The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bottom crust too dark on otherwise perfect loaf

Bread_and_Coffee's picture

Bottom crust too dark on otherwise perfect loaf

I bake bread in a double deck gas pizza oven. Flame on the bottom surface, top oven gets air from the sides. I have been baking Challah braids at 400 degrees, for approximately 20 min. I have a spacer under the bread pan on the bottom. The bottom of the loaves have been getting a little too dark. Does choosing to flour under the loaves vs. pan spray underneath make a difference? Do I need to drop my temp down to 375, and bake a little longer? Should I double up on my pans, giving a thicker layer for the heat to travel?

Also, what internal heat am I aiming for in my challah braid. I have an instant thermometer, and have been waiting until 198-200 deg. before pulling out of the oven. The loaves are then immediately placed on cooling racks.

Chuck's picture

What happens if you skip the pan and put the bread directly on the bottom of the oven? (or maybe put the dough on a sheet of parchment paper which in turn goes directly on the bottom of the oven?)

Was this oven used to make "brick oven" pizzas? If so, the bottom material (cordierite) is a built-in baking stone.

Although I'm not familiar with using either flour or pan-spray underneath my loaves, I suspect they have something to do with the darkening. Try either parchment paper or cornmeal (or maybe semolina).