There are many factors that go into baking the perfect loaf of bread. You need the right ingredients mixed the right way at the right temperatures, and you need the right equipment. Baking is a science, and changing one variable can alter the results.
One of the decisions that you need to make is whether you will use a fan or a conventional oven when you bake bread. To make this decision, it is important to understand the differences between them.
Fan ovens use fans to circulate hot air evenly throughout the oven. It helps the bread cook evenly because it surrounds it with heat from all sides. Another name for fan ovens is the convection oven.
These ovens are energy-efficient because they transfer heat more quickly, but if your oven is overfilled, it can block the heat as it circulates through the oven. It is also important to note that the way they work naturally removes some moisture from the oven while it is cooking.
- They cook the bread evenly
- You can cook faster because of the way the heat is circulated
- You can cook more than one loaf at a time
- The heat won’t sit in the pan, so it won’t be as hot when the bread comes out of the oven
- Recipes for bread are designed for baking inn a traditional oven, so you may need to make adjustments
- If you put too many dishes in the oven, it will take longer
- The dough may not rise as well
- Fan ovens don’t last as long as conventional ovens
With a conventional oven, the heat is coming from a stationary source at the bottom of the oven. You will need to consider the type of pan you use for your bread as different materials will hold different levels of heat. This type of oven heats the inside to the temperature you want, and then it surrounds the pan and the bread with heat to cook it.
Conventional ovens are less likely to remove the moisture from your bread. Many people who bake bread prefer the conventional oven because it maintains the moisture, which is important in bread.
- Most bread recipes are written with conventional oven in mind
- Conventional ovens allow the bread to rise and are simpler to use
- They maintain moisture in the bread better
- Conventional ovens can have hot pockets that need to be addressed
- The main challenge is uneven cooking
- You cannot cook more than one dish at a time
How Do You Adjust the Recipe for a Convection (Fan) Oven?
The best way to adjust your recipe is to reduce the temperature of the oven by 25 degrees Fahrenheit, and then do your first check on the bread ten minutes earlier than the recipe recommends. The important thing to remember is that you can always bake your bread for a longer time, but if you over-bake it, you won’t be able to fix it.
If you have certain models of convection oven, they may make these adjustments for you. For example, you can set the oven to 375 degrees F, and when you press the convection setting, it will automatically preheat to 350 degrees F. You need to know your oven and pay attention to this.
You can also get a convection oven that allows you to bake normally as well. You can get one with a bake setting, a convection bake setting, a convection roast setting, and a broil setting. People use convection bake at low temperatures for dehydrating, and there are plenty of recipes that work well with a convection oven.
You can also use a convection oven for artisan breads, but you will want to bake at higher temperatures with water in the bottom of the oven.
Which Is Better for Baking Bread?
If you are cooking quick breads, cupcakes, muffins, cakes, loaves, sandwich breads, or sweet yeast baking breads, you will want to use a conventional oven. It will hold the moisture in so that your bread is warm, rises well, and has the right texture. These types of bread can be tricky in a convection oven.
However, you can cook pizza or artisan breads in a convection oven, as long as you keep a pan of water on the bottom. You should evaluate the type of bread you are baking and choose the best oven for it.
When you are trying to decide, “Fan or conventional oven for baking bread,” you should consider the type of bread that you are baking. For most types of bread, including quick breads and loaves, you will want to stick with a conventional oven.
However, there are some breads, such as artisan breads and pizza, that do well in the convection oven. Your best option is an oven with both standard and convection settings so that you can experiment and choose the ideal setting for all of your baking needs.