The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Strategy for baking multiple loaves in a small oven?

Cafemich's picture

Strategy for baking multiple loaves in a small oven?

Does anyone have a strategy for baking multiple loaves of bread in a small oven? Come Thursday, I wil be the thrilled new owner of a DLX Magic Mill. in my excitement over the mixer's ability to mix multiple loaves of WW bread at a time, I forgot that only two loaves will fit in my oven at a go. Oops. If I want to mix, say, 4 or 6 loaves of WW pan bread in the mixer, how can I stagger the baking times and avoid overproofing the dough? If anyone has figured out a reliable schedule for this type of baking, I will be grateful if you share the knowledge.



ClimbHi's picture

Two loves -- that's a small oven! On the up side, the tighter the loaves fit in the oven, the more steam they make naturally and that's a good thing.

I've never tried this exactly (tho' I have use the fridge-rise method for making fresh hot cinnamon buns for breakfast), but you could try making the dough a day ahead and letting it do the final rise in the fridge. Take out two at a time for baking.

Pittsburgh, PA


ericb's picture


I also have a smaller oven and can only bake 2-3 loaves on a single rack. If your oven has enough room for two racks, you might want to consider the method below.

I prefer to put one rack at the bottom of the oven with a baking stone, and a second rack (without a stone) in the middle of the oven.

Once the loaves have started to form a crust (10-20 minutes), I move them from the bottom to the middle rack, and then throw 2-3 more loaves on the bottom. I remove the first batch when it finishes baking, then move the second batch to the middle rack and throw a third batch on the bottom. I lose a lot of heat with this method, so baking takes longer. By continuously rotating between racks, I can get 6-8 loaves into the oven without worrying too much about over-proofing.

You oven might heat differently, but this works well for me. I would prefer to put all the loaves into the oven at the same time, but I'm not sure I trust multiple racks.


Cafemich's picture

All great suggestions! Thank you so much, everyone.

Patf's picture

I have this problem too. I make 4 loaves at a time.

After putting the dough into the tins for the second rise/proving, I leave two tins to complete the rise,  I take out the dough from the other two when it's about halfway risen, give a quick knead and shape, and back into the tins.

Then bake the fully risen pair. By the time they are done, the second pair are ready to go into the oven.