The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Big Boules - Cooking temp and times

SeattleStarter's picture

Big Boules - Cooking temp and times

Hello all,

Since getting into this a couple months ago, I've discovered that I really like big loaves of bread. Basically along the lines of FWSY's 1.8 kilo boule (p. 172), i.e. making a 1000 g flour batch of dough and not splitting it into two loaves.

I'm generally baking at ~475 on a pizza stone (with a pan below for 1 cup of hot water at the start of the bake).

I'm looking for any general recommendations that you might care to offer based on what you see, but in particular I am wondering about how long to bake for. Can I just bake to the color I want? Or do I need to worry about baking all the way through the loaf?

This one I only did 30 minutes, opting for a color that a majority of my audience would appreciate. Also I basically turned off the heat after the first 15 minutes as I was afraid that the crust was going to get too dark before the loaf was fully cooked. After cutting this morning, I find the interior a bit shy of what I consider fully cooked. But I just had a sandwich with a couple of toasted pieces and find it nothing to complain about.

Recipe starting point was FWSY's pain de campagne. 200g flour from levain, 200g whole wheat, 50g rye, 550g KA bread flour. 78% hydration.

Thank you for any advice you care to offer.

suave's picture

The bigger the loaf, the lower the temperature, the longer the baking time should be.  I would have probably knocked the temperature down to 410-420 F range after 10-15 minutes and baked for an extra hour or so.

williampp's picture

SeattleStarter, Hi, great looking loaf, you did well to keep it that high from 78% hydration. My baking procedure is, bake on maximum until the loaf just starts to brown, then turn it down to 200C for the rest of the bake. I use a temperature probe to test for a temp in centre of loaf of 96C. I have not baked a boule this size in my gas, fan forced oven, but my guess would 50 minutes of total oven time ?. Don't be concerned about over baking, I have forgotten my bread a number of times, it takes a long time to spoil a loaf. Keep on baking.


SeattleStarter's picture

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll try a much longer bake when we finally finish this loaf ;)