The Fresh Loaf

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The importance of preheating oven (same two doughs, two diff temps, two diff results)

TwoCats's picture
TwoCats

The importance of preheating oven (same two doughs, two diff temps, two diff results)

I didn't mean to do this experiment this morning, but my impatience resulted in an experiment.

These were two doughs, both from the same levain and handled the same. The only difference was that one was shaped into a boule and the other into a batard.

I threw the boule in about 1 hour into heating the oven at 500F. This was the result:

I threw the batard in about 1 hour and 45 minutes after the first turning on the oven and got this:

Night and day.

hreik's picture
hreik

picture is worth 1000 words.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Im guessing (not stated) that a baking stone is involved?

TwoCats's picture
TwoCats

Yup! I don't use a dutch oven, just a baking stone with some steam created from pouring hot water into a pan with some rocks in it.

not.a.crumb.left's picture
not.a.crumb.left

and also noticed that heat has a big effect on oven spring..

This was also mentioned as part of the recent 10 tips from the amazing baker Dan Larn..

https://danlarn.com/

Beautiful loaf and do you think that the longer proof also had a role to play?  Kat

TwoCats's picture
TwoCats

What a great series! I'm going to read through all of them on this lazy Saturday.

I don't think the longer proof played a role. The batard/second loaf was taken directly out of the fridge (both were retarding in there for roughly 18 hours and 18 hours and 45 minutes, respectively) and thrown into the oven. 

Note that I do a free-form bake; there's no dutch oven involved.

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

what was the temperature difference for the 2nd bake (batard)?

Leslie

TwoCats's picture
TwoCats

I turned on the oven at 500F, but I am going to wager that the first loaf was baked in an oven in which all components did not quite reach 500F. In other words, perhaps the pizza stone I baked it on was lower in temp.

For the second loaf, I think the spring was better because, by the time I popped it in, everything in the oven was already at about 500F.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Both of your breads are beautiful! 

Did the later batard proof an extra 45 minutes on the counter?

Wished both doughs were shaped the same. I think a batard might produce a little more open crumb because of the shape. BUT, keep in mind, I am no expert on open crumb :-(  <sad to say>

Your bottom image is gorgeous...

Dan

Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

> Did the later batard proof an extra 45 minutes on the counter? 

That was my question too  - it is an important variable in the process.

TwoCats's picture
TwoCats

Thank you!

The batard was in the fridge while the boule was baking. I didn't take it out until the boule was finished baking. I don't think the batard being in there for an additional 45 minutes changed the variable too much.

Whenever I bake two loaves, I always have 1 batard and 1 boule because I only have one brotform of each shape! LOL!

Thank you for your kind words!

breadyandwaiting's picture
breadyandwaiting

The shape and score are such huge variables here that I would resist the temptation to assign the differences in crumb structure to heat alone, but they're both beautiful loaves! Well done!

TwoCats's picture
TwoCats

While I know that the shape and score do influence the crumb, I don't think it'd be this dramatic. In another bake, I threw in the batard first, then the boule (the reverse of what I did here). The batard crumb was not as open as the boule. The boule was definitely much more open than the batard in that case—that tells me that the oven temperature had a lot more to do with the crumb consistency than the shaping or scoring.

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

I love the pics.  Great post! Thank you! 

Alan.H's picture
Alan.H

Two beautiful loaves, I would be proud to have baked either or better still both of them.

I am not sure that Dutch oven baking has much relevance to your interesting observation of open baking on a stone but there has been some debate in the past about whether starting off the dough in a cold or pre-heated DO produces much difference in the end result, which is rather more extreme than your experience in which there seems to have been a relatively small difference in temperature. There is an interesting blog entry from David Snyder from way back in Nov 2010 in which he carried out this exact experiment baking two boules, one starting in a cold DO and the second in a preheated DO. His conclusion was that "the differences were very small - arguably of no significance". Any relevance?  What do you think?

Alan

 

 

calneto's picture
calneto

you apparently did not measure the oven temperature, so it is hard to say much.

I usually preheat my oven for 30’, but I always check the temperature before putting the loaf in. At 30’, it is usually around 235C. I have at times preheated for longer periods, and always measured the temperature. I don’t think  that the oven gets any hotter after 1 hour. At least mine does not, peaking at around 255C and staying there.

ds99303's picture
ds99303

You must have an awfully big oven if there's a difference between preheating it for one hour versus. one hour and forty-five minutes.  I think there are other factors that are coming in to play: proofing time, retarding time, dough temperature, shaping, moisture content.  The only way to know for sure is to do a controled experiment by making four separate batches of dough at different times and make sure each one is treated exactly the same way as far as retarding and proofing goes. The only thing that should be different is the shape whether it's a boule or a batard and the preheat time.

TwoCats's picture
TwoCats

Interesting. This post actually might motivate me to get a second batard shape so I can do a controlled experiment (and so I don't have to only have one batard-shaped loaf in each bake!). 

Do you really think 45 extra minutes in the fridge would create this much of a difference in the crumb?

And these two doughs were treated the exact same way up until shaping. I can't imagine the moisture content to be that different.

I can see shaping and scoring impacting the final result.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

No, 45 minutes in the frig should have no discernible affect on the bread. But 45 minutes at room temp definitely would.