The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What happens if I increase the heat required in my recipe for baking?

giyad's picture
giyad

What happens if I increase the heat required in my recipe for baking?

So I noticed something recently, when making pizza at least, the commercial ovens go to a much higher temperature than conventional home ovens.  That being said, I also understand that in restaurants they do use their ovens at the highest temperature, and this greatly decreases baking time.  So, does this work for any bread?  Can you always just increase the heat to the max and expect shorter baking times or does this effect the result?

I'm trying to understand why a recipe I'm looking at tells me to bake something at 400F while in brick ovens, or other commercial ovens, I think they cook at hotter temperatures.

Floydm's picture
Floydm

You can go a bit hotter and it'll speed things up some, but you need to make sure it bakes all the way through still.  I believe commercial/brick ovens have enough thermal mass that they radiate a lot of heat, baking things not just on the surface but inside very quickly.

Good luck!

-Floyd

giyad's picture
giyad

Thanks, thats true but I should have mentioned I was making a flat bread similar to pizza.  I think the best thing for me to do is experiment with it then, just wanted to see what other people do, if you always follow the recipe or sometimes just crank up the heat.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Hotter temperatures are usually applied to thinner bread items (e.g pizza).  If you have a large mass of dough (e.g. boule) it is possible to over cook the crust before the interior of the bread reaches it's final preferred baking temperature.  It is also possible to create so much heat that the surface of the loaf becomes firm too early in the baking process so that steam created inside the loaf cannot expand properly  -  results are often an ugly and deformed loaf.

So it does make a difference.  How much of a difference depends largely on the variables of temperature, hydration level, density of the dough's mass, whether or not mist is introducted to steam the oven, etc..

But I'd encourage you to experiment ...  it's a very long learning curve.

giyad's picture
giyad

Thanks, yeah what I'm making in the oven is very similar to pizza in that its a leavened flat bread, so I think I should be good setting the temperature higher, I'll experiment with it.  The thing is I've noticed that what I'm making comes out significantly drier and crispier than those I buy from a restaurant.  I've tried adjusting the recipe to keep the dough a little more hydrated, and I've tried using different types of flour (all which helped but didn't get me close to what I'm looking for).

giyad's picture
giyad

Just wanted to share my results.  I tried it out by increasing the temperature as hot as my oven would go and the results were phenomenal!  I got as close to the real deal as I've ever gotten, and it had nothing to do with the way I made the dough because I tried out a few batches and they all turned out amazing, fluffy on the inside but cooked perfectly!  So I guess when you're working with flatbreads its best to use a much higher temperature so as not to dry out the inside... this is exactly what I was going for, I can only imagine doing this in a commercial oven now!  Sorry for all the excitement I've been attempting this for a few months now without any results because my recipe just called for 400 degrees and I listened.