The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking times

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hankjam's picture
hankjam

Baking times

Hi

I hope all is good.

I've been baking for a couple of years now and there is still a lot to learn. I use a Dutch oven and bake a 1000g loaf. I tend to put the oven on with the DO in it for an hour at top temp. Transfer dough carefully, replace lid and bake for 25 mins at highest, then remove lid reduce to Gas 7 and bake for another 15 mins. It looks good every time and tastes great.

But I am never sure if I have over done it.

What should I look for for an over bake?

Many thanks

Andrew j

 

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

You've been baking longer than me, but from what I've learned, there is no objective or standard definition of an absolute point where the bread is considered overbaked. So I define "overbaked" as the point where it is considered overbaked by the person(s) who will be eating it. I like mine baked a little less for sandwich bread, a little more for rustic loaves. I've baked bread that I thought was very overbaked, but the people who ate it loved it, so it wasn't overbaked after all! You say your bread "looks good every time and tastes great." I'd say it isn't overbaked if it's right for you.

If you'd like, there are some ways to tell if the bread is "baked enough". You can experiment a little to find a minimum baking point, and also go the other way, baking longer than usually, to find your happy maximum. One of the ways to tell it is thoroughly baked is to tap it on the bottom. If it makes a thud from the inside, it is done. If it isn't yet done, it will generally not make a sound (except the sound of your hand hitting the crust). It sounds very subjective, but once you've experienced the difference between the two states, you'll get it.

For more ways to tell the doneness of your loaf, try using the search bar above, right of this page, if you have the time. The results are sparse, but using the keywords "when loaf done baking" does turn up a couple of relevant posts.

hankjam's picture
hankjam

David

Thanks for taking the time for your advice. The suggestion of experimenting is something I will take up and see what the minimum times are for each part of my bake.

Cheers

Andrew j

ericreed's picture
ericreed

Is the best way to tell for underbaked at least. It needs to reach at least 180 F for any bread. At that temperature all enzyme activity is done, the starch is fully gelatinized, and gluten coagulation complete. For lean hearth breads, I commonly see 205-210 F as a target temp for the bread. Enriched breads may want more in the range of 190 F. I would say in general so long as you're hitting those temps and getting the color on your crust you want, you're good. Many bakers, such as Ken Forkish or Chad Robertson, say that a darker crust makes for better flavor, I agree with them, but if you don't like that, it's not wrong. I've also read, and in my experience it seems to be true, that bread won't pass 212 F, or at least not until it's really overbaked.

adri's picture
adri

As 180 F is 82 degrees, I think you misstyped in you calculator, as it should be 92 degrees or 198 F.

212 F is 100 degrees. This makes it quite obviously true what you said :)

ericreed's picture
ericreed

The information above is from the SFBI textbook Advanced Bread and Pastry. Bread won't go above the boiling point of water, ie 212 F/100 C, because of the water content and possibly to do with starch gelatinization if I recall correctly. In either case, I'm not sure why it's obviously true. The crust reaches temperature of 150 C and above.

adri's picture
adri

As far as I remember, gliadin needs higher temperatures as glutenin to polymerise.

Unfortunately, my university doesn't have a subscription to the journal or at least I cannot find it within the subscriptions anymore.

ericreed's picture
ericreed

All I know is that the San Francisco Baking institute puts it at 82 C. I'm looking in Hamelman's "Bread", he puts gluten coagulation ending at 80 C, and starch gelatinization ranging from 80-90 C. He also puts 100 C as the maximum internal temp of bread, and says of 149-204 C "Further crust color and development through caramelization".

America's Test Kitchen and Thermoworks find that bread can reach it's max internal temperature before being fully done, for rustic breads at least. http://www.thermoworks.com/blog/2012/01/bread-pt-2/

For the original post, I would say that all suggests it's hard to overbake a rustic loaf, at least as far as the inside is concerned.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

bread and have learned that what the dough feels or looks like and what the temperatures are is much more important.  Times are a 'rule of thumb' and useful but not nearly precise enough for baking.  I've seen some rye bread and enriched dough breadrecipes that say bake to 195 F internal temperature but almost all other bread including some rye and enriched bread ones, call for baking to 205F - 212 F on the inside.  This has always worked for me.   

I sometimes bake to 203 F and then turn the oven off and let the bread sit on the stone until it hits 205 F and then crack the door open and let it sit until it hits 208 F or 8 minutes which ever comes first - just to dry out the crust and get it crisp without drying out the inside.

happy baking

bbegley's picture
bbegley

Ken Forkish bakes his breads really dark and had to ease up a little because customers thought the loaves were burnt.

http://youtu.be/5yo9U1igcvQ

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

Even when they are wrong.