The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking Times and Temperatures

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mcs's picture
mcs

Baking Times and Temperatures

Hey there,
These are some of my observations regarding baking times and temperatures as related to different products.  Please feel free to add your own observations as these are based on my own equipment, ingredients, and techniques.



These are convection oven temperatures, so in a standard oven, I would add 25 degrees to each.  I'll be referencing the photo below and referring to both tables above.



Here are four types of bread that were cooked in the oven at the same temperature at the same time: (top left) Rustic White, (top right) Kalamata, (bottom left) Sour Rye, (bottom right) Multigrain.  All 12 ounce loaves were cooked for 22 minutes, all 24 ounce loaves were cooked for 35 minutes except the Rye (33 minutes).  All were misted before they went in (the Rye had an egg wash) and steamed when they went in the oven. 
As you can see from the picture and the color table, most of the coloring came in the first 22 minutes.  However on both of the top loaves there was a 'browning' that occured in the final 10 minutes that created a crispness and cracking in the loaves that didn't occur in the 12 ounce loaves.  Since I was baking a variety of loaves with low volume, I decided to compromise and end up with (in my eyes) perfect loaves and pretty good 12 ounce loaves, in order that I could 'save oven space' and minimize the time I had to fuss with the bread.  If I were to want smaller loaves with a similar crust and structure, I'd need to jack up the temperature to speed up the coloring timetable.  Keep in mind, it would still progress in the same fashion, just speeded up. If I wanted to, I could cook all of the rolls or small loaves at once at a higher temperature, cook the small stuff on the top rack of the oven to give them more color...
These are all work-arounds to get what I want, but in this case the easiest was what I did which happened to be a compromise that probably only I will notice.
Hope that answers some questions, but if it opens up some new ones, feel free to ask.
-Mark

holds99's picture
holds99

Great chart.  It will go into the front of my baking book.  The chart and photo of the different types of breads, baked at the same time and temperature, is very helpful. 


As always, lovely loaves and scoring,


Howard

annettepenn's picture
annettepenn

remember

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I'd put puff pastry in a higher oven, around 425F., and I usually bake my croissants at 375 or 400F.  I read somewhere that the heat is really supposed to hit the puff pastry to give you all those flaky layers and make it really puff.

mcs's picture
mcs

Just like with the bread, I'm judging the doneness based on proper color and a cooked center.  With my croissants at 350 they only bake for 9 minutes and bear claws (puff pastry dough) goes for 14 minutes.  Since the bear claws and cheese danish have centers with raw egg fillings in them, the times have been adjusted to make sure that's cooked. 
In my standard oven, if I don't have the puff pastry up at 425, like you said, it takes forever to get color.  The cooking times for the same things would be: croissants 14 minutes @375, bear claws 20 minutes @425. 
So the convection oven with the laminated doughs speeds up the time and lowers the temperature significantly more than with the regular breads in a regular oven.
-Mark

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

Sorry, I didn't realise you used a convection oven, and since I don't have one, I can only go by a regular old (and I do mean old!) electric oven.

mcs's picture
mcs

Most people aren't using convection ovens so it's good to refer to temperatures that most people can relate.  With a electric oven (my home oven) I found not only I needed to increase the temperature but also increase the time by 50%! 
-Mark

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Thank you this will come in handy!  See a good example of two different types of bread being cooked in a woodfired oven on my photo post of P.R.Italian..Norm's onion rolls turned out perfect..I think...and the Italian...I knew the oven wasn't hot enough!!  Bread was to light!  So now I learned...next time do baking in my woodfired with breads of the same family!!  This should have dawned on me!! Thanks again!


Sylvia

mcs's picture
mcs

These are in response to David's (Soundman's) questions from another thread:


re:Puff and Croissant dough:  Although they are both laminated, that's where the similarities end.  Croissant dough has milk, eggs, and yeast in it in addition to AP flour.  Plus the butter 'lock in' amount is about half that of puff pastry.  Puff pastry uses water for the main liquid, has no yeast, and also often has cake flour for part of the flour.  With croissant dough (because of the yeast and steam from butter between the layers) you'll see 'ovenspring' after about 2 minutes in the oven.  With puff pastry the only 'ovenspring' comes from the steaming of the butter between layers, so it not only takes longer, but occurs over a longer period of time.  The idea is to get it to puff high, then keep it at that height by baking it for the right amount of time.
I don't know if your oven follows the general rule of subtracting 25 degrees (I've got 3 convection ovens and they're all different). 
I think many commercial bakers and many home bakers come to the same point from opposite directions.  This is how I figure out cooking times it and it might seem backwards.
Let's say I was using your oven and all I had was a $15 probe thermometer to check for doneness.  I'd pick my Rustic White recipe since I have a visual of what I want it to look like when it's 'done' (color-wise).  I'd set your convection oven for 405, steam as usual, and start baking. Ten minutes into it (according to the chart), I know whether your oven is hotter or cooler than mine without actually knowing the temperature of it.  If it's already getting dark I would: lower the temperature and put it in a lower position in the oven to save the top from burning.  If it had no color, I'd raise the temp slightly, but leave it in the same place since there's still 25 minutes to go.  Ten minutes later I'd check again using the same process.  Eventually either it's going to look ready or the 35 minutes will be up at which point I'll check the internal temp.  If it looks done, but it's at 190, the oven was too hot so next time I'll cook it at 395.  If it doesn't look done, but it reads 205, then next time I'll cook it at 415.  If it looks done and is at 205, then your oven is the same as mine and everything is honky-dory.
This is essentially how ALL of my cooking is done and it takes some trials unless you're lucky or your oven is exactly like mine.
On Friday I cooked up 250 mini croissants for an art showing.  These were one-fourth the size of regular ones.  I did some trials two days before and they told me to use the regular temperature, but shorten the time.  Now I should've known better, but that's what I did on 'game day'.  I ended up cooking them until they looked right, but they ended up being slightly overcooked (dry).  What I should've done (just like with rolls) is raised the temp up so they got color quickly AND baked them for shorter (because of the size).  Believe me, it's noted, so next time I will.
I think some bakers forget that they have control over ALL of the factors of their product.  When it seems like you don't, you're missing something. 
I knew: dry croissants that look good means: too long, not hot enough
Long post, but I think that answers a few of your questions.


-Mark

Soundman's picture
Soundman

Super post, Mark! (Not too long at all.)


Like Howard, I'm printing your table and putting it in my book. Your loaves, I agree, look perfect! Beautiful scoring and the color is lovely. The color portion of the table becomes very clear, coordinated with the pictures and the timings in your description.


The last piece of your post, on how to derive the right starting temperature for any given oven is really very helpful. It may seem like common sense to you, but I have never thought about 'anchoring' the time and making the adjustments to oven temperature and placement in response to color. In the end it's like calibrating your oven.


"If it looks done, but it's at 190, the oven was too hot...". This is a pretty accurate description of what often happens to me, so for my next bake I will be lowering my starting temperature.


It's good to know that even with all your experience you sometimes overshoot. But I'll bet the art patrons found the mini-croissants absolutely delectable!


Thanks again,


Soundman (David)


 

bobkay1022's picture
bobkay1022

Hi There Mark


    Sorry I did not answer your post on convection baking sooner. My question. Is your convection Oven a commercial oven and operating on 220 volts.


    Mine is in a Motor Home and only 120 volts and less wattage than a comercial oven at 220 volts. 


    I certainly  envy the looks and Ill bet the tastes of the bread shown is delicious..


                 Bob


 www.siemann.us


 


  


  

mcs's picture
mcs

Bob,
The electric convection oven I'm using is a Blodgett Mark V and it's on 220V.  Just like with any oven, it'd take some experimentation to get the loaves the way you want it, but even the experiments will be good enough to eat.


-Mark

bobkay1022's picture
bobkay1022

Hi Mark


It is tough with this 120 volt Micr/Convection oven. but I am still trying.


Did this italian Loaf and lucked out.


Bob


Italian Loaf