The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bake time and temp questions

kgpowell's picture

Bake time and temp questions


    I have been baking at home, using Hamelman's book, and have found that, if I follow the bake times and temps listed, my crusts get overbrowned.  I've lately taken to cooking about 25 degrees lower, and for shorter times (by about 20%), ending the bake when the interior temp of the loaf is about 200 degrees; that seems to give me a good result.  An oven thermometer tells me my oven temperature is OK.

    Have other people seen similar things?  Is this due to the differences between commercial ovens and home ovens?  Just curious.

Ford's picture

I find that the interior temperature is the best guide to "doneness."


LindyD's picture

I follow JH's oven temps and times because I prefer the taste of a deeply caramelized crust.  JH addresses crust color at pp 25-26.

I think its just a matter of personal preference, not any difference between a commerical and home oven.  You might consider my bread too dark, and I might consider your bread too pale.  

That we're happy with our results is all that counts.  

wally's picture

Jeffrey likes dark crusts, what he calls a "bold bake."  If that's not to your liking you can reduce the oven temp or cover the loaf with aluminum foil once it's browned as much as you wish.


MichaelH's picture

Lindy and Wally make good points, and they are both accomplished bakers. They have learned to bake loaves that they like. However, I don't care for the darker, close to burned  crusts. I have tried them and prefer a medium brown crispy crust.

But that doesn't make my loaves better or their's worse. The beauty of making your own bread and becoming accomplished at it is that you can make it the way you like it.

Don't be obsessed with the way others tell you it should be done. Try different methods and techniques so that you know what the options are, and then bake the way it pleases you and your family.

That is the essence of this whole undertaking.



kolobezka's picture

Yes,  it is a matter of your taste but also of your oven.

I bake 230°C first 15 minuts but then I have to turn the temperaure down (to 190-200°C) otherwise the bread would turn comletely black in next 10 minutes...

As for the internal temperature, I would like to ask the question. I was taught from professional bakers here that 198°C (208°F) for 10 minutes is necessary for assuring microbiologic safety. And that for any kind of bread.

But here the instructions seem different, so I am not sure what to aim