The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bake bread in an electric roaster?

This Day's picture
This Day

Bake bread in an electric roaster?

Has anyone ever baked bread in an electric roaster--the kind you use for roasting a turkey or for serving at an informal buffet? Were you pleased with the results?

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Why don't you try it and document the method. I'd like to see that work.

Eric

suelynn's picture
suelynn

Me too!  I am eager to find out.  SueLynn

This Day's picture
This Day

Since my first post I've Googled baking bread in an electric roaster and found only a few instances of people who have tried it. I'm looking for a cooler baking method for the summer, and thought I could plug in the roaster in the basement. I'll post my results in a few days when I need to bake again.

GalacticOverlordDesignate's picture
GalacticOverlor...

seaech alt,bread.recipes for "a new toy for john" -  I suucessfuly baked in a small roaster.

 John

 

swtgran's picture
swtgran

Since the heat comes from a ring around the roaster, you need to have the loaf on the rack and then turn it on its side during the last part of the baking to achieve browning.

This Day's picture
This Day

I baked two loaves of whole-wheat/rye bread in my 20-quart electric roaster yesterday. The manual says to bake in metal pans; I used 9" x 5" aluminum loaf pans. The manufacturer's instructions are to insert the roaster's removable baking pan, set the roaster to 400 degrees, then preheat for 15 to 20 minutes until red indicator light turns off. Then you place the roasting rack into the removable roasting pan, place the bread pan(s) on the rack, place the lid on the roaster oven and bake.

According to the manual, yeast bread will bake in 40 to 45 minutes, but after 40 minutes my bread's internal temperature was only up to about 160 degrees. I upped the temperature dial to 425 degrees and baked the bread for about another 20 minutes until the internal temperature was 201 degrees. I used a digital cooking thermometer which has a probe attached to an external monitor. The loaves browned ok, so I didn't place them on their sides as suggested by swtgran on May 19 (thank you for the tip, though). When I removed the loaves I wore Ove Gloves on both hands because it's easy to inadvertently touch the hot rim or inside walls of the oven.

The bread would have risen higher in 8" x 4" pans and it would have had more oven spring in a standard oven. I guess I'll go back to baking bread in my kitchen oven, but it's nice to know that the electric roaster is an option. If I try it again I'll preheat to 425 degrees.

Sorry, no pics--we still don't have a digital camera. I ate a couple slices of the bread for breakfast, and it's good.

John who posted on May 19: Yours appears to be a convection oven, not an electric roaster.

Campers beware: According to the manual, electric roaster ovens are not to be used outdoors.

pacegal's picture
pacegal

I kind of wanted to use my Roaster Oven for the side dishes instead of the Turkey for Thanksgiving freeing up my regular oven for the turkey.  However, I'm quite skeptical.  I want to bake rolls and two cassoroles in my roaster oven.  I thought I'd do the cassoroles first then the rolls.  Do you think it would work okay?  Using the rack that's intended for it?


 

swtgran's picture
swtgran

When using the electric roaster, I always preheat the unit with removable portion out and the lid on the heating roaster.  Once it hits 450, I quickly replace the insert containing whatever I am going to cook and put the lid on.  I wait a couple of minutes before turning heat down to recommended temperature, to allow the roaster to recover from the heat lost when lid is removed. 

I am wondering if the cord to your thermometer allowed heat to escape from the slightly elevated lid, thus reducing the temperature and extending the heating time?

I use my roaster outside on the porch all summer long.  I think that is a disclaimer to protect the company from people who would try to cook in the rain, put it where someone would trip over the cord, etc. 

This Day's picture
This Day

Glad to have the benefit of your experience using an electric roaster for baking, swtgran; I'll try your pre-heating method next time.  I thought it was odd that the manual didn't instruct to place the lid on the unit during preheating.

I didn't insert the thermometer until I tested the bread at 40 minutes.  You're right, though, the cord, even though it's very thin, could allow heat to escape.  What kind of breads do you bake in the roaster, and how long do you bake it?  Do you test it with a thermometer, or just tap the bottom? 

Summer baking is the reason I tried the electric roaster in the first place, and you've inspired me to try it again.  I could put it in the garage or in the basement when I bake.  

 

 

GaelicGrime's picture
GaelicGrime

I have frequently used my 18qt commercial roaster/oven as both.  I have the commercial model of the one Costco and Sam's sell.


 


My experience:


Generally I need to up the temp a bit.  If I test liquid I get close enough to the dial setting but bread breaks this by about 50 degrees F.


 


I find that baking the bread on a wooden cutting board which I have hacked up with a dremel to fit perfectly in the roasting rack has several advantages.  Removal is simple, grab the handles and pretend it is a turkey being the best :)


 


I have also used the roaster as a proofing box with even higher praise for that "feature", 2 gallon jars of yogurt, cheese , etc.


 


Time I find to be highly variable and assume this has something to do with the fact that I lost the "oven" lid and now just have the aluminum lid which is the only lid on the household version.  A damp cloth which covers the whole aluminum lid almost perfectly solves the problem.


 


I actually love some breads done in the roaster more than others... most of my crusty "wife pleasers" (think tennis ball sized crust balls with one chewey gooey middle bite made from left over flour, her favorite snack with or without something on the bread) are totally awesome in the roaster, leave the temp dial where it belongs rather than adjusting it... half again the time (1 hour become 1.5 hours).


 


I just made a polish rye (so the recipe said, and being a first time followed exactly) in the regular oven, and as soon as I have more rye plan another in the roaster which I suspect will be perfect with a little extra time and no temp adjust.


 


Buttermilk baking soda bread (and many other quick breads I have tried) are also quite good, though they will be more dense than in a regular oven, and may not hold their height when they cool.  I thought at first this was over mixing... so I mixed 2 loafs together and split them to bake.  Nope the roaster mashes the bread somehow.  The resulting loaf is a bit richer, creamier, and moister.  (I know not a word but it fit for me).


 


I have also found that a glass or ceramic coffee mug 3/4 full of water put in with the bread will make a very delightful soft crust bread.


 


I have also baked cakes, pies, tarts, and other pastry in my roaster


 


 


EDIT:  Why was this linked in my email today?


fixed a couple of typos

chris319's picture
chris319

I have been pleased with my roaster oven for baking.

Do yourself a favor and get a good oven thermometer (I like the Taylor TruTemp). Check the temperature and adjust the dial accordingly.

Once I got the temperature calibrated I have had great results baking in it. The heat comes from the sides, so say goodbye to burnt bottoms, in fact, the bottoms of baked goods may turn out slightly pale. I have found that elevating the food an inch or two, say with an inverted cake pan, gets the bottom closer to the heating element and things brown pretty evenly from top to bottom. Contrary to the manufacturer's instructions, I use it without the inner cooking pan/cookwell with no ill effects. The cookwell acts as an insulator, so you're throwing away heat/energy when it is in place.

It comes up to temperature quickly. There are energy savings from not taking a long time to heat up. I imagine it is more energy efficient than a full-size oven because it draws less power and there is a smaller space to heat. Why fire up the big oven for a couple of biscuits?

Mine does not have a timer. That would be a nice feature to have.