The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Oven loss - bread is well baked

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Axel's picture

Oven loss - bread is well baked


Oven loss - is this a correct term for weight loss of dough by the end of baking process. 

I am trying to determine when my bread is well baked. Crust has good colour, sound is hollow but still underbaked.

I read that you can check the weight of a loaf before and after the baking and the difference should be certain percent.

For french bread - 25%

for others - 10%.

I bake until the crust is deep brown and I get 12 % of weight loss at most.

My recipe is 69 % hydration . 

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Find yourself a pocket sized digital thermometer. I found mine in the barbecue accessories section of the local Home Depot for around $15. It's handy for measuring water temperature when I'm mixing up my starter, dough temperature, and loaf temperature at the end of the bake. When it reads 205F, it's done but then I don't worry about the weight. It also does centigrade. BTW, it works well when I'm working at the barbecue grill.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

is a handy tool.  (I got several)  But if you're getting a done look to your loaves and the inside is not baked, then you need to turn down the oven temperature for the last half of the bake so the inside can catch up to the outside.  :) 


Chuck's picture

I read that you can check the weight of a loaf before and after the baking and the difference should be certain percent.

Always something new to learn. I hadn't heard before that the weight loss in the oven could give an accurate enough picture of doneness to be used as a test (besides, weighing a hot loaf sounds a little dicey:-). Below are some alternatives for judging doneness that I have heard of. (In all cases, take one loaf out of the oven temporarily to test it, and close the oven door until you know whether to put the loaf you tested back in or take out all the other loaves)

  • measure internal crumb temperature (typically with an "instant read" thermometer) - this seems to be the most accurate, but it's somewhat subjective what temperature is right for you, and different sizes and shapes and styles of loaves may need different internal temperatures 

  • the old "thump" test - rap on the bottom with your knuckles, and if it sounds hollow it's done - although this seems to be the old standard, it isn't really all that accurate

  • set a timer "same as last time" - this works quite well the second time, but often isn't enough the very first time with that size and shape and style of loaf

JoeV's picture

The test for doneness cannot be determined until the bread has cooled to room temperature, which is 80F or below. Cuting into a loaf of bread when it is still hot will stop the gelatinization process and setting of the starches, all of which takes place while the moisture evaporates thru the crust, and you will end up with a soggy or gummy crumb. When taking the internal temp of a loaf, be sure to do it in the middle of the middle of the loaf, not from the end of the loaf. The middle middle bakes fully last. Patience is the hardest thing for new bread bakers to learn. LOL