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Old 06-28-2006, 04:30 PM   #1
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Baking Surfaces

I just baked some pull-apart buns using a flour, water, yeast, and salt, and baked them for about 15 min at 450* until they were slightly browned on top. They turned out fine, but I was wondering about baking surfaces. Since I don't have access to a baking stone or some such material, and have been using an ordinary metal baking sheet, would glass or ceramic be better? The bottom was nearly almost burned this time.

Using...

2.00 C. Flour
0.75 C. Water
1.50 Tsp. Yeast
0.75 Tsp. Salt


I made the dough, then i set it in the refrigerator and let it rise for about 12 hours. Then when i removed them from the refrigerator I divided the dough and made 12 balls, closely placed together on top of a sheet of parchment paper that was placed in the middle of the metal baking sheet. I baked them for 5 min at 450*, then turned the heat down to 400* to bake them for the additional 10 min. Around 13 or 14 min, the dough started to brown, so i figured they'd be done soon enough, so i finished it off at 15 min. Yet the bottom still looked like this...



while the top was like this...



So would there be any better choices given my options of metal, glass, and ceramic?

or do i just need to glaze?

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Old 06-28-2006, 08:50 PM   #2
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Where in the oven did you bake them? Top, middle or bottom? Baking near the bottom can cause burned bottoms.

Consider a higher position in the oven. Also try a double baking sheet. The aire between the layers will soften the impact of the oven heat on the bottoms of the buns.
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Old 06-28-2006, 09:47 PM   #3
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you asked the identical question on 02-27 in this forum when you posted a question entitled oven spring At that time you said
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chausiubao on 02-27-2006
Also I've been having issues with getting nice caramelization of the upper crust without creating a ridiculously dark or hard bottom crust.
At that time, in my reply I said
Quote:
Originally Posted by subfuscpersona on 03-16-2006
> problems re. getting a nice brown crust without burning the bottom of the bread can be the result of your equipment. Basically, your baking surface is too hot (and not absorbant on the bottom) even though your oven temp is appropriate for the caramelization of the upper crust. You can't change your oven (aside from investing in a quality baking stone or lining your oven rack with tiles) but if you have a rimmed baking sheet maybe this suggestion will help...

Invest in a roll of parchment paper and some coarse cornmeal.

place a 1/4" layer of cornmeal on the rimmed baking sheet and place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the cornmeal. Put your dough pieces on the parchment paper, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise.

Bake at the designated temperatures and times in your recipe.

The idea of this approach is that the layer of cornmeal provides a buffer between the heat of the bottom of the baking sheet and the bottom of the bread. The cornmeal should conduct heat from the bottom of your baking pan but should prevent the bottom of the bread from scorching. Parchment paper is semi-permeable, which simply means that it allows some moisture to move
Did you ever try this?

If YES - did it work?

If NO - why not?

Try a simple approach first. If it doesn't work for you, only then consider in investing in other equipment
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Old 06-28-2006, 10:18 PM   #4
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I used the parchment paper. And that did help, i tried it with both cornmeal between the pan and the parchment paper and without the cornmeal using only the parchment paper. Since there wasn't much of a difference I simply used the parchment paper. Also it tended to burn the pan.
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Old 06-28-2006, 11:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chausiubao
I used the parchment paper. And that did help, i tried it with both cornmeal between the pan and the parchment paper and without the cornmeal using only the parchment paper. Since there wasn't much of a difference I simply used the parchment paper. Also it tended to burn the pan.
are you saying that the parchment paper itself burns the sheet pan that you cook with?
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Old 06-29-2006, 12:49 AM   #6
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no the cornmeal underneath the parchment paper burns the pan. Its the main reason why i stopped using it.
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Old 06-29-2006, 08:40 AM   #7
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i'm guessing that you're using an electric oven and, as andym hints, perhaps baking too low in the oven, just above the coils. the pictures look like the rolls were only a couple of inches or so from the bottom coil.

as andy and sub (excuse my lazyness) suggest, you need to move your pan further from the heat and/or create more insulation for the bottom of the pan. both andy's and sub's advice would generally be enough to do the trick. if not, then a double whammy, with 2 baking sheets (with perhaps a folded page of newspaper between) and a generous amount of cornmeal or flour on the top pan should definitely do it.

one outside possible cause would be if your baking sheet is so large (barely fitting in the oven) that it's trapping most of the heat below it. in that case, baking in two batches on a smaller sheet would help.

it's been 25 or 20 years since i've used an electric oven, so i'm going out on shaky ground, but you may have a setting for using either of or both of the top and bottom heating elements. if so, make sure that you're not using the bottom element only.

if you're still having problems after all this, there's no need for an expensive baking stone. get a half dozen ceramic tiles for under your sheet. shouldn't cost more than a few bucks. make sure to let them heat up as you preheat your oven.
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Old 06-29-2006, 11:32 AM   #8
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thats interesting. i wasn't planning on going out and buying something, but rather trying different things i already had at home =b. Yea..it wasn't an investment so much as a switch. But I was using a large baking sheet, and it was on the second lowest rack in the oven, i'm currently baking something similar with several improvements. thanks for the thots
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:07 AM   #9
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to philso...

never thought about the size of the baking sheet re size of oven - good catch!

the size of the baking surface should be at least 1 inch smaller on every side than the size of the oven rack to allow for proper air circulation
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Old 06-30-2006, 07:13 PM   #10
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Smile Was the pan a dark or light color??

I find using a dark pan to bake on, the product ends up darker or burnt. Maybe using a shiny pan will help!!! Also cooking on the second rack puts the pan closer to the heating element. I also bake in the middle of the oven.
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