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Old 12-02-2010, 06:01 PM   #1
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Smoking bread

Hi,

I made some focaccia last night which turned out great, but I'm a little concerned about something.

Focaccia has a high oil content, and most of it (about 2 Tbsp.) gets brushed on the outside prior to baking.
After my focaccia had been baking about 10 mins. the oil on the bread or oil that had dripped down onto my baking pan began to smoke, so I pulled it out.
The bread tasted fine and had a nice texture but I'd like to try making it a little crunchier next time...however, I'm afraid to let the bread bake too much longer with it smoking the way it was. I don't want to start any fires.

Is it safe to let the bread keep baking, or is there something I can do to prevent the smoking? I'd also like to try baking it on a stone next time.

PS. In what way might baking the bread in a gas convection oven be any different than baking in an electric oven? Is there a different level of safety, or would the product turn out different?

Thanks much!

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Old 12-02-2010, 07:55 PM   #2
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What kind of oil did you use and what was your baking temperature?
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:10 PM   #3
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Oops. Sorry about that. I used olive oil, and the oven was set to 475.
And just for size reference: I rolled the focaccia to about 1/2 inch thick before baking and it didn't rise too much from that.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:12 PM   #4
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475 F is well beyond the smoke point of olive oil. That's why it burned (smoked).
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:22 PM   #5
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But is it dangerous in any way to cook a recipe with that much olive oil at that temperature, for that length of time? Could a fire potentially start?
I was quite happy with the result I got, but I'd like it a bit crispier.
Thanks for your answer.
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Old 12-02-2010, 08:56 PM   #6
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The oil could ignite.

Is the use of olive oil at 475 F prescribed by the recipe? Mabe a light coating of oil with no pooling of runoff would work.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:10 PM   #7
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You may also want to check the smoke point of cooking oils in general.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:39 PM   #8
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Yeah, that's what the recipe reads. Copious amounts of olive oil in/on bread to be baked at extreme temperatures.
It's a recipe for a standard oven, though focaccia is traditionally baked in a stone oven so I suppose that's why it calls for such a high temperature.
I'll try it with less olive oil and see how that goes. Thanks!

Thanks, FrankZ. I'll study that chart.
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:14 AM   #9
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I dont want to sound pompous, I get quite a lot of questions here about why this or that happens in an oven, the first thing I say is get a good oven thermometer and check your ovens temps.
I cook mine in a tray with the dough up to the edge, I brush the inside of the tray with olive oil (did you use extra virgin) I then make big dents with my knuckles and pour on an emulsion made of olive oil (not extra/v) a little water and sea salt, I then bake at about the same temp 220c for 10/12 minutes. Did the oil drip onto an area of open steel?
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:10 PM   #10
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So I tried the recipe again today-on a stone-and I made sure no oil dripped off the bread. I baked it for about 13 minutes at 475, and no sign of smoke this time!

Thanks, sir Bolas, for commenting.
I do have an oven thermometer, but I haven't used it yet.
I used a blend of virgin and non-virgin oil-Filippo Berio brand. And yes, the first time I did grease the pan lightly with oil. I think a little oil overflowed off the bread, too. I guess that was the man source of the smoke.

Thanks, everyone!
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