The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

First bakes in a new oven 11-3-2019

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

First bakes in a new oven 11-3-2019

I've been able to bake some pretty nice breads over the past dozen years or so. I give lots of credit to my oven which provided predictable, accurate and evenly distributed heat. It also retained humidity well when set to conventional baking. But it died.

That oven was installed 23 years ago. The KitchenAid folks told me the expected life span of a current production oven is 10 to 15 years. That seems short to me, but I've been told so many times by various appliance sales and repair people that, literally, "They don't make 'em like they used to."

Anyway, after consulting Consumers Report and a trusted appliance sales person, I ended up replacing my old KitchenAid convection oven with the current model of the same oven. It has a few differences, but most of these seem to be improvements to me. Nonetheless, any new oven needs to be tested and, I believe, requires some adjustments in procedures to achieve optimal results. I'm still learning the idiosyncrasies of this oven, but it seems capable of baking good bread.

My first bake was Jewish Sour Rye. This was baked on a pizza stone with my usual oven steaming method.

And, today, I baked a dozen sandwich rolls made with the "Medium Vienna Dough" from "Inside the Jewish Bakery."

The rolls took a long time to brown. I am not yet sure whether the oven temperature was lower than my setting or the oven needs longer to pre-heat after it reaches temperature or I need to place the oven rack lower for conventional baking in this oven.  More tests are called for. I can do that. 

Happy baking!

David

Comments

Angelica Nelson's picture
Angelica Nelson

You've just done a lot of research, would you elaborate please?  Which brands did you reject/why, which one did you settle on?  I'm asking because I have an oven/stove from the 1970s that's still running, but some features have stopped working and although it's built in (drop in stove, oh no!), I have to replace it. I'm afraid to invest a lot in a new one because I"m not familiar with the brands.  Just a few words of advice would help. 

Such beautiful results, thank you for sharing.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Truthfully, I did very little research, but I knew a few important facts.

There is a group of boutique, semi-professional ovens. They are heavy duty in construction and more expensive. It's not clear they are more reliable. Examples include Wolf and Viking.

There is a group of less expensive, more readily available ovens. They may not be built to the needs of a busy restaurant, but are fine for home use.

My old oven was made by KitchenAid, and I was very happy with it. My "research" was limited to reading the latest Consumers Research article on wall ovens. The oven I bought was rated highly. It was similar to my old oven but had a few changes. The maximum temperature is 550ºF rather than 500. The racks are heavier-duty, and one of them is on a ball-bearing frame that makes it really easy to pull out. The oven has similar volume, but the height is lesser and the depth is greater. That's really good. Now, I can put two half sheet pans on one shelf.

It seemed optimal for my needs at a reasonable cost. Your needs may differ, of course.

David

Angelica Nelson's picture
Angelica Nelson

Thanks so much!  I miss having two wall ovens, my previous house had that. But I admit I didn't use it as often as I might now.