The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking Bread in Toaster Oven

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bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

Baking Bread in Toaster Oven

Hello,

Being in Cambodia (a country situated in Southeast Asia), I've been restricted to baking sweet breads and pastries in a microwave convection oven. My interest lies in hearth breads, but unfortunately the said oven is unable to reach temperatures above 200C without encountering problems such as power failures. (It's a very old and wornout oven.) 

Thus, I've been contemplating about purchasing a new toaster oven to fulfill most of my baking needs. (Conventional ovens are out of the question for various reasons.) I've scavenged the local area for toaster ovens and found a Black and Decker TRO60--the largest toaster oven I could find as of now.

My questions for those who have personally baked with toaster ovens: 1) What features are required and/or prefered in toaster ovens when baking bread?; 2) What important factors should I take into consideration when baking breads with a toaster oven? 

Thank you in advance. Any help is highly appreciated.

barriehiebread's picture
barriehiebread

Here are some "mini" loaves I've made in a toaster oven.  I live in Las Vegas and turning the oven on in the summer is a bit ridiculous...

I set it at 350 *F and cooked them until the crust looked good.  I was using bagel dough; couldn't quite make them round like you usually find them.  I would be remiss if I didn't tell you to make sure the thermostat is reasonably accurate in whatever oven you decide to get. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

of the oven.  Most toaster ovens are great at top heat.  Having the bottom heat elements close together is  good.  I usually turn one of the baking trays upside down on the lowest rack to trap in heat and bake with parchment on top of that.  (You may find this helps your microwave/convection oven, just lay the black baking tray upside down on the bottom of the oven and arrange a rack about 1 or 2 cm above that.)  Rotate the baking bread more often, quarter turns on longer bakes to avoid too much heat in one spot.  See about finding a glass casserole with lid that also fits into the baking chamber.  It's a great way to trap in steam and watch your bake.

I look for the bottom of the inside baking chamber to be black.  I found that shiny reflective oven bottoms are not very efficient.

rjerden's picture
rjerden

I see that Cambodia uses 230V, 50 Hz current, so you're likely to need either a European or Asian model. Maybe search for counter-top oven rather than toaster oven as the counter-top models are larger. I have had great luck with the Cuisinart and Breville brands here in the U.S. In fact, I very seldom fire up the full-size oven. I make rolls, mini-baguettes, ciabatta, and even some hearth breads, but you might need to cover the top of the larger loaves for the last part of baking in order to prevent charring. Some counter-tops let you choose which elements are on while cooking, so if they have that feature, you can turn off the top element at some point. The best thing is that you are working with an oven that doesn't heat up the house and is closer to eye level. I have two counter-top ovens, one made by Westinghouse, which also steams, so I can get real steam for my baking. In any case, try to find an oven which seals well, as in a small space you will get pretty good steam just from the bread itself. If you can spritz without issues, even better. The ones that use convection are usually very well vented, so they will get dry very quickly. Non-convection and well sealed will get better results.

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Hi,

I bought a toaster oven (Oster) at the beginning of our summer to use in the garage to keep the house cool.  Worked great for one loaf of bread or one tray of rolls at a time BUT top element couldn't be turned off and on so the tops of my loaves had to be covered to prevent them from charring.

I bake daily and in usually more than one loaf at a time so it wasn't long before I  knew I needed something larger to deal with the issues I was having.

My search ended up in purchasing a counter top convection oven that also has steam.  (It is a Cadco XAF-113) My problems have been solved and this oven bakes better than my regular inside oven so when the temps. cool down I am moving it indoors so I can continue to use it all year around!

Good Luck with your search.

Janet

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

I just wanted to say thank you to all who have posted so far. It seems that I've failed to consider a few things and must thus continue my search for a better oven model. 

Again, thank you.

Zita