The Fresh Loaf

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I find water in the baking pan after the bread is baked

Integralista's picture

I find water in the baking pan after the bread is baked

Since I perfected my wholemeal bread recipe, I obtain a very good and well-aerated bread, but I always find water inside the pan. When I extract the loaf there is some water in the pan, more or less a spoon, and the bottom and sides of the loaf are wet in some points.

This happens both when I bake the bread with the bread machine, and when I bake it in the gas oven.

I turn off the oven when the inner temperature of the bread reaches 95°C (203°F) or 96°C. Yesterday I baked the bread a little more, I turned off the oven when the inner temperature of the bread was 98°C.

The bread cooked at the fixed temperature of 190°C (374°f) (I know it because this last one, I cooked it in the gas oven).

The bread was not overly hydrated: I used 750g wholemeal flour, 40g of a flour with some gluten and dehydrated sourdough culture, 20g gluten, 25g dried malt extract, and 512g of water, to which I added a spoon of water after adding the 40g of flour with the culture and the DME. Hydration was around 65%.

The top of the bread tends to grow large, above the brim of the pan. I never noticed this water thing when the bread did not rise up to the brim of the pan, but now I think that it is due to the bread raising in such a way that it makes the evaporation of some water more difficult, maybe the bread is "corking" the pan and preventing the vapour to get out, if such a thing can really happen (but how can it? Vapour has a pressure and it should find its way out).

I am therefore here for advice:

- Is it something normal? (I presume no)

- Should I worry about moulds? (I presume yes, so I will dry the bread when this happen, either by placing it near a radiator, or with a short passage in the oven)

- Should I insist more with the cooking time?

- Should I simply bake smaller loaves?

This 790g recipe, wholemeal flour, is much smaller than the maximum flour amount suggested by the bread machine manufacturer (Unold). They suggest no more than 1 kg of "1050" flour. "1050" is "whiter", more sifted than wholemeal.

The manufacturer doesn't mention water in the pan among the possible problems.

The pan is circa 22x12 cm the base, x15 cm of height (pretty high).

I always grease the inner face of the pan, usually with butter, yesterday with vegetable oil. Is it possible that it is the grease which "seals" the vapour and prevents it from escaping?


fredsbread's picture

Do you wait for the loaf to cool before extracting it, or do you tip it out of the pan as soon as you remove it from the oven? I've seen moisture on the crust when the loaf has cooled in the pan, and in general I think it's recommended to remove it as soon as possible so that the crust can dry out without retaining that moisture.

Integralista's picture

I let the bread cool in the pan. I do this on the - possibly wrong - assumption that I will get a softer, less crumby crust. I also thought that leaving the bread in the pan would help to dry the bread, as the heat is applied for a longer time (the bread should continue being heated by the pan).

I also did this because I wanted to see how a "fire and forget" bread machine method would work, I mean, let the bread machine do the fermentation phase, the baking phase, and finding the bread ready when I come back home, or when I get up, without having a timetable to watch.

Next time I will try to get the bread out of the oven and out of the pan sooner, when it is still hot. For years, I have always taken the bread when hot out of the pan and put it on a rack. That was always the less pleasing part of the entire job, especially not being able to go to sleep because I had to wait for the bread to cook.

I now see that the reason why everybody does that is not to have a crumby crust, but to have a dry bread, presumably.

seasidejess's picture

You've figured it out!  Water vapor is condensing inside the pan as it cools.

Usually just about 10 minutes after coming out of the oven is the best time to remove the bread from the pan.  That lets the loaf cool slightly and contract away from the pan sides, making it easier to remove,  but it is still warm enough to prevent too much condensation from forming.

If you find the bread is still too hot, or sticks in the pan,  wait 15 minutes instead of 10. (Different pans cool down at different rates.)

The idea is for the loaf to contract a bit and for enough moisture to form that it makes removing the loaf easy, but still removing it before it cools so much that it gets wet.

Integralista's picture

Thanks to all for your contributions.

Now I understand this was a somehow dumb question, but I really did not figure it out before receiving advice.

I have yet to go through my last loaf, but I will certainly bake it with this detail in mind.

tpassin's picture

The bread cooked at the fixed temperature of 190°C (374°f) (I know it because this last one, I cooked it in the gas oven).

Actually, you can't know this unless you have checked the oven in several locations with a thermometer.  Ovens can vary a lot from the set value.

Integralista's picture

I have a separate oven thermometer (the analogic kind with a bi-metallic spring, but good quality) by the side of the baking pan. The oven was set at 190°C and the oven thermometer was indicating 190°C. Also, I think the metal pan would somehow equalize the temperature if there are cold spots in the oven (I baked the bread in the metallic pan, in the oven).

I also had a thermometer probe inside the loaf, which is connected through a cord to an electronic thermometer outside the oven. I use that to evaluate the inside temperature of the loaf. This thermometer has actually the possibility to connect two probes, but I damaged one and, also, I find the bi-metallic thermometer to be more practical.

I have noticed that if the oven thermometer is near the glass of the door, the temperature is 20-30°C less than the theoretical one. When used near the centre of the oven, it is all quite coherent (temperature of the control knob and temperature of the oven thermometer). When I set the oven at maximum temperature, 240°C, the thermometer near the centre of the oven says 240°C.