The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

cold oven

bnom's picture

Side to side comparison of loaves baked in cold start v. preheated oven - Photos

March 1, 2010 - 1:34pm -- bnom

I wanted to see what difference it would make to bake loaves from the same dough, one in a preheated oven and one starting off in a cold oven. In a previous post I mentioned that I had tried the cold oven technique using a cast iron pot. The resulting bread had a very light, shattery-type crust. It was an unusual loaf for me, but then again, the circumstances were not usual. We were at our cabin and I had no scale, no mixer, no sourdough.

JeremyCherfas's picture

I was re-reading Elizabeth David's English Bread and Yeast Cookery and discovered the passage in whiich she describes the author Virginia Woollf's technique for making a cottage loaf. That sounded like fun, so I decided to give it a try, and was very pleased with the outcome. I blogged about it here.

Here's the loaf just after removing the cloche.

And here it is after final browning.

I'm very pleased with both cold-start and cloche techniques, and will continue to use them. Of course, I quickly discovered that they are old news here!


KipperCat's picture

no-knead, high hydration, cold oven - Help!

July 29, 2007 - 1:50pm -- KipperCat

The first time I baked a no-knead loaf in a cold oven, it came out perfect. It was made with bread flour. I don't remember if I greased the pan, or what the oven temp was.

The next 3 loaves have stuck big time. They were -

whole meal spelt, greased with butter, baked in corningware

bread flour, greased with butter, baked in pyrex

multigrain, greased with safflower oil, baked in stainless dutch oven

Rosalie's picture

Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book comments on cold oven baking

June 17, 2007 - 9:02am -- Rosalie

I decided to give serious study to my good bread books, and Laurel's floated to the top.

My favored place for proofing is in my gas oven, which I turn on until it just barely registers a temperature rise; then I turn on the oven light, and it maintains a temperature of 80-90 degrees.  Of course, I don't do this when I want a slow rise, but my kitchen is typically 60-65 degrees, so this is great for the final rise or when I'm in a hurry.

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