Adjusting bake time and temp for smaller loaves
I recently bought Hamelman's bread book (2nd edition, which is printed in small, thin san-serif font on shiny white pages, and which I find barely readable).
I just finished baking the hazelnut and fig levain. Recipe said to make two large loaves, bake at 460 for 15 minutes, then 420 for 36 to 38 minutes. I made four smaller loaves, baked them for the 15 minutes at 460, then guessed that 20 minutes would be enough at 420. I kept checking on them, and glad I did. After 15 minutes at 420, they were so brown, verging on burnt, that I pulled them from the oven. They are still cooling, so I can't check the crumb. I *hope* that they're cooked inside.
I do need to get an oven thermometer, but if the oven controls are off, it's that the oven may be a little cooler than the temp it shows.
Hamelman's book doesn't give any directions for adjusting baking time for smaller loaves. I need the smaller loaves because my bread consumption has dropped so much (diet) that I cannot finish a large loaf before it starts to mold in the Honolulu humidity.
Is there any guide, anywhere, to adjusting bake time and temp for smaller loaves, or do I just need to experiment until I get it right?
I'm thinking I need to give these loaves my usual sourdough treatment: oven at 500 degrees to start, IMMEDIATELY turn it down to 425, bake for 23 minutes. But then they're chock full of nuts and chopped figs, which might throw things off.