Baking Bread in Convection Oven: How Is It Done?
Baking bread is a very rewarding experience.
It requires very few ingredients, not too much time, and at the end of the day, you have delicious, homemade bread to enjoy.
On top of being fun to make, homemade bread is much healthier and usually much tastier than anything you can find in a store.
Especially if you prefer artisan bread, baking bread at home will also save you money!
There are a few different appliances you can use to bake bread.
In this article, we will discuss them here, but for the most part, we will offer advice on baking bread in convection oven.
What Type of Oven Is Best for Baking Bread?
When it comes to ovens these days, it can be hard to know which one is best for your lifestyle.
Some are better for reheating or defrosting, while others are better for roasting and broiling.
To get an idea of the different options for baking bread, we have broken them down below and concluded with our favorite!
The toaster oven works the same as a conventional oven but with one key difference—size.
Toaster ovens are designed for turning bread into toast, not for turning dough into bread.
They might be able to handle a muffin or two, but if you plan on making a nice loaf of bread, you’ll need more capacity than the toaster oven has to offer.
By circulating the heat using the internal fan, convection ovens ensure that the heat is perfectly distributed to every part of the appliance.
The hot air passes over and through your bread, cooking it from the inside out and ensuring you end up with an evenly cooked loaf.
A convection oven is also larger than a toaster oven, making it ideal for baking loaves of bread.
Convection ovens and conventional ovens produce heat the same way, which is by using two heating elements on the top and the bottom of the inside of the appliance.
They are both very spacious and can handle multiple dishes at once.
What separates the two is the presence of a fan in a convection oven. This makes a massive difference when baking bread.
Conventional ovens do not have fans to circulate the heat and, therefore, will not produce an even temperature, which is crucial for baking bread.
For this reason, when using conventional ovens, you have to be aware of how your dishes are cooking.
You might have to rearrange things in the oven during baking to ensure they are being cooked properly and evenly.
And the Winner Is…the Convection Oven!
If you just want to bake a couple of small cobs or muffins, a toaster oven could be the right choice for you.
However, if you want to make the perfect loaf of rye or sourdough, your best bet is definitely by baking bread in convection oven.
Baking Bread in Convection Oven
When baking bread in a convection oven, there are a few things to consider to help you get the best quality bread out of your baking experience.
What temperature you should bake your bread at really depends on what kind of bread you are baking and what ingredients you have used.
Most basic bread, containing only flour, water, and yeast, are baked at 400F and above. If your bread has eggs, butter, or milk in it, it should be baked at a lower temperature.
Again, how long you bake your bread really depends on what kind of bread you are making.
Small rolls and hearth bread have very different time requirements.
Thin flatbreads usually require between five and 15 minutes to bake, slightly less than thick flatbreads and buns or rolls, which all require 15 to 25 minutes to bake.
Hearth bread will take about 35 to 50 minutes, and your basic loaves cooked in a loaf pan will take 45 to 60 minutes.
Introducing some steam into your oven while you’re baking your bread will ensure it stays moist throughout the cooking process.
There are several ways in which you can do this, including:
Ice Cube Method
While the oven is preheating, place a glass or ceramic dish filled with ice cubes on the bottom rack or on the oven floor.
When the ice has melted, carefully remove the dish.
This method involves putting terracotta tiles on the rack below the one you will bake your bread on.
Make sure the tiles are unglazed and place them on the bottom rack, making sure to leave a bit of space on the sides of the oven to maintain proper air circulation.
The terracotta tiles will hold in moisture and will also give your bread a more crispy crust.
Water in a Pan
This classic method is one of the easiest and involves simply a metal pan and a cup of water.
While the oven preheats, put a metal pan on the bottom rack or on the oven floor.
Just before you put the bread in the oven, pour a cup of water into the metal pan.
Leave it in for the duration of the baking cycle and add more water if needed.
Since the metal pan will already be hot from being in the oven during preheating, the water will immediately produce steam when you pour it in the pan.
Be careful not to scald your skin when pouring the water in the pan!
If you aren’t planning on serving your bread immediately, it is very important that you let it cool properly.
Once it’s out of the oven, you should place it on a raised wire rack at once. The rack makes sure your loaf cools uniformly, allowing the steam to escape through the crust.
If you leave it on a flat surface, with no way for the steam to escape from the underside, you will end up with a soggy bottom because of the trapped steam.
1. Should bread be baked in the middle of the oven?
If you are baking bread in a convection oven, it shouldn’t really matter where you put the dough to cook.
This is because the heat distribution of the oven should spread the heat evenly throughout.
If you are using a gas or electric oven, it is a different story; because these appliances do not have a fan, the heat gets distributed less evenly.
In gas and electric ovens, there are usually two heating elements that determine how your dishes are going to be cooked.
For baking bread, it is usually best to stick to the middle because that is where the heat is going to be the evenest.
Still, be sure to check your bread, even if it is in the middle of the oven, to make sure it is cooking properly.
2. Should you put water in the oven when baking bread?
Making sure your bread stays moist during the baking process is an important step to getting a delicious end result.
Therefore, you should definitely put water in the oven when baking bread.
3. Can I open the oven when baking bread?
It is okay to open the oven when making bread; in fact, it is often necessary!
If you are baking bread in a conventional oven, chances are you will have to open the oven to make sure your bread is baking evenly.
You might even have to rearrange your dishes in the oven, especially if you are baking multiple things at once.
If you are baking bread in a convection oven, you will still probably need to open the oven to check the moisture level and make sure your bread is not drying out.
With both oven types, you will also need to open the oven to test if your bread is done.
This is usually accomplished by poking either a toothpick or a knife into the middle of the bread. If the dough is still gooey, you will need to cook for longer.
Baking bread is a skill that not many knows how to do.
If you’re among the few who like to try making things from scratch, you can achieve a lot from owning a convection oven.
More than bread, you can also prepare roast chicken, ham, and so much more.