The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Talk about deflating, this is worse than almost anything...

leemid's picture
leemid

Talk about deflating, this is worse than almost anything...

I started two batches of sourdough on Friday, last, and another batch of rye on Saturday. Saturday afternoon the first batch of sourdough was ready for baking, perhaps a little over-proofed but still good. I had been away from home too long and I didn't have time to heat the stone, so I yanked it and put the batards on a baking sheet, set them in the oven, tossed in some water and set the timer. Then like an idiot I stood there and watched the steam billow out of the oven vent and thought, "You know, I should block that." So I laid a towel up against the vent. Now looking back I can see that any moron could deduce that if you won't let the steam come out where the oven designers designed it should, it's gonna go somewhere else. Apparently those same designers designed that if the intended vent were ever to be blocked, the next best path is right into the electronic control panel. Let me just say that little electronic panel got unhappy. Imagine your bathroom window in the winter after you have emptied your water heater by way of a long, luxuriously hot shower...

Error codes flashing, no gas gassing, no heat continuing to support that outstanding ovenspring. Incessant beeping. Irritation. Three loaves of bread in the garbage. Next day, all seems well, no steam left in the little window, no target temperature will ramp up on the display... no heat in oven. Rising bread with nowhere to bake it. Rising very slowly because I had to chill it to go to church. Air conditioning on and still slow rising... 8 pm and nowhere to bake the bread. Irritation and frustration... toss the rye into the garbage...

That's my story, and I'm stuck with it.

Lee

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

You are not the only one this has happened to. If you are at all handy might I suggest

http://www.repairclinic.com to avoid huge repair bills

_______________________________________________________

Two wrongs don't make a right. Three lefts make a right

BROTKUNST's picture
BROTKUNST

Lee, you have found out that it is best to stick to the modus operandi of your oven - I admit a tempting thought to play around with the functionality of the oven, but I read sad stories like yours before ... so you are not alone.

 

You see, there is a guy on who runs a website where he promotes to jumper the selfcleaning-cycle of your oven so that you can bake your pizza at 800F in a regular oven. He tells tales of fantastic pizza baking and he will keep doing that until the last one burns down with the house. 

 

There are other ways to deal with the lost amount of steam you were worried about. One idea would be to cover your loaf with the top of a turkey roaster pan .. or just keep adding more water from a spray bottle.

 

By the way if you blocked the vents of a gas oven you are very lucky that you got away with just a malfunction in the control panel (which may eleviate itself after a few days if nothing shortened out)

 

Good luck with your oven.

 

BROTKUNST 

mkelly27's picture
mkelly27

It's really kind of funny in a way. As I am reading and responding to your sad tale I am shopping for, and ordering a new electronic control board for my upstairs oven and a new lower heating element for the downstairs oven.  This breadbaking is tough on equipment

 

Mike 

_______________________________________________________

Two wrongs don't make a right. Three lefts make a right

AnnieT's picture
AnnieT

Lee, commiserations on your oven - hope it will dry out and be functional again. I don't feel quite so bad about reporting my dumb moment after your confession. I guess this is like AA... I was attempting to make Will Wraith's lovely baguette today and lots of things went wrong, which I suppose made me a little distracted. I put the loaf on the nicely heated stone and added hot water to the pan and sprayed the oven walls. So far, so good. Then I thought it was time to re-spray and grabbed what I thought was the water bottle. Instead I gave the oven a nice spray of oil! Surprisingly I didn't set the place on fire, but the smell of oil on the baking stone was pungent to say the least and took ages and a fan to dissipate. Could have been worse, A

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Ah, yes, I had an oven disaster much like yours just over a year ago. I'll not block the vents of my oven ever again ....

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Yikes, I feel for you on this one Lee. I do appreciate your posting it here. I've read of so many other people blocking the steam vents on their ovens that I might have tried it one day.