The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Inside the loaf temperature monitoring.... the 'real' take out time.

mikeofaustin's picture

Inside the loaf temperature monitoring.... the 'real' take out time.

So, I'm wondering about this whole 205 degree take out time.  I noticed that the temp rise inside the loaf is on a constantly accelerating curve.  My breads often feel and taste "dried out".  SO, the other day, I while monitoring, I take the loaf out at 175, and on the wire rack, the inside temp still rose to 205 very quickly.  This was a ~1 lb french loaf.  Should I wait till 205 to take it out of the oven, and hence, it will stay much longer at that temp, essentially/potentially drying the loaf out???



Barkalounger's picture

I've always used sound to test the doneness of my loaves.  I recently checked the temp of a loaf that I was sure was done, and it was about 20 degrees cooler than recommended.  I pulled it out anyway, stuck it on a wire rack and sure enough, the temp rose (though not quite to the recommended temp).  It came out perfectly.

mike721's picture

Interesting, I always bake until my loaves look well done ( I like them nice and dark, especially sourdough Boules so I try for the longest bake I can), then take them out, put them on the cooling rack, THEN take the temp of one of them. I always seem to get 204-205 degrees. I'll have to try checking one while it's still in the oven a few times and see how the temperature rises..I wonder if I will see the same rise after removing it from the oven.  

I should add though that I haven't had any problems with the loaves drying out, if anything I'm more concerned with baking them fully before the crust burns. I usually preheat to 550, peel them into the oven and steam a few times for 5 minutes still at 550, then lower it to 460 for the rest of the bake. A 2 pound sourdough boule bakes in about 40-45 minutes this way, my 5+ pound miches took a little over an hour, with some extra time around 400 to make sure the center was done. How long are you baking your loaves and what shape are they?

Sounds like a good experiment is in order..I guess as soon as the crust is starting to color it should be safe to insert the probe and leave it for the rest of the bake, the bread won't be getting any more oven spring at that point.


Mike in New Jersey

Mike Avery's picture
Mike Avery

The value of a tool is that it lets you do things your way. When the tool becomes the master, instead of the tool, it is being misused. If 205 is too done, shoot for 185 next time. If it's underdone, shoot for 215 next time. It's YOUR bread, you should make it to suit YOUR taste. Also, different breads will be done at different temperatures, so you might use 205 as a starting point, until you know what you like for the different breads you make.


As I often say, baking is a juggling act. You want the inside and outside done at the same time. Temperature cooks the crust. Time cooks the crumb.


If the crust is too dark, reduce the temperature next time. (You can cover it with foil to slow further browning). If the crust is too light, increase the temperature. (You can kick up the oven temperature and put the loaves in to brown a bit as a recovery step.) A key element is in knowing what your oven temperature really is. Over the years, I've had lots of inaccurate ovens, so I always put an oven thermometer in the oven. Monitoring the oven may surprise you with how much, or little, time it takes to heat your oven, how far off your thermostat is, and how much variation there is in your oven temperature during your bake.


If the crumb is too done, bake the bread for a shorter period of time next time around (you can't unbake bread). If the bread is underdone, leave it in longer.


The trick is the two are related. So, it may take a time or two to get the time and temperature to the point where both are done at the same time. In general, I try not to do the "put the bread in at 500 for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350" sort of thing. It is a lot of trouble, and it causes delays between batches if you're baking more than one batch. Juggling the time and temperature lets you almost always avoid that sort of thing.


Playing with the temperature is useful for rye breads.... but they are a bit different than wheat.



swtgran's picture

I use one of those digital thermometers that I put in my bread right before I put it in the oven.  I set it for the temperature I want and it sounds an alarm when my bread is to the temp I have chosen.  So far, so good.  Terry

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

190F is sufficient for gelatinization of the starches according to a hardcore cereal science book I read a while ago. Now for some breads like really hydrated, big holed thing, I find internal temp a bit precarious, and may go higher if I'm measuring.


IMO you're starting too high at 205 for an average hydration average bread.  Some breads might like that to get the texture you want for a particular bread, but that would be more the rare case.  I also sometimes go to those temps on something like a ciabatta, but really with a ciabatta I go by appearance and other properties.


On rare occasions I've seen instructions to take a bread out at 180, but in general I use 190F for breads with average properties.


I highly recommend a remote probe (probe in bread in oven, readout outside oven).  I only put it in the loaf in the last stages of baking.  Then you can watch the temperature creeping up while the loaf is still in the oven.