The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

A Mistake Makes Good...,

Wild-Yeast's picture

A Mistake Makes Good...,

My regular bake went off without a hitch till just before the buzzer went off and my wife said, "You left the oven on convection!"...,  Yep! The oven was at 450 dF AND convection.  Flinging the door open half expecting to see a charcoal loaf revealed one of the most perfectly baked loafs I've ever done.  What's more the crust had the depth and chewy crunchiness so admired in SFSD bread.

It seems that a loaf baked under cloche for the first 15 or so minutes then baked at 450 dF with the convection fan on produces a deeply carmelized crust that retains chewiness.  And the crumb was just right.  I'm sorry I didn't take a picture before the raiding marauders got to it (dropin guests).  The bread was baked using a cloche for the first 17 minutes.  the dough was placed on a cooking stone with a baking parchment separator.  The cloche and parchment were removed after 17 minutes and the baking finished at 450 dF and convection on.  


Janedo's picture


It obviously depends on the oven, but with mine, I ALWAYS bake bread with convection and always at the recommended temperatures. I once tried without and the bread was a disaster, much less pretty and carmalized. I pretty much use convection for everything I do in the oven with consistent results. 


Soundman's picture


I do the same thing Jane does, always use convection. I find the fan distributes the heat in the oven better than without it, which has the down-side of hot and cold spots in my oven. I haven't played around with a cloche, but would assume (till shown otherwise, of course) that the convection had no effect on that part of the bake.

Once the cloche was removed and you had a lovely oven spring, the convection helped maintain nice even heat to get that deeply caramelized crust that is so yummy!

Soundman (David)

Wild-Yeast's picture

Prior to the incident I used convection mode to quickly distribute and stabilize the oven temperature.  The reason for not using it in the bake was a concern over hardening the crust to the point that it wouldn't allow a proper spring & bloom. 

Progress in the art lead to cloching which as David surmised protects the development of the crust during the critical oven spring & bloom phase.  Convection mode distributes the heat resulting in an evenly carmelized crust with an improved depth.  Nothing like tearing a piece from the loaf with a glass of 1977 Stag's Leap...,