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Les 05-26-2009 06:25 PM

Bread is cooked but pale on top
I made a fire specific for cooking bread. The hearth was around 515 and the dome was 600. I put the bread in for around 15 minutes. The bottoms looked great but the tops were a little weak in color. Any clue as to what I did wrong other than I don't know what the hell I am doing. I do make a great pizza :) The oven was still at 354 this AM and my wife put in a brisket for 8 HOURS!! It made my beer can chicken look like a success. ;) I don't think this can be salvaged like the chicken, but I am sure the dog will love it. Any advice will be appreciated.


dusty 05-26-2009 06:49 PM

Re: Bread is cooked but pale on top

I'm certainly not the one to advise on bread, but I leave mine in there (at about that temp) for 30 minutes. Also I have noticed that my oven looses heat very rapidly if I don't saturate the bricks with heat first. That is I bake mine as the temp comes DOWN to the desired temp. It seems to hold a constant temp longer as the whole brick must cool rather than the inside surface.


PS. You a grampa yet?

CanuckJim 05-27-2009 03:03 AM

Re: Bread is cooked but pale on top

Sounds like the hearth temp was too low and it wasn't sufficiently saturated with heat in the first place. I commonly bake hearth breads at 550 F on the hearth. This means that a two pound round sourdough will bake to an internal temperature of 205F in twenty two minutes. The bottom is white, but the crust is well browned with noticeable caramelized grain sugars on the surface, particularly around the belt line of the loaves. Don't be afraid of higher heats. We're dealing with masonry temps here, not air temps, as in most baking recipes and books.


texassourdough 05-27-2009 08:09 AM

Re: Bread is cooked but pale on top
There are a LOT of variables here, Les... Your oven temp and baking times don't make much sense!

Most people put bread in at around 550 and oven times will typically be 25 to 30 minutes. Do you know what the internal temp was when you pulled the bread. (It was almost certainly LOW)

I agree with Jim and Dusty - sounds like your oven was not really heat loaded (but the temp the next morning is maybe it was???) In any case your baking time was too short.

I get a decent bottom on mine but I have my hearth on cement to absorb heat instead of on insulation (which is better for pizza). My oven is ready for pizza in 45 minutes most days but I find it is much better to fire for 1 1/2 to 2 hours for bread. Then an hour or so to heat soak. Then put bread in at 550 or so.

Finally, did you spray the oven with water to steam the bread? That is pretty critical too in getting a good crust.

Good Luck!

Les 05-27-2009 08:59 AM

Re: Bread is cooked but pale on top
Thanks all! The bread was definitely cooked Ė just didnít brown as much as I would have liked. I was trying to conserve fuel, but I think that is the biggest error. I did mist the oven after I put in the loaves. I may add that prior to the loaves, I tried to make some rolls. For some reason they flattened out like an English muffin. Since Iím not English, we referred to them as Portuguese muffins. :rolleyes:

texassourdough 05-27-2009 04:56 PM

Re: Bread is cooked but pale on top
One last thougth Les!

I find that when I use my WFO for bread I need at least 12 pounds or so of dough to get a great crust. Any less and I get a pale crust. And spraying just doesn't seem to do it.

I really don't understand how you got the bread cooked so fast unless it was a tiny loaf!

Bake On!

Les 05-27-2009 06:35 PM

Re: Bread is cooked but pale on top
1 Attachment(s)
Jay, it 12 pounds a typo? That's a LOT of bread. I took a pic of a loaf and one of my Portuguese muffins (which should have been a roll). I took a basting brush and wiped off a bunch of flour - maybe it's not as bad a I first thought. Any opinions?



texassourdough 05-28-2009 04:13 AM

Re: Bread is cooked but pale on top
I think it looks pretty good. Color looks reasonable. Crumb looks pretty good. I bet it tasted good too.

No...12 pounds is real, but I am picky! Which is why I do small batches in a regular oven with a cloche. Yours looks pretty good though! (but a bit light by my goals). Is the crust crunchy? (at least for a while)

Bake On!

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