The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

No oven preheating

pul's picture
pul

No oven preheating

Fellows,

I would like to share the results of weekend baking fun. I have mixed some flour that I had available at home: APF, light spelt, whole wheat and red fife. Added enough water for 70 % overall hydration. Mixed flours, lukewarm water and salt (yes I like salt in my autolyse) and rested for 30 min. Added the starter that I had fed the night before and kept at the counter (14 C). Mixed all together and let the bulk fermentation start. Applied 3 folds and stretches and after 6 hours bulk fermentation was done (room temperature was around 13 C / 55 F). Shaped one batard and one boule and baked in a clay pot at 220C for 45 min + 7 min until brown (all without preheating the oven).

I have a mini oven in which the clay pot barely fits in. This time I did an experiment and started baking without preheating the clay pot and oven. It seems the result was quite good. I was impressed since I thought it was important to preheat the baking pot prior to loading the loaf. The batard was baked first and then I retarded the boule for 30 min in the fridge before it went into the clay pot that was mildly warm from the first bake.

 

APF480g
Light spelt50g
Whole wheat50g
Red Fife50g
Lukewarm water435g
Starter @ 100%62g
Salt10g
   
Total flour661g
Total water465.7g
Total hydration70% 

 

Not much whole grain flour in this baking. The taste was subtle and earthy with a velvet crumb and crispy crust. Very pleased with this simple baking and the experiment without preheating the oven was a success.

 

 

 

 

 Follow up to this post here:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/54659/no-oven-preheating-cold-start-straight-fridge

 

BreadBabies's picture
BreadBabies

You're definitely onto something there.

The good folks at Cook's Illustrated also recommend NOT pre-heating. They say that the slow heat actually helps the yeast rise the dough, resulting in even better oven spring.  They also say that preheating ensures a scorched bottom...something I have definitely experienced.

Looks delish.

pul's picture
pul

I did not think much when I baked the loaves without preheating, but since you mentioned some of the benefits I will check through. I found it easier because I do not have to handle any scorching hot vessel when loading the loaves.

Thanks

pul's picture
pul

Yes, I think the oven spring was quite good.

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

i have seen great results with using pots that weren’t preheated but never with both oven and pot room temp. I retard my loaves and bake directly from the refrigerator. I wonder how they would do . At my new to me house the oven/ pot preheat takes forever!! I had Miele ovens before and they were very efficient but this Kenmore is extremely slow. Will see if I am brave enough tomorrow to try experimenting. Thanks for posting,  those are gorgeous loaves

pul's picture
pul

I haven't had success baking straight from the fridge. I think my fridge is too cold, so I have to rest the dough for one hour at least before popping it into the hot oven. I will try this method straight from the fridge and see what happens. Now this idea of baking without oven and pot preheating is not mine. I have seen my mom doing it and her results were good, so I thought heck I should try it. She has been baking the same bread style since I was a kid, using a sourdough recipe that has been in the family for decades.She learned with her mom, and so on. The bread style is the one you see below (not hers, but similar). I grew up eating this kind of bread and butter as breakfast my entire childhood!

Ref: https://receitasdahora.com.br/receita-de-pao-caseiro-da-lu/

AndyPanda's picture
AndyPanda

I used to never preheat and the drawback I saw was sometimes I would get large bubbles at the top of the loaf (probably when the loaf was approaching overproof at the time I started the bake) ... that was using commercial yeast though.

pul's picture
pul

I haven't seen the bubbles yet. Keep observing.

This method can be done at home when bake one load at a time, but in a small bakery you can't afford a cold start like this one.

plevee's picture
plevee

Did the second loaf go into the heated oven or did you allow both oven and pan to cool?  I see no difference in the two loaves so if the second went into a warm oven you actually have a 'control' for your experiment.

pul's picture
pul

@Plevee, the oven was mildly warm, not totally cold. I could touch it and handle the pot without wearing mitts.

plevee's picture
plevee

Cold oven and cold DO and great oven spring!  Thank you. I must try this.

 

 
Bread1965's picture
Bread1965

I've wondered how this would work.. thanks or posting. I'll be sure to give it a try one day when I've got two loaves to bake.. very nice looking loaves!

pul's picture
pul

Thanks, I like the results and want to try straight from the my freezing cold fridge. Curious to know if this would work well under that situation.

 

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

have you thought to adjust your thermostat on the fridge? I have two loaves of the spelt kamut fig bread retarding . I use very old heavy cast iron pots to bake in. With my former Miele ovens I would have tried cold pot/oven but with this Kenmore that takes WAY longer to preheat I am reluctant to experiment. I need these two loaves for a holiday party Thursday. Will look forward to your results. Thank you! c

pul's picture
pul

Don't worry, I will be the guinea-pig and report the results here by the end of the week. Right now my fridge thermostat is set for the warmest point.

 

pul's picture
pul

Thanks Beth, the information from King Arthur is good.