The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

baking from a cool oven, is this only for small ovens?

rolls's picture
rolls

baking from a cool oven, is this only for small ovens?

Hi, i've mentioned before about experiencing some difficulties with baking bread in my new oven, particularly no knead doughs in pots. they always stick to the bottom, and i don't get the same oven spring i used in my previous smaller oven. both are electric with fan. but with the other i could only fit one pot at a time, and baking from cool oven got great results, even with pot breads and never had the problem of loaves sticking.

now, i could fit three pots easy if i wanted to in this oven (im not complaining bout that obviously, lol), but have never achieved results like in my old place.

im wandering if size is the issue?

does anybody have a similar experience? is it only possible to do a bake from a cool oven, if the oven is relatively small?

thanks in advance for any advice, happy baking :)

 

p.s., i mentioned on another thread recently of an experiment i've got going on, with two mixed up batches of no knead dough to be baked in pots tomorrow. im not sure whether i should rise not preheating the oven, or stick to preheating oven but not DO

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I certainly think it has a lot to do with it.  

It takes longer to heat up, you have a bigger space and more mass and bread to bake.  Are you heating with the fan from the beginning to get the temps up faster?  Smear a little butter in the pans too.  It could be the loaves stick because when baking more bread at one time might mean you have to bake them together longer.  Add 10 minutes to the bake when you do three at a time and see if that helps.  :)   

Since everyone is talking about the weather,  we are getting blasted with strong freezing dry winds from the east.  

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Mini Oven,

I have one of those tiny table top convection ovens made by Cuisinart.  Bake all kinds of breads in it at 500 F using my pyrex loaf pan.  I pre-heat with a 12 " pizza stone for abput 30 minutes.  Put a 1 cup Pyrex measuring cup full of boiling water in the back on the rack, slap in the bread, throw some hot water on the drip pan below the oven rack and close the tiny door.  Some of my best oven spring comes with that 'mini oven' and it bakes wonderful bread.  The reason I posted is because of your dreary weather forecast.  It is a cloudless, blue sky, 70 degrees F, no wind, typical winter Gilbert, AZ day.  I thought you could use a better forecast:-) 

rolls's picture
rolls

thanks again mini!! so do you think that i should give up on baking from a cool oven and jus preheat? or should i jus add extra cooking time?

thanks i will try the butter. i have two bowls of the no knead dough, which im going to stretch and fold to shape and for the first time i will try letting them rise immediately in the pots. will post back with results :)

i do start with the fan and jus keep it on the whole time. i could switch it off and use the top and bottom heating elements only without fan. but im never sure wen to use these particular functions that come with the oven lol, im just used to the fan from my previous oven i guess.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

that hangs from the rack or the top element holder and gives me a better indication of what goes on inside my oven.  Very different than the controls.  First my oven runs about 25°C cooler and heats up beautifully with the fan on.  Before I open the oven,  I switch to upper & lower heat and watch the fan stop turning.  Then open the oven and remove the lid or top cover and close the door.  I don't get much of a temperature drop at all, and take advantage of it. but I do have a smaller oven.

Get yourself a little oven thermometer that hangs near the door so you can read it easily.   Then you know what's going on.  Best $5 investment I ever made!  

rolls's picture
rolls

i mentioned results on another thread and will quickly mentioned them again and post pics later. still not fully satisfied. i did preheat. the butter worked very well with the pyrex, loaf slipped out easy. not so with the cooking pot. didn't get a good rise. tastewise, so far the potato bread tastes wonderful. im inpired to try potato focacia actually lol.

will post pics,

rolls :)

rolls's picture
rolls

this is a pic of jim lahey olive bread made in my previous oven:

 

and this one turned out gorgeous too, original jim lahey. both pots were preheated along with the oven.

i haven't manged to achieve these results with my current oven, even having tried various methods.

still need to up load the recent pics.

 

rolls's picture
rolls

i tried adding pics but they're too large and im not too technical with cropping etc

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I thought it interesting reading the manual to find out that fan with lower heat is for steaming my oven.  Putting in a pan directly on the bottom with water and running the fan.  I think it blocks vents as well in that setting.  Your oven may vary.  I still turn off the fan before I open the oven, even just to set it on the light for a minute or toggle between the upper/lower and lower/fan.  Because the fan has it's own heating system, it heats up the oven walls nicely, when switching to upper/lower the coils transfer their heat faster so there is no "warm up time" for the hidden coils.  Opening the door causes my biggest heat drop.  Makes sense.  Baking in a cold oven is not for everyone and when looking thru the archives on the subject results do vary.   You have to experiment to find out what works in your oven.  Like you are doing.  With three pots, you also have to rotate the pans in the oven half way thru the bake to ensure even browning on all loaves and/or stagger them around the oven using two shelves.  

The only time I ever remember baking in a large oven was in Hawaii visiting my sister.  I couldn't believe the size of that thing!  It took longer to pre-heat that monster than the bulk rise with instant yeast.  No kidding!  It didn't help that the yeast was tropical rapid rise and I was in a time locked sourdough phase.  Ended up knocking the dough down twice (or was it thrice?) waiting for the oven.  Then I finally threw it in half proofed but it finished proofing in the oven before it got up to temperature.  Crazy.  Then to see that tiny little pan puff up in a van of an oven, I felt so very wasteful!  I thought such ovens should be banned and replaced.  The Army could save a lot of energy in base housing if it replaced all the old appliances with smaller more efficient ones.  I have to keep reminding myself that American ovens were designed for once a year turkey roasting for feeding a family of 10.  But even that is a myth because the birds are smaller, more breast than leg length and with a more efficient ovens, small roasting pans, the space around the bird can be smaller.   A nice juicy capon makes much more sense to me and I won't be eating it until Christmas.  

Oops sorry to go on and on.  How big is the oven?