Oven Test With The "Usual"

Bill44's picture
Bill44

To see what improvements I was getting in exchange for the arm and leg the new oven cost me, I baked the usual 3 x 1Kg white loaves.

The two most obvious improvements are first, the elimination of "Hot spots" in the oven which enabled me to get an even overall browning without having to turn the loaves part way during the baking, and secondly the elimination of hot spots gave an even overall heat which in turn gave me a very even spring without the usual bursts in spots. I was able to put the loaves (two at a time) in the oven, 1 spray, 6 ice cubes in a dish on the bottom shelf, shut the door and forget it. Well I didn't actually forget it I stood there and watched the whole process.

What is not so obvious is the improvement in crust, particularly on the bottom of the loaf. I used to get a thick hard bottom crust, but now the bottom has the same texture as the rest of the crust, just nice and firmly crunchy.

The overall improvement is due to the difference in the cooking methods.
In the old oven all the heat was coming from an element sitting at the bottom of the oven and just relying on natural convection to distribute the heat. Now if you combine that with the fact that the oven insulation was very poor (hot cupboards surrounding it), it meant that the bottom element was running quite often and radiating a lot of heat onto the bottom stone and the rest of the oven was just taking pot luck.
The new method is called "Fan Bake" (not fan forced, I'll explain later) and the heat comes from the outer edges of the top element, and the bottom element which is under the oven floor, this heat is then distributed by the oven fan which draws the hot air in and blows it out around the four sides of the oven, thus giving an even heat throughout the oven.
In this oven "Fan Forced" is where the fan blows hot air from a separate element surrounding the fan.

The photos don't really tell the story, you would have to have tasted and seen the old and the new to really appreciate the difference. All in all a very worthwhile investment.

[img]http://sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/4548-1/new_Comparison+002.jpg[/img]

[img]http://sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/4550-1/new_Comparison+003.jpg[/img]

[img]http://sourdough.com.au/gallery/d/4552-1/new_Comparison+007.jpg[/img]

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191 users have voted.

Replies

Croc 2006 August 23

[size=7]owen[/size] [size=9]owen [/size][size=12]owen [/size][size=18]owen owen[/size] [size=24]owen [/size]

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 August 23

Oh Cwoc [size=18]Cwoc[/size] [size=24]Cwoc Cwoc[/size]

If we get called up by da authorities, it's YOUR fault!

Croc 2006 August 23

next thing and someone will say that they will flash their brown bottom at us....oh hold on someone already did say that

Croc 2006 August 23

this need my dirty smilie
[img]http://www.mommiescamelot.com/forum/images/smilies/horney.gif[/img]

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 August 23

[quote="C[b]W[/b]oc":9a3af]
next thing and someone will say that they will flash their brown bottom at us....oh hold on someone already did say that
[/quote]

Thanks for bringing the subject back to BREAD. For a moment there, I thought we were going to get into trouble.

Croc 2006 August 23

200

brooom brooom
......and he is coming very close,he is now right behind TP's brown bottom, next corrner and she be left in dust
brooom brooooooooom

Croc 2006 August 23

if someone is wondering, ALL of the posts are related to bread
more even, they are part of making bread, this is what i do while proofing.

bethesdabakers's picture
bethesdabakers 2006 August 14

Dear Bill,

I'm in exactly the same boat as you (only the ocean is different)

[img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v236/bethesdabakers/newoven.jpg[/img]

How long do you reckon it will stay this clean?

Best wishes,

Mick

Bill44's picture
Bill44 2006 August 14

Aha, another Fisher & Paykell man. As for cleaning I have something that appears to be missing from your unit. In both my ovens all surfaces, except for the bottom of the oven, have self cleaning catalytic liners.

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 August 14

[color=green][size=18]Major Oven Envy!!![/size][/color]

Mine has been blowing my bulbs, 3 in one week. Drives me crazy. Because it'll probably do it again, I have not put in a new one. Now I can't stand and watch my breads grow.

Does this justify getting a new oven??

Croc 2006 August 14

[quote="TeckPoh"]
[color=green][size=18]Major Oven Envy!!![/size][/color]

Mine has been blowing my bulbs, 3 in one week. Drives me crazy. Because it'll probably do it again, I have not put in a new one. Now I can't stand and watch my breads grow.

Does this justify getting a new oven??
[/quote]

yup

Bill44's picture
Bill44 2006 August 14

[quote="TeckPoh"]
[color=green][size=18]Major Oven Envy!!![/size][/color]

Mine has been blowing my bulbs, 3 in one week. Drives me crazy. Because it'll probably do it again, I have not put in a new one. Now I can't stand and watch my breads grow.

Does this justify getting a new oven??
[/quote]
Oh definitly TP, things like squeaky door, loose knobs, rattling shelves etc are full justification for a new oven.

Seriously though, a bulb that blows that often is quite often the sign of a loose connection somewhere, I would have it checked out.

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 August 14

For a moment there, I was so hopeful...one more person "For" and I'm off to shop around.

Sigh. Better get it checked. But my DIY man would want to do it first.

Croc 2006 August 14

[quote="TeckPoh"]
For a moment there, I was so hopeful...one more person "For" and I'm off to shop around.

Sigh. Better get it checked. But my DIY man would want to do it first.
[/quote]

let him do it but first get huge insurance on him

nina 2006 August 17

Congrats on the new oven Bill ( - and Mick!) The breads look beautiful and the oven sounds terrific.

I'm missing my old oven a lot - the new one is smaller, colder and has hot spots. I've finally found out how to bake in it by setting the temperature 10C (!) higher than my old oven. Gah.
But on the upside: we just got online! Looking forward to catching up on reading the forum. We also bought a nice big baking stone (I've only used it once, for a sourdough pizza that turned out the best I've made so far) and finally I ordered one of Bill's lames from Grahams shop - yay!

northwestsourdough's picture
northwestsourdough 2006 August 18

[quote="TeckPoh"]
[color=green][size=18]Major Oven Envy!!![/size][/color]

Mine has been blowing my bulbs, 3 in one week. Drives me crazy. Because it'll probably do it again, I have not put in a new one. Now I can't stand and watch my breads grow.

Does this justify getting a new oven??
[/quote]

Blowing bulbs for a sourdough baker can be from spraying your bulb with water. But I still thinks it's a great reason for a new oven.
TEresa

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 August 18

Hey! Teresa!! Been missing you! (And, where the heck is Carol???)

Nope, I don't spray the oven...can't bear the thought of a bulb shattering on me. When I say 'blow', it doesn't mean shatter. Maybe it can't take the high heat I've been pushing the oven to.

bethesdabakers's picture
bethesdabakers 2006 August 20

Dear Bill,

Looks like we are in the same situation, moving from an oven that might be crap but we understood how it worked. Also looks like you've got more time than me at the moment to experiment and test the new machine out.

Any tips from you (and anyone else who has moved from an old banger of a gas oven to a modern electric fan oven) on baking bread or anything else?

I haven't had much time but I'm pretty impressed with what it will do (apart from toasting bread, at which it is useless).

Mick

Bill44's picture
Bill44 2006 August 20

Hi Mick, I don't have any trouble toasting with mine. Its just a matter of putting the tray up the top and switching the top element on.
I'm not sure if all ovens work the same, not to push the brag point but mine is a pretty sophisticated unit, bloody well want to be at the price.
I have found that "Fan Bake" is the best way of cooking the bread. The options I have are:-

1. Grill. The full top element is on.

2. Eco Grill. Only uses the centre section of the top element.

3. Fan Grill. The heat comes from the top element and is also circulated throughout the oven. This is rapidly becoming one of my favoured ways to cook many meat and fish items, its like a combination BBQ and rotisserie. You can even do roasts this way.

4. Bake. The heat comes from both the top and bottom element.

5. Traditional Bake. The heat only comes from the bottom element.

6. Fan Bake. The heat is from the bottom element and the outer section of the top element, and the heat is drawn in by the fan and evenly circulated around the oven. Great for bread cooked on a stone.

7. Fan Forced. The heat comes from the extra element surrounding the fan and is circulated throughout the oven. This is for multi-shelf cooking where items may be close to the top and bottom of the oven and may be burned if the other elements were used.

8. Defrost. A tiny amount of heat, more like just a bit of warmth, is circulated by the fan to quickly defrost items.

As I have stated elsewhere, the bottom element is under the floor of the oven so no direct radiant heat comes from it.
Oh, and all these functions are available in the smaller oven too which is just under 60% of the height of the main oven.

bethesdabakers's picture
bethesdabakers 2006 August 20

Hiya Bill,

Yeah I have all of those features - just haven't had time to use them all. I know the grill will toast bread but it's a pretty crude instument and I much prefer a gas grill.

I used fan bake for the big 2K miche in the picture and was more than happy with the result.

Thanks for the tips - got to find the time to put them to good use.

Mick

SourYumMum's picture
SourYumMum 2006 August 22

Oh here I am, TP!

Have been rather ill ... blerghk!! Still a bit off but hopefully on the mend. No bread baking been going on here .....

Bill ... that new oven looks fantastic and the bread looks even better. I have to join the ranks of those with oven envy!

My oven is a Franke ... fan forced with top and bottom elements, top element also a rather useful grilling element which my last oven (Chef) was pretty useless for. The element just never seemed to get hot enough. The Franke wasn't too expensive, I bought it because it has a triple-glazed and fan-cooled door - means my boys can't burn themselves on the door! The addition of the unglazed quarry tile certainly made a difference, it just lives in the oven fulltime now! I also have a convection microwave ... but it can only just handle cheese on toast! Just.

[b]TP [/b]... I don't STAND and watch my bread rise as it bakes, I actually LIE ON THE FLOOR IN FRONT OF THE OVEN!!!!!!!!!!! Spray bottle in hand. It is one of life's great pleasures and I'm looking forward to getting into it again soon.

Carol

PS. Have you made the evil chocolate thing yet? I actually emailed Sullivans and begged them to post the recipe in their 'recipes' bit on the website. They haven't responded.

Bill44's picture
Bill44 2006 August 22

Sorry to hear you have been ill Carol, I've just got over about 6 weeks of an inner ear infection, aparently antibiotic resistant, doc even sent me for a brain scan.
Yes I too must confess to standing watching as the new oven does its thing, better than some of the TV shows lately.

Normbake 2006 August 22

Yes I confess I thought I was the only one who stood in front of (owen) and watched their bread rise/bake.. Has to be better than watching Bert Newton on 9
I even brought a brighter bulb.
showed wife your new oven pics Bill she was impressed we have an old chef and your assement of your old oven is pretty much like how (owen) works.
.
Re laucke flour was down at Coles on friday brought a bag of flour was 4 bags left on shelf, went there yesterday Monday none left....
Hope all sour people are well
Normbake

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 August 23

[quote="SourYumMum"]
Oh here I am, TP!

Have been rather ill ... blerghk!! Still a bit off but hopefully on the mend. No bread baking been going on here .....

[snip]

PS. Have you made the evil chocolate thing yet? I actually emailed Sullivans and begged them to post the recipe in their 'recipes' bit on the website. They haven't responded.
[/quote]

You poor poor thing. I shall have to google to see what was ailing you. Sounds scary, but glad to see you on the mend....whatever attacked you left your incredible sense of humour intact.

Take it slowly...but breadmaking is therapeutic, I find.

Haven't made that decadent choc thing yet. 2 of the kids have been under the weather and a friend just called me, to help make tons (literally!) of baked goods for a charity bazaar in Sept. Doesn't want bread, though. Sigh.

carla's picture
carla 2006 August 23

Quick and happy recovery to you carol
and Bill
and tp's children
and everybody else who is sick!

SourYumMum's picture
SourYumMum 2006 August 23

Thanks TP and Carla and everyone ... and get well, Bill, and your girls TP!

Gee, it is an ordinary time of year for bugs!!!

Do let us know what you make for your friend, TP!

((( Hey Bill ... just imagine having TP for a mum and making you treats to make you feel better! )))

Bill44's picture
Bill44 2006 August 23

Carol, I'd love to have TP for my Mum, that would mean I'd be a hell of a lot younger than I am, apart from the fringe benefits.

Croc 2006 August 23

my kid was sick last week and now this week again
i on other hand didn't get any sort of cold/flu that would hit me bad for quite a long time so i'm laughing

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 August 23

Tks, everybody. Isn't it nice...sorry forum mod....alll of us chatting in Bill's 'house' (thread)? Bill, you're making me ROFL! Hope you're weaned! I'd love a child who's so handy around the house. Hugs to croc's kid too...you're a great dad.

I'm having a headache juggling costs and logistics for the bake sale. I said I'd donate the bakes, but they don't want that. Whatever I give to them, they want to make 100% returns. But that'll hike up the price to make it unattractive. So, I'll just charge them for the materials. It's for a good cause, the national stroke association...but, I'm not going to bust my butt doing it, since it falls on the same week as my eldest's 1st major public school exam too. I'll be making 4 portions each of pistachio biscotti, lemon slices and white-choc coated flapjacks, 12 lemon cakes with lemon icing, and 12 german choc cake with coconut pecan custard topping. This list has been downsized 100%. Off to look for nice boxes and packaging this afternoon.

Oh...and it was such a lovely surprise to get mail from Jeremy. He sends his warmest wishes from Switzerland and will be posting pix via Maedi.

Croc 2006 August 23

speaking of good food i'm in proccess of trying to make dhall purrie, it is mauritian thing, looks like roti (round, doh!) it got yellow split peas feeling inside and you serve it with chutney or whatever
it was the very first food i had in australia 10 years ago and i loved it so much i married mauritian girl , but she is bit of a reject as she got no idea how to make those (should get a wife with replacment warranty)

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