The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Challenger - first bake timing question

Christine_P's picture

Challenger - first bake timing question

Hi all.  I’m new to this forum but I have become obsessed with my newfound sourdough hobby and I am getting pretty good at it.

i just received my Challenger bread pan.  I have been using a baking steel with steam with good results.  I generally bake 20 m at 500 F with steam then remove steam and drop to 450 for 20 mins.  I usually bake Big Tartine style loaves.

when using the new pan, should I start with 20 m at 500 F, then expect about 20 mins more once uncovered, but keep an eye on it?  Or should I uncover sooner?  Any advice from those who have baked both ways?

is it a good idea to generate a little extra steam in the pan?

I’m attaching a photo of today’s bake with a baking steel and steam pans, just as an introduction, I guess 😃   Though the crumb is not as open as I was hoping, it is delicious anyway.


BaniJP's picture

20 min. with lid on is a good time for medium to large sourdough loaves. Some do 18 min., some do 25, but if 20 has worked so far, it most certainly also will with your new bread pan.


Benito's picture

I agree with BaniJP that 20 mins should be fine with the lid on that is what I’ve always done with my Dutch oven and the Challenger bread pan should work the same way.  In terms of extra steam, I’ve read some people put a couple of ice cubes in there beside the dough, but that can drop the temperature of the pan a bit.  Others may spritz some water in there instead.  Lots of people don’t do anything extra and just let the steam generated from the baking bread do the work which seems to work well for them.


Christine_P's picture

Thanks for the responses.  I’m working on a spelt multigrain today for baking tomorrow.  Wish me luck!  I have heavy duty heat proof gloves but I am still slightly intimidated.