The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Oven Query

Jefftow's picture

Oven Query

Hi all

i have been using my oven on fan setting to bake Bloomer loaves, usually start at 230 c for 10 minutes then turn it down to 190 c for remaining time 30 to 35 minutes. Results have been great nice crispy crust etc, although sometimes one side can get a bit dark.

i read that if I used top/bottom heat ie turn fan off it would cure this as the hit air is not being blasted at the bread.

so I tried this, the steam seems to remain throughout the whole cooking time { I pour jug cold water into pan below loaf to create steam } the bread cooks ok the crust is lighter. But the crust is softer and bread is chewy {not in a bad way}

any thoughts on this

what do you all use Fan or no fan

thanks in advance

eddieruko's picture

are you steaming for the whole duration of the bake? the softer crust can definitely be traced to steam used throughout the bake. you might consider finishing in a dry oven (remove the steam).

you also noted that you use cold water in a pan. i'm curious about timing of when you put water in the pan... i use rolled up towels in a cast iron pan, and preheat the oven with it for at least 30 mins. i always have steam billowing out when i open to place my bread in. different approaches work for different people, i've seen some pour boiling water right before the bake, or just spritz the bread and/or oven walls. 

i do not bake with the fan (or convection bake setting). it's generally preferred to bake in a conventional home oven (i don't)... depending on the fan set up, you could be losing steam through the intake for the fan, and you could have other issues as you describe. 

all that said... i think you're approaching this exactly the right way, baking and taking notes on your results, modifying along the way. 

Jefftow's picture


i spray the top of the loaf with a mist spray. Then I open the oven pour cold water in metal tray and put bread in and close the door.

my thinking is that when I use the fan setting on the oven it whisks the steam away quicker, when I tried it without the fan there was still steam at the end of the cooking time

Jefftow's picture

This is my recipie

500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried yeast
3 tbsp olive oil
320ml cool water

Ive made this several times with the fan setting and found that spritzing the bread before I put it in the oven gives it a lovely crisp crust.

my thought is that without the fan the water vapour remains to long, so maybe stick with fan setting or reduce amount of water so that it evaporates quicker


leslieruf's picture

for the first 15 minutes or so, then remove steam and turn fan on to finish.  


Jefftow's picture

Thanks for all the info everyone 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

into the steam pan.    Also when removing the steam pans, rotate the loaves in the oven so one side doesn't get too dark.