When you are baking bread, you always need to manage oven temperature relative to the rest of the world — such as how quickly your bread is proofing and when you are going to be ready to load your bread. And unlike your conventional oven, you don’t have controls to lower or raise your oven temperature.
The rate that your oven heats up and holds heat is based on a number of different factors, including your oven size and the size and duration of your fire. Still, one thing is certain. Your oven will start a slow and gentle decline in temperature as your fire burns down.
One way of controlling and extending your oven’s baking capacity is to work with your coals. If you want to start your bread baking as quickly as possible, you should shovel out your coals as your fire is burning down. But if you want to extend your potential baking period, spread your coals and and close your door. The heat of the coals will keep your oven hot for a long period of time — giving you the flexibility of baking hours later than you had originally planned.