The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Toaster Ovens

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KittenMitten's picture
KittenMitten

Toaster Ovens

Hello all!


Was wondering if baking in a toaster oven is any different from a "normal" oven - the kind that's usually wall-mounted. What is your experience?


I'm not too sure what my current wall-mounted oven is - it does have a heating element on the bottom though.


The last gas and electricity bills have been niggling at me - they were higher than usual, and since I only recently started baking I'm guessing my wasteful use of the oven is causing the bill increase. As a person who doesn't bulk-bake (we eat pretty sloooowly in this household!), I'm starting to wonder if a toaster oven is the better choice for me. I usually bake 12 muffins or a single medium loaf at a time. (Did you guess I only own 1 of each type of baking equipment? haha!)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You will want whatever pan or form you use to have a one inch clearing around all sides and some top room for bread rising.  Aluminum foil is very handy to prevent over browning.  Try to place your pan evenly over the bottom coils or rotate often to get a good rise and prevent burning. I will often cover the pan with a foil dome and remove 15 minutes before the end of the bake time so the loaf can brown.  This trick also has the advantage of trapping what might have been escaping steam for your bake.


How big is your toaster oven?  As my name implies, I bake in small places....


Welcome to the Fresh Loaf!


Mini Oven

yozzause's picture
yozzause

We use a small cheap electric oven, it works really well but i can only get 6 or 8 rolls or buns in at a time, but that is perfect for morning or afternnon tea.


We have even domne small slow roasts in time for dinner too. 

Marni's picture
Marni

I recently tried a very small sourdough boule in my toaster oven.  It turned out fine, not fabulous, but fine.  The problems I had, were that I couldn't cover it for steaming and the oven is very leaky/drafty so adding steam was pretty pointless.


Also, regulating the temperature is difficult.  I just have a basic Black &Decker that we use for toast. Still, though, it worked!


You can see it baking here


Marni

reisjdmd's picture
reisjdmd

150g unbleached ap flour; 120g water; pinch salt; 1/2 tsp active dry yeast; proof yeast in a small portion ofthe water; combine all in a bowl; use wooden spoon in mixing bowl to stretch and fold about 25 times in bowl [concave side of spoon is excellent for this and keeps the hands clean]; cover with saran wrap; proof for 2-3 hours; preheat to 450F small electric toaster oven that has an 8x12 inch glazed tile on rack; drop dough directly onto hot glazed tile and cut top of dough with scissors; put into oven and bake 40 total minutes, turning once; optional 3 minutes of broil setting at end for extra brown top. this is quick ciabatta for 2 using about 6 cents of electricity. both bottom and top are quite crusty, and this is a good dipping bread for olive oil or soup. also great with good butter or as garlic bread. i did this all summer long because of the high cost of air conditioning our house, and so why heat up the kitchen for a small quick loaf. hardly artisan, but quite yummy. this ought to be good for dinner guests that love crusty bread with a moist open crumb. total rise to about 1 1/2 - 2 inches.

shakleford's picture
shakleford

I can't comment on toaster ovens in general, but I have a Cuinsinart "brick oven" (a toaster oven with ceramic inserts on the walls), and have had excellent results baking with it.  They're pretty reasonably-priced too (I got my like-new on eBay for $100).  They have been discussed here a couple of times, mostly in the following threads:


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/5262/cuisinart-brick-oven


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/7367/cusinart-brick-oven


 

beeman1's picture
beeman1

I have been using one for a year to hold the heat and exspense down. I only bake a few loafs a week. I usually use loaf pans. If the loafs are 2 pounders I keep the temp down to 350 so I don't burn the tops. The top of the loaf get's pretty close to the top elements.

rhomp2002's picture
rhomp2002

I have both these ovens.  I used the Hamilton Beach for several years and have roasted chickens, baked bread and pies, made potato wedges with rosemary and garlic, and in general have been pretty satisfied with it.  It has a rotisserie and can heat up to 500 degrees.


The Breville is at another level altogether, far more sophisticated and better insulated and more powerful.  My only problem with the Breville is that I often bake bread using a LaCloche and the Breville is not tall enough inside to use the LaCloche.  For that I break out the old Hamilton Beach and use it.


Both will take an 11.8x11.8 inch baking stone and both will do just about any kind of baking you want.  The Breville is probably the closest competitor to the Cuisinart.  I was looking at the Cuisinart as well but the Breville is just a tiny big wider and deeper than the Cuisinart which is why I bought it.  From what I have read you could not go wrong with either one.  I think both also have the height problem when you use something like a LaCloche.  The LaCreuset dutch ovens though will fit in both.  The Hamilton Beach is much taller because it also includes the capability of doing rotisserie so it is really a little more versatile than the other two but not so well made.  In price the Cuisinart and Breville are both somewhere around $225 while the Hamilton Beach can be found for about $120.


 


 

KittenMitten's picture
KittenMitten

Wow! :) Gotta love putting questions to people living in the US when one lives in Aus - when I wake up there're already several replies, haha!


Seems like the Cusinart is the most recommended one, but otherwise toaster ovens are a bit hit and miss... I think I might invest in one when I've got the spare cash.


Like some, what is pushing me to get a toaster oven is because of bills. I'll be looking for any comments on that factor and hopefully be able to report back with results.


It just seems a bit nonsensical to heat up a big oven if I'm just going to bake one loaf... and speaking of baking loaves, I forgot the salt in my latest loaf :( It doesn't taste very good... and now I'll have to re-bake a loaf.