The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Time baking vs temperature of bread

Patti Y's picture
Patti Y

Time baking vs temperature of bread

Which is most important? The amount of time baking that the recipe calls for OR the temperature my MK4 gives me? 

I assumed that they would both be close. Every sourdough boule I bake seems to reach the internal temperature quickly, and I still have 15-20 minutes left on my timer. No problems with rolls at all. The boules are a lot thicker though. I am using a cast iron, enameled Dutch oven, preheated with the lid. 

I have ordered a probe for my oven alarm to check the air temp inside the oven, but it won't get here until next week.

In the meantime, if the baking time is so much less than the recipe calls for, which do I choose? 

Time or temperature?


Edo Bread's picture
Edo Bread

Time over temperature. A temperature reading is only that  - how hot is the dough. I thought Martin Philip gives a great concise comment on this in his book: "Baking loaves reach 190F or 'done' just tho-thirds of the way through baking. I promise that the bread is not even close to done."  I think this lines up very accurately with what you are describing with your bake. I only use my thermometer for during early stages if I am concerned about DDT.

albacore's picture

I believe that a loaf made from a standard lean dough is considered to be "done" in terms of having a cooked crumb at an internal temperature of 95C/203F. After that, it's how far you want to go to achieve a "bold bake" as the current jargon goes; the downside being that the farther you go, the more moisture evaporates from the loaf, which may end up giving you a drier crumb than you would like that stales quicker.

As with all things breadmaking, it's a balance! A tiny bit of malt powder can help to brown the crust sooner - try 0.5-1g per kilo of flour. Of course some flours already contain malt - check the ingredient list.


Patti Y's picture
Patti Y

Thank you, both.

Time will be used from now on.