The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Why is it always 500° F?

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Why is it always 500° F?

Say, how come every recipe starts the bake at about as hot as you can get your oven? Has anyone tried low and slow?

Murph

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

24 hours at 100 C.  Fast and high turns pumpernickel into regular rye bread instead.  Enriched breads are baked at around 350 F.  I preheat to 500 F for many non enriched breads but bake them at 450 F under steam and then 425 F without to finish.  Many SFSD breads are baked at 425 F all the way to get that thin crust. 

Happy baking Murph

MichaelLily's picture
MichaelLily

I surmise that it is an effort to fully preheat a stone and get good oven spring as a home oven will typically lose a lot of heat since the door is pretty big relative to oven depth.  I've had fabulous results at 450, but if you go too low you will see a difference in shape and color or sheen.  I personally like hotter and faster because then it gets done faster.

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Hi, dabrownman! 

Got it... the recipe will tell me. Now that I have baker's percentages under my belt, I've been looking for the sign that says, "Dark Side This Way..."

I've been doing 50/50 WW/AP to inch closer. I'm coming up with breads that want to pull my bridges out as I rip into them with my teeth. (I use the word "teeth" quite loosely.)

One of this weekend's loaves hit 225° F internal. I must have hit a steam pocket. I usually get about 209° F with my regular baking time and dough size (dmsnyder's Artisan II Class recipe from SFBI).

That high temperature reading and tough bread had me wondering about baking temps.

In my spare time, I've been scratching the surface for difference between pumpernickel and rye. Your reply helped connect some dots. Thank you. Can you recommend a first rye bread recipe?

Murph

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

customary.  I like 40% whole rye to 60% bread flour with caraway and or bread spices that total at least 5% up to 8% at about 75% hydration and 2% salt.  I treat it like it was a 40% whole wheat bread.  3 slap and folds to start then 2 sets of 10 slap and folds followed by 3 sets of stretch and folds with the seeds going in on the first set - all on 20 minute intervals.  It will be sticky but keep your fingers wet and all will be well.  Then shape as best you can and place in a tin or into a batard basket.  After a half and hour,  into the fridge it goes for an overnight retard.  When it proof to 85% into the oven it goes at 450 F for 20 minutes if steam and then turn down to 425 F convection till it hits 205 F on the inside - no more.  Let sit for 2 hours until cool.  Wrap in plastic and let sit overnight to redistribute the moisture and soften the crumb  - then slice as thin as it will let you the next morning..

I smoke brisket at 225 F and the wood chips have no problem catching fire and smoking   There is something wrong with your thermometer.  There shouldn't be any pockets in your bread that read 225 F.  The highest I have baked bread to is 210 F.

Happy baking Murph

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Thanks, dabrownman!

Just in time for some Labor Day Weekend baking. I appreciate the recipe - it'll save me a lot of poking around.

I owe you some pictures of my yeast water bake. Came out "ok." This was the first bread where I noticed the flavor remarkably better the next day.

The crumb had some Casper the Ghost holes in it from too much YW, I think. Kind of pear-shaped holes where the gas was racing to the top to get out.

Gee, I wish you wouldn't mention catching fire and smoking in a post about bread. :)

Murph

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Are you levaining at 15%? I'm assuming building the NMNF to 75% to match the 40/60 rye/bf...

I"ve never heard of bread spices before. Can you buy it at the local supermarket like pickling spices?

Thanks!

Murph

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

whole rye, dry i and sift out the 20% hard bits and feed that to the NMNF starter for the first feeding of 6 hours.  If you don;t want to sprout the rye then just sift out the hard bits from the whole grain rye and feed that to the starter.

Assuming a 1000 g loaf that would mean 572 g of flour total at 75% hydration.  The rye portion of that would be 229 g.  Assuming a 12% extraction you would get 28 g of hard bits for the first stage feeding using 10 g of NMNF starter.  With 15% prefermented flour you need 86 g total flour in the levain so the 2nd stage feeding would be 60 g of high extraction rye left over from the sifting.  2 stages of 6 hours each will get the job done nicely

You used 86 g of of rye and water each in the levai  leaving 143 g of high extraction rye, 343 g of bread flour and 343 g of water for the autolyse with 11 g of salt sprinkled on top.

Bread spices for me is: half caraway and the other half split between anise, coriander and fennel.  Lovely in this bread and better than just caraway alone in my book.

Happy rye baking Murph

MichaelLily's picture
MichaelLily

I agree that it shouldn't really be feasible to temp out over 210 before the bread is completely dry and burning.  While the dough is wet it's not really possible to exceed evaporation point.

Pumpernickel is a really interesting bread.  If I recall correctly, rye flour, 70% water, and 2% salt (some starter, maybe 10-20%), ferment for a while, then bake in a pan covered in oven at 225 for 16 hours or so.  The resulting loaf is really amazing, tastes like molasses and has a really neat color and texture. 

 

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Yeah, something was wrong there...

I did a 500g dough for 15 minutes under DO steam and 10 minutes uncovered at convection and took that temperature.

I haven't cut into the loaf and Mrs. Murphy thoughtfully put it into the freezer so I probably won't be seeing it for awhile but for such a short bake (straight out of the refrigerator, I might add), 225° F is clearly an anomaly.

The thermometer seems reliable but at $15 bucks from the supermarket, who knows, right?

Being a new baker, my money is riding on my hitting one of my famous tunnels inside the crumb with a pocket of steam.

With the number of loaves you've baked, MichaelLily, you'll never see that temp. Me? Well... :)

Murph

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

AD in Germany is just whole grain rye and water baked at 100 C for 24 hours.  No salt, yeast or SD.  It has changed a lot since then but this video is pretty enticing - no changes since 1537

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxfkORfpoiQ

Happy Westphalian Rye baking 

semolina_man's picture
semolina_man

Calls for 400F.  

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I used to pre-heat the stones in my oven to 475F, then turn it down to 425F after five minutes. I now pre-heat to 500F, then bake at 425F (for most breads, anyway). I find the oven spring and burst (and ears when appropriate) are nicer when the oven is pre-heated to 500F.

chockswahay's picture
chockswahay

It's all in Celsius.  I have arrived at a point where I bake everything at 230 C......... it just seems to work well that way.  I find that time is the biggest factor.  I tend to preheat for 45 mins then bake most smaller loaves in the DO for 15 mins covered, 10 uncovered.  Larger stuff I do on a ceramic tile for 15 with steam and 15 without.

Simple (like me haha!)

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

Most Hamelman recipes call for 460F, with the option to lower the heat partway through the bake.  But with so much variation in ovens, along with the fact that the temperature shown may vary by as much as 50 degrees (as a repairman told me), each baker has to find her/his own ideal oven temperature.  

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Hamelman's procedures - both mixing and baking - are optimized for typical commercial bakery equipment, i.e., spiral mixers and deck ovens.  Deck ovens have many times the thermal mass of home ovens, even with baking stones. So, preheating to a higher temperature than the bake and compensating for heat loss when loading the bread are not needed.

I always pre-heat my oven and baking stone for about an hour at my oven's maximum (500dF) for hearth loaves, and I generally bake at 20dF hotter than Hamelman prescribes. I think my results are okay.

David

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

David, thanks for pointing that out.  I'll just add that in my Blue Star oven I've had loaves almost burn at 460, while others are less darker than desired at the same temp. I just started reading Tartine Bread (was holding out for a good price) and CR took a long time baking daily to get what he wanted. There's no substitute for experience. 

MichaelLily's picture
MichaelLily

Took me about 2000 loaves to get very close to where I wanted to be, and 15000 loaves after that I am getting awesome loaves of bread all the time and probably a few per week that I am really proud of, and maybe every other week a few that are SO close to my ideal loaf.  Close to 20000 loaves now in the last 3 years and haven't hit my ideal, and frankly, I never expect to, but that's what makes my job interesting!

BXMurphy's picture
BXMurphy

Hi, David!

Thank you so much for sharing your Artisan II Class recipe from your visit to SFBI. I'm sure you know it's my jumping off point for so many of my bakes. Yours was the post that finally put things together for me and I will be eternally grateful to you for even baking it a second time just for me. You're a good man.

I cringed when I mentioned your recipe and thought about editing it out because I didn't want people to think that the recipe was at fault. It's not! I'm new... I'll screw anything up... I'm good like that...

Thank you for your kindness.

Murph