The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking Temperatures

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pmiker's picture
pmiker

Baking Temperatures

I made another sourdough loaf from Bread by J. Hamelman.  This was the Vermont Sourdough with whole wheat.  The recipe calls for 460F for 40-45 minutes.  I steamed the first 5 minutes (he cautions against over steaming) and due to browning, reduced the temperature to 400 at 20 minutes.  At 35 minutes the inside temperature of the loaf was 207F.  I considered the bread done and removed it.

Am I missing something?  I looked through the book to see if home bakers were to use a lower temperature but he likes hot fast bakes.  I just find 45 minutes to be a bit long.  I was baking two 1.5 lb loaves on a stone.  One is pictured at top.

I am working on my oven loading technique as well as my slashing.  I normally do pan loaves.  Those I bake at 375F for 35 minutes.

At least these loaves did not kiss.

Mike

 

golgi70's picture
golgi70

I think the temps in the book are those that would used in an industrial oven.  Unfortunately home ovens lose a lot of heat from opening the door.  This is why many of us preheat as hot as we can knowing the loss of temp will leave the oven nearly perfect for a good hot fast bake.  None the less my loaves take roughly 40-45 minutes to bake in my oven to get a deep dark crust.  i do steam for a longer period of time with hearth loaves like such. I aim for the first 1/3 of the bake with steam to get full expansion of the loaf before finishing dry.  A loaf like this at my previous jobs with real ovens only took 30-35 minutes to get the same finish.(well not the same but you know what I mean)

Not sure if this is helpful but its my $.02 and experiences with home oven baking.  

Cheers

Josh

golgi70's picture
golgi70

By the way your bread looks great

Josh

PetraR's picture
PetraR

Your bread looks great!

I bake in a Dutch Oven, so I know that I am save from burning the top of my bread * as I have done a few times when I did not have my Dutch Oven and followed recipes with the high temperatures.

Your bread turns out great from the look of it, beautiful colour, lovely scoring and I bet the crumb and the taste where just as good.

Do not worry about the temperature in the recipe, go by your instinct and how your Oven works:)

pmiker's picture
pmiker

I again used the wet towel steaming method. I placed two pans of towels below the baking stone, one on each side.  The stone was pre-heated and I let the the steam start a few minutes before placing the bread into the oven.  I also sprayed the oven at that time.  Next time I will let the towels stay in for ten minutes instead of five to see if there is a difference.

I have used a temp gauge on the oven and it seems to be accurate.

I was a bit more aggressive on my scoring this time.  One loaf was in the floured banneton with a cover and one in one without the cover.  The picture is of the one from the uncovered banneton.

The taste is good.  The crumb is not as open as some I see here but it's fine for me.  About like my last one.

Thanks for the nice comments folks.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Mike,

I think you've got the right idea about steaming for 10 minutes versus the five that you did here. I don't know if he mentions it in the book, but some ovens are better at evacuating moisture than others. Mine seems to be too good at it. It looks like you didn't get much oven spring, from the looks of those slashes. While that can happen for lots of reasons, one could be that the crust set too quickly.