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Old 09-09-2009, 12:32 AM   #1
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What's the best oven for bread?

I have a gas oven and recently read that they are not good for baking bread -- too much (all?!) moisture escapes through the large vent. Rather than buy a whole new stove, what's my next best bet? How about convection ovens? (don't know much about them). I've also heard about baking in a Dutch oven....

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Old 09-09-2009, 06:20 AM   #2
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Dutch oven bread is awesome. And it's cheaper than buying a new oven
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:49 AM   #3
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Brick Oven/ Wood-fired overn

We used to own a bakery and it did well for 40+ years...we used brick oven for baking our breads, its the traditional way of baking using fire wood. For me it's the best way to bake breads if you have this kind of oven.

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Old 09-09-2009, 07:32 AM   #4
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Gas, electric and wood fire ovens all have flues, so I'm not sure what their point is, but in any case, there are two methods to give bread a nice crust.

One is to put about an inch of water into a baking dish and place it on the lowest rack beneath the bread. This will give you the right humidity level.

The second method is to use a spritz/spray bottle with only water, and spray the walls of the oven twice. The first time give three or four sprays after the bread has been in the oven for about ten minutes. Spray a second time about ten minutes after that. These bursts of stream will give the bread a nice crunchy crust, unlike the pitiful soft crust of store-bought bread.

I use a pizza stone in my gas oven on which I bake my artisan bread and french baguettes. I would certainly like a stone hearth wood burning oven if I could afford the $7,000 it would take to have one built!
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:44 AM   #5
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I'm surprised to hear that - I thought the opposite was true, that gas introduced moisture into the oven that electric ovens do not. That said, when I bake ABin5 bread I will sometimes cook it in a le creuset french/dutch oven with the lid on for the first half of baking. Or, I follow the directions in the book, which call for preheating a broiler pan on one oven shelf and a pizza stone on another, then adding 1 cup warm water to the broiler pan right after putting the dough on the pizza stone. Gives a nice crispy crust.
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:44 PM   #6
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I tried the various water methods but they won't work in a gas oven. The vent is so large that the moisture escapes immediately.
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Old 09-09-2009, 11:46 PM   #7
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bourbon --

Someone said to me that a large cast iron pot (with a lid) works as well as a Dutch oven. I have one. Any opinion?
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:58 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the wonderful tips. I am not too good in making bread. Have only made a few times and use an electric oven.
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougBrown View Post
I tried the various water methods but they won't work in a gas oven. The vent is so large that the moisture escapes immediately.
What effect is it that you're looking for when baking bread, that you don't seem to be getting?

ALL ovens drive off moisture when they heat food. In most cases that's the purpose. That's why you get crusts on breads and meats. Household ovens aren't meant to be "steamers" unless you add a vessel of water, or cook within an enclosed pan, pot or dish.

Now, if you're having problems with baking bread, that could be an issue unrelated to the fact you're using a gas oven. I successfully use a gas oven with a large flue to bake bread. An example of a technique problem is sometimes as simple as remembering to slash the top of the loaf before baking. What seems to be the problem?
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:31 AM   #10
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My bread turns out pretty decently in my gas oven as well. Now I'm curious, though, based on DougBrown's post, to see if bread baked in my dutch oven has a crisper crust than bread baked on a pizza stone. Maybe I'll have to do a side-by-side comparison. It might also be interesting to add extra water to the oven and see if that makes a difference.
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