The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Halogen Oven and Baking Sourdough

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bread10's picture
bread10

Halogen Oven and Baking Sourdough

Hello,


 


I currently bake my weekly sourdough loaf in a cast iron pot in the electric oven but will be moving to a location with no oven and no room for one.


Someone suggested I buy a benchtop multipurpose (instant heat) halogen oven (with fan, microwave and grill) but I am a little weary of them and how reliable it will be in-particular for baking my sourdough.


What are people's thoughts and/or experiences? 


Also my cast iron pot has an enamel coating will this be an issue in a halogen oven? I'm aware that you can not use glass or aluminum and only magnetic materials such as iron and steel can be used.


 


Thanks Heaps!

Chuck's picture
Chuck

I dunno firsthand as I haven't personally had any experience with a halogen oven. :-( But secondhand, the old "Google is your friend" seems to come through once again, it comes up with this report and pictures of baking bread in a halogen oven.


Just giessing: it most likely behaves like a convection oven, which generally means a) turn the temperature down 25F for  loaves in the open and b) be extra-careful of dough in the open drying out  ... also the various kludges for generating steam in a conventional home oven probably aren't applicable. I'd also guess if you bake in a pot, it won't make hardly any difference how the pot gets hot.

serenityhill's picture
serenityhill

I have been living without a "real" oven for 2 years, and will for at least another year.  However, I still bake bread regularly.


I bought a GE Profile countertop combination microwave and convection oven.  It has settings for MW, combination, and convection only.  I bake and roast in convection mode.  It does not have a halogen bulb or exposed element.  The model number is JE1590WH02, cavity dimensions are 14"Dx15"Wx11"H.  Runs on 110VAC.  GE's Advantium is the next step up, but they must be built in.  That oven has both a 110V and a 220V version, which will do the accelerated baking you expect from convection.


I found out quickly that using convection in an oven like mine means to use traditional timing and temperature instead of modifying either.  However, I can bake and roast moderate amounts exactly like I would in a regular electric oven, but not broil.


Trying to use steam just resulted in making the cavity light bulb go out.  I have a 12" lidded granite roaster that I've baked bread in, with no discernible benefit.  To do multiple loaves, I use a pair of 1/2 size steam table disposible pans, nested for strength, with the lip corners cut off so it will clear all sides when turning (the turntable and elevated grate are necessary).  I'd been reading here about the pullman pan, and I use this pan in the same way.  Top dimensions for this pan are 13x10.5".  The enamel coating on your cast iron will not be an issue in this oven.


Although there is no way to do artisan bread in this oven, I get excellent sandwich bread and rolls in this oven.  I use the "cold start" method for bread with great results.  I'm baking this evening, and I'm going to try using a foil tent for the first half of baking, instead of the second, to see if I can improve on oven spring.


I got crackly crust once, but I can't repeat it.


Hope this helps-- good bread makes a small space more comfortable.


ps. I've not had a repair in the 4 years I've had the oven, and my electric bill generally runs under $100 per month in central Texas.