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Old 02-11-2008, 11:32 PM   #1
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Bread baking temperature

I'm kind of a novice at bread making but I've been pleased with my results. I bake my standard breads at 350 for 30 min. I have several bread books and all of them recommend a much higher temperature (up to 475) and for a much longer time (up to 1 hour). I'm really confused by this. If I try baking at a higher temperature or for a longer period my bread burns, or is too dry, or both. I'm a willing learner and I'd really like to understand what's going on (the scientist in me!). The 350 for 30 min. I got from a friend and I know cooking is really all about doing what works, but still...

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Old 02-12-2008, 12:02 AM   #2
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First...hi, Doug. Welcome to DC. We're glad you have joined us.

Now, as for baking bread. I've been baking bread for about 40 years. Most of the breads I bake are baked at about 400 to 425 degrees F for around 15/20/25/30 minutes, depending on what type of bread it is and the kind of vessel used to bake it in/on.

I can't recall baking bread at 350 degrees F, but I would imagine there are instances where that is done. I just can't bring any to mind at the moment. Plus, again off the top of my head, I can't conceive of baking bread for an hour at a very high (475F) temp. Seems like too much heat for too long a time but, again, I could be wrong. I've just never done it myself.

It's late and I want to look at some of my bread references to check on some of what you relate. Best wishes on continued interest in baking breads.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:54 AM   #3
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Baking Temps

Doug,
You have ask the $64.00 question. (see how old I am)
I have found, get a temperature that works for what ever you are baking and stick with it.
I posted a thread a while back on baking problems.

I had three thermometers plus the one on the stove. All four read differently at any given time and the difference wasn't the same at all temperatures.

Then we have glass baking dishes. Brown and Clear.

There are shiny aluminum or brown or gray coated cookie sheets. Some of then are double layered "air ?? Sheets". Not only aluminum but some are steel.

Have to add the different positions for the oven racks.
I have a rather large oven three racks. But, I have yet to find out how to use more than one at a time. Items on the top rack burn on the top and if there is a sheet on the rack below, the bottom of the top sheet won't get brown.
Conversely, the items on the bottom sheet tend to burn on the bottom and not get brown on the top.
If I put two cookie sheets on one rack they will get very brown on the bottom and not on the top.

Sorry to get off on a tangent but, I have been fighting this for years. I must add one more variable...I spend about 5 months a year in Nevada at 6,500 ft. Elevation. That also has an effect on the finished product. The other 7 months I'm at sea level.

As I said, use the baking directions on the recipe as a starting place, find what works and stick with it.
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:16 AM   #4
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If it works for you, feel free to stick with it. Otherwise you can try the higher temp, but not for nearly that long. My wife uses non stick bread pans and bakes at 400 for about an hour.
As you can see, it widely differs. As someone on here once stated, baking is more the art and less the precision. Most directions are a guideline, and for many of the reasons stated by Hungry. Too many variables to be precise.
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:31 AM   #5
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Goes to show how many different ways there are to go about cooking, None of them are wrong, and none are right. Whatever works best for the person.

I can't say I use precision as much as possible, or as much as I can, I think I use it as much as needed.

Call it precision guesswork. (I tried getting that URL)

As an example, my basic bread is 5/8 water/flour by weight, for the sponge for one pound of flour I mix the yeast in 2 oz flour then add 3 oz water. Flour and water are measured to 0.08 ounces. Yeast? 2 or 3 ts. Depends how slow I want it to rise, etc. Sometimes I use a 4/6 flour/water mix.

When making an oil bread I measure the bottle before and after, so though I'm adding by feel I know precisely how much was used (the scale is legal for trade to 15 pounds).

I have two thermometers, both read true at calibration temps. Effectively.

I like taking my basic white to about 205 degrees. In the mid to upper 190s the bread is almost soggy, about 208 or so it seems to start getting a wee bit dry. From my observations, or at least for me, if the bread is making a hollow sound when thumped it's overcooked. At least it does not seem to stay moist as long.


Oh yeah, last week I made a pepperoni bread, light whole wheat loaf with 2oz of sliced and chopped pepperoni. Since I precisely measured the meat I can make an informed 'guess' at how much more I should put in next time (to me 3.25 sounds about right).

Precision Guesswork.


About ovens, at Thanksgiving I made bread here to take to Moms to bake. My oven is a , well, not very sophisticated. I have a restaurant range. I've never really burnt bread in my oven at 400~450 for 25~35 minutes.

Mom has a fancy convection Ammana (I think), Burnt the **** out of the bread at 375 in 25 minutes.
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:49 PM   #6
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Thank you all for your responses -- they've been very helpful!

Doug
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:09 AM   #7
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I aim for 350*F for baking my regular whole wheat loaf bread baked in a standard steel? metal loaf pan. I use various thermometers placed in the oven and keep the temp at 350. Takes about 40 minutes for me to get the bread just right for me. I bake dinner rolls at 325*F and the new fad no-knead breads at 450*F to 475*F.
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie H View Post
First...hi, Doug. Welcome to DC. We're glad you have joined us.

Now, as for baking bread. I've been baking bread for about 40 years. Most of the breads I bake are baked at about 400 to 425 degrees F for around 15/20/25/30 minutes, depending on what type of bread it is and the kind of vessel used to bake it in/on.

I can't recall baking bread at 350 degrees F, but I would imagine there are instances where that is done. I just can't bring any to mind at the moment. Plus, again off the top of my head, I can't conceive of baking bread for an hour at a very high (475F) temp. Seems like too much heat for too long a time but, again, I could be wrong. I've just never done it myself.

It's late and I want to look at some of my bread references to check on some of what you relate. Best wishes on continued interest in baking breads.
I have just baked my first soda bread in years, It came out a little hard, can anyone tell me the proper temperature for oven
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