Help baking an ovenful of bread without burning/undercooking?
Hello Bread makers,
I'm trying to bake 8 loaves at once in an ordinary residential oven, and it's pretty frustrating.
I have enough room in my oven for 8 9x5 inch bread pans, but in practice I haven't been getting the same results as when I bake one or two loaves at a time. The loaves in the two bottom corners get black on the bottom by the time the one in the middle is done. Sometimes it will be black on the outside but not cooked all the way inside. I have been able to compensate a bit by putting the hotter loaves in two bread pans or throwing a cookie sheet underneath, but the margin for error is really small. Even when I stand in front of the oven and take the loaves out several times to tap the bottom or switch them around in the oven, some still get away from me. Also this oven loses all its heat when I open the door.
I have a residential gas rangetop oven (Frigidaire brand). I bake with coarse ground whole wheat flour, so the bread is dense. But even when I can tell from kneading that the crumb is going to come out very well, the oven isn't reliable. I'm baking for a small CSA so I really need to be able to do larger batches. Any suggestions?
One idea I've heard is to put quarry tiles or field stones in the oven to help hold the heat better. Anyone have experience doing this?
Mae in Alfred Maine