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stephen*z 07-30-2011 01:39 PM

burned the bread! why?
i am on my 3rd cook with the oven and desided to try some bread after the pizza. the temp on the floor of the oven was 425. I put the bread in and set the clock for 15 min. (time to come back and check on the progress) when I came back the bread was done... the temp inside the bread was 190...abd the top was black! it should have only been 1/2 done but it was wonderfully done in the center but burned on the top. all in only 15 min. what did i do wrong?

Faith In Virginia 07-30-2011 02:19 PM

Re: burned the bread! why?
see if you missed any steps this is what I do.

get oven hot
remove the coals
close the door and let the oven regulate depending on temp 1 to 2 hours
swab the floor I return the door for about 5 minutes to let the floor recover.

Load bread.

My bread also cooks in 15 to 20 minutes so oven temp is important for crust darkness.


texassourdough 07-30-2011 02:59 PM

Re: burned the bread! why?
Hi Stephen...

Your hearth was IMO too cool (but that is a function of many things including bread additives and shape) but your dome was clearly too hot. As Faith indicates, you need to let the oven equalize some before you bake. The dome will typically be 20 to 30 degrees warmer than the hearth and that is okay. 190 is IMO too low a center temperature for lean artisanal breads

I target to bake my rustic boules at a hearth temp of 465 for 40 to 45 minutes and to an internal temperature of around 208 to 210.

Without telling us more there about the loaf, additives, shape, size there is little we can add.

Faith In Virginia 07-30-2011 03:47 PM

Re: burned the bread! why?

Once again I feel the need to resolve our differences in cook times. I would love to jump on a plane to witness your process. But that is unrealistic...So...Do you have the ability to make video's? I will make a video of my process and we can compare notes...what do you think?

Laurentius 07-30-2011 06:09 PM

Re: burned the bread! why?
Hi Z,

The one time I had a burned top, was when I placed the bread to close to the back wall of the oven. The heat is reflected from the wall as well as the ceiling. I tend to keep my fire in the back of the oven, and anything back there needs to be rotated often.

texassourdough 07-31-2011 08:38 AM

Re: burned the bread! why?
Hi Faith!

I thought we resolved like a lighter crust than me and a softer crumb. I was simply trying to show that at 435 and 20 minutes the top should not be burned - it should be able to go a lot longer than that. And the internal temp can go a lot hotter than 190. Per Peter Reinhart the crumb begins developing a roasted flavor at temps a bit below 205. Higher temps accentuates the flavor and is part of why I push my bake! I have no issue with your approach. The key is figuring out how to make what you like!

To Laurentius (and possibly Stephen since you aren't explicit about your baking conditions)... Assuming you are not speaking of flatbreads which are no problem... While bread (boules) can be "baked" in a WFO with a fire, if baked in the open (no cloche or other cover) the humidity level will be way too low to give proper oven spring, crust, and browning. The dome will be too hot (and usually the hearth too) so you end up with a too-short bake time and won't get the crumb to the temp where you start getting the roasted flavor that is associated with artisanal hearth breads. Standard practice is to heat the oven thoroughly, remove the ashes/embers (though this can be done after the heat soak), close it up and let it heat soak/equalize for at least an hour, have the bread ready to bake when the temp hits the right window (around 465 in my oven), mop the hearth (with a damp - not wet - towel), load the oven, humidify the oven if not fully loaded with 12 to 20 pounds or so of dough, seal it back up, and bake. Yes, it is more trouble than what you are doing but...

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