the oven for steam. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated, thank you.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Put the DO in oven when you turn it on.  When the oven reaches temperature lower the dough into the now screaming hot DO with a parchment paper sling.  Then bake as usual.  You can also bake bread in the oven when you are baking and roasting veg or meat and the veg will put off plenty of steam too.  But DO is the best for your situation,

I also bake bread in a  Cuisinart convection table top mini oven that costs $100 on sale.  It is so hot in the summer in phoenix I just tke it outside and bake bread in it out there.  It heats much faster and cheaper and bakes way better bread than the big Ge kitchen oven.ever will.  Only a small DO and smaller loaves fit the 12"x 12" x 9" space.

Happy baking,

kenlklaser's picture
kenlklaser

What I've noticed is that as mass is added to the oven, it takes longer to reach temperature.

Bakingmadtoo's picture
Bakingmadtoo

Wow! Thanks for the speedy replies! I will try the DO suggestion, I will have to reduce the hydration in my recipes to have any chance of moving it (but that is another question and I am guessing that I will find the answer somewhere back in time).

I do roast veg quite frequently, that is a good suggestion I would not have thought of.

 It will be a rare day when it is hot in this house! That is another problem, but I may have found a fairly decent solution to that. If I ever get good at baking bread I may have to look into investing in a mini oven. For the time being I have to 'practise, practise, practise!'.

 

 

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

the 75% to 78% hydration range and they transfer easily with a sling after slashing,  Higher hydration dough can be final proofed in a cold DO either baked directly from a cold DO or placed into a hot oven  You just have to add a few minutes of baking time to account for the different method.  I also bake very high hydration dough in tins, 80% to 105%, hydration, that are lowered into a large oval DO that has a trivet in the bottom of it so that you can add additional water for steam and it won't touch a tin or any longer, oval shaped dough lowered into it.  

Bakingmadtoo's picture
Bakingmadtoo

105%!!! Are there pictures of that on here somewhere? I am sure that my sourdough would transfer easily enough if I were a better baker! However, I am new to sourdough (fairly new to bread, having been scared of yeast cookery for years) and my lack of experience shows in the finished (or unfinished) dough. It certainly wouldn't hold any shape while I transfer it. As for slashing - the loaf I baked this morning was too wet even to bother trying. It did however rise plenty and it tastes beautiful. At least with bread mistakes you can eat the evidence!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

have all been 100% rye  paste in tins or pumoernickle paste in tins.  Would never do that high for a SD bread .  That would be flat cianatta at best :-)

carefreebaker's picture
carefreebaker

I have baked many times on a preheated cast iron griddle or 1" thick stone. I need to preheat at 500 degrees for at least 45 minutes to get the bottom of my bread or pizza to brown and not be pale. Wasting the excess energy bothers me plus it heats up my house. Living in Florida, that is not something I like to do since our summers are so hot and long. So I have gone back to baking my bread, pizza, bialy, etc. on my thin non-stick Cuisinart baking sheet. I did it that way for over two decades and find it just as good as using the cast iron griddle or stone. I preheat my oven for 20 minutes at 25 degrees more then the recipe calls for. I take the baked goods off the sheet toward the end of baking and place them directly on the oven rack and they brown or crisp up nicely. So that is my alternative to a long, high temp preheat.

Bakingmadtoo's picture
Bakingmadtoo

Well, that is good to know too. So it would seem that if you cannot preheat for  long time a thinner base is better. I was thinking that if I got better at baking I might treat myself to a 'proper' dutch oven or a 'Le Cloche', but it may be that my cheap enamelware substitute DO may be better in my circumstances. I will try placing the bread directly on the rack for the last ten minutes or so too. Thank you for your help.

carefreebaker's picture
carefreebaker

The outside enamel coating of my enamel cast iron DO shattered from the heat of a 500 degree oven. Now I preheat at 475. I use my new enameled cast iron DO, my stoneware DO or my black enamel turkey roaster to bake no knead bread. All work well. In the turkey roaster I do use a double piece of aluminium foil to insulate the bottom crust. I use parchment to transfer my dough easily to my baking vessel so the dough does not come in contact with the foil while baking. 

wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

I also live in FL and I use my Romertopf clay baker for final rise after shaping and place into COLD oven. Turn up to 450, take the top off after 30 mins and about 15 more min to finish. I use Teresa's Northwest Sourdough Basic White with 100% starter (subst about 10% of white whole wheat). Comes out great.

See this thread or this one for more info.

wayne

Bakingmadtoo's picture
Bakingmadtoo

Well, it would seem that I have a number of options, my enamelware was cheap, so although I would rather not lose it, it wouldn't be the end of the world if I did.

I like the idea of a cold start as that would mean that I could get up very early to take advantage of the cheap night time electricity and go back to bed whilst my loaf cooks! That sounds seriously lazy and very tempting! Plus, it must be the most economical way of baking!

Lots of things to try here.

phaz's picture
phaz

I hate to waste fuel, so I often bake from a cold oven, well not room temp, I'll warm out to about 225F, then in goes the loaf. I just adjust baking time a tad. As long add the dough isn't over proofed, no problem with oven rise. Enough water for steam to last the first 15 minutes of the bake keeps the crust from forming too soon.

Bakingmadtoo's picture
Bakingmadtoo

Thank you for that suggestion too. I am really pleased to hear so many bakers are getting good results without lengthy preheat times. It gives me hope that if I can create a decent dough it will be possible to bake a very good loaf. I will also need to add  little extra water to the steam pan then unless I cover the dough.