The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking with Gas Convection

Kelsey of Rising Sun Bakery's picture
Kelsey of Risin...

Baking with Gas Convection

Its a long story how I ended up with  gas convection oven for my bakery.  Baking almost exclusively bread I have been struggling with the results.  There is no switch for the fan and my gas convection oven seems to dry the crust out much more than I like before it is properly browned.  After A LOT of experiminetation my best results have come from the following proceedure:

-preheat oven with stones top and bottom to 460

-turn oven off (only way to disenable fan). Mist loaves and oven, load loaves (avrg 16 loaveso between 2 racks), pour cup hot water onto preheated pan in bottom of oven, and close doors quickly.  Wait 1 to 3 mins (less for yeasted, more for sourdough).

-Open doors slightly while I turn the oven back on (the fan blasts at this point and the open doors keep the fan from blowing any burt flecks against the doors back up onto the loaves) and immediatley reset the oven to 400 to stop fan.  Bake 30 to 40 mins depending on recipe.

This process has give me the best results yet, but nothing like my old conventional electric home oven (no crisp reddish razor edges, and loaves seem to dry out before rising to their maximum rotunity.) 


mekales's picture

This may seem counterintuitive but I have had the best luck with starting immediately after pre-heating (at the time of baking) by using ice cubes rather than water in my residential convection oven.

I use a stainless steele bowl on the bottom of the oven, FULL of ice cubes. The dispersal of the moisture seems to be immediate and more consistant than what I was getting with plain H2O.

Let me know if you give it a try and it seems to help... otherwise it seems like you are going through a lot of on/off, open/close, etc. Hope this helps.


mcs's picture

It sounds like the method you're using, although partially effective isn't going to make you or your oven happy in the long run.  There's way too much to keep track of, and once the volume goes up, I don't see how it'd be possible to work it that way. 

However, you're on the right track with your various experimentations.  Keep the oven and do more experimenting.  I have 3 convection ovens that I bake bread in, two are gas.  I tried the on/off method in addition to misting (the bread) with a sprayer and all that other stuff, and found the best method is the same as my electric home oven.  Cast iron griddle, enough water that'll be gone in 5 minutes .  Believe it or not, if the griddle is on the oven floor it doesn't steam nearly as well as when it's on the lowest rack, so pay attention to the details.  You'll lose more steam in the gas one, so you'll have to adjust it based on how fast it loses it.  Another method which may or may not be practical (I don't do it, but I'd try it if I were you) is the 'magic bowl' method.  Try a large chafing dish maybe and that'll keep the wind off of your bread and simulate a deck oven.  Keep trying different stuff and don't give up on your oven since it'll be perfect for cooking sweets and that kind of thing.




pelosofamily's picture

As a home baker, I have used a cheapo electric regular stove /a gas convection/and electric convection.  I have found that convection seals the  the bread and restricts the oven spring.  If you invest in a comercial proofer you will be fine!!!

retired safeway