Viewing post #64874 by Kizmo1

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Feb 22, 2010 9:29 AM CST
Name: Kathy Parker
SE Ohio
No, I don't steam the oven, but reading about it, decided I should be! Normally, my oven rise isn't the problem, just getting an even brown crust on the bottom. 2 weekends ago, I was volunteered to bring bread to my Mom's 80th Bday party. They wanted garlic bread, so I mixed up the French Onion and a recipe of Italian bread. Since I made the long loaves, I formed them on my insulated sheets, as that's the only kind I have for cookies, and lowered the oven rack to the next to the bottom.
The loaves baked and browned beautifully - on top - so as the Italian was browned and crusty, I just slid them off onto the rack itself for a few minutes, and that helped. However, the Onion bread is a much softer bread, so I had difficulty getting it off the sheet without tearing it or having it deflate slightly. I let it cool on the sheet a few minutes, then worked it off with big spatulas, then slid one of them back onto the hot oven racks. It crisped up the bottom some, but I didn't leave it in very long.
All in all, they turned out fine; Italian crusty and chewy, just right for the roasted garlic butter spread, and the French Onion was soft and moist, really no need for any butter.
I have the same issue with my regular loaves. I baked bread for years when I was first married, a couple times a week... and don't remember having this much problem getting my bottoms to brown. Of course, I didn't use bread flour or any of the new ingredients and my pans were cheap aluminum ones that I got as gifts, they served as all-purpose baking pans for everything else.
Oven temps are true, even though I've moved around quite a few times in the past years, most ovens have been gas. Since I had a full time (w/lots of OT) job, and was divorced, I got away from the weekly bread baking for awhile. I was beginning to think I lost my mojo.... LOL but have since decided it was in my methods and possibly my equipment; pans and recipes.
I like to experiment a lot with recipes, but hate to produce a dry textured loaf, so I tend to watch the tops for the right brown crust. But then my bottom crust is done, just not browned... This is my main issue.

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