Baking Bread in Convection Oven: Less Energy, More Browning
Baking bread in a convection oven is getting more and more popular every day, because of its smart heating elements and faster cooking time. Now you can bake fresh bread at home as if you were reheating frozen pizza; no need to wait for half an hour just to preheat the oven.
Have you ever wanted your traditional oven to function as fast as your microwave? Well, now we have a device for that, and it is called the convection oven. It is somewhat a combination of the features of your regular oven and a microwave. It cooks fast and evenly and does not take much space in your kitchen if you get the countertop version. Bellow you will find a selection of the best convection ovens for baking your favorite bread.
The Power of Air-Circulation in Convection Ovens
Bread baking requires high heat. If your oven does not have air circulation then you will probably have hot spots. It will be hard for you to achieve the same crust color all over your bread. Professional ovens at the bakeries generally take advantage of two different technologies for this issue. The most popular one is the deck ovens with conduction heating capabilities and the other one is the rotary ovens where the trays are automatically rotated to enable even baking. We get the same quality baked food at home thanks to the convection oven’s air flow system. Plus, convection ovens offer versatility in addition to controlled baking. You can cook at low and high temperatures, unlike deck ovens.
Compact Size Advantage
Baking bread in a convection oven is also advantageous because of its small size and advanced heating elements. Heating up the small space is much quicker compared to large ovens. Preheating takes only a few minutes. Browning is maximized with the exhaust system which pulls moisture out of the oven. That’s why it is the best choice when it comes to golden crispy cookies.
Are Convection Ovens Better for Baking?
Convection ovens are best for quick baking. This is achieved by three heating elements. Some manufacturers call their ovens ¨convection¨ since they added a fan in their oven. However, adding a fan is not enough. There should be a third heating element around the fan in addition to the top and bottom heating elements. This is called ¨True Convection¨ and you should be really careful for this feature when shopping for one. Baking needs even cooking and convection oven is the ultimate baking tool for this purpose due to its air circulation capabilities. Better baking abilities due to the advanced heating elements makes baking bread in a convection oven a breeze.
Does A Convection Oven Bake Faster?
It is a simple rule that the heat rises to top in every oven but convection system flows and distributes the heated air to every corner so that your food cooks faster and evenly. This technology allows the convection oven to bake 25% faster than your regular oven. Steady and dry temperature is achieved with three heating elements and a fan, which is the main difference between convection and regular ovens.
Can You Use Aluminum Foil in A Convection Oven?
You can use aluminum foil in your convection oven as you like but there is one rule you should always remember. Make sure the foil is not touching the back of the oven. It might block the air circulation and harm the oven cavity.
What Can You Bake in A Convection Oven?
Baking bread in a convection oven is marvelous but that’s not the only thing you can bake. Cookies, croissants, pies, turkeys, vegetables, and roasts are perfect to cook in a convection oven. You can cook just about anything in a convection oven as long as you use the right settings
How Do You Adjust A Convection Oven?
Your convection oven is a better baker but you should adjust your regular recipes when using them with a convection oven.
General Convection Oven Recipe Conversion Guidelines:
Time and temperature of your original recipe will be your guidelines when converting recipes from traditional ovens to convection. You need to change your recipes slightly since these ovens are so efficient. The good news is that you save on energy.
- Your food will cook 20%-30% faster in a convection compared to old style big ovens without a fan. Casseroles and turkeys will definitely cook much faster. Since convection ovens can bake in less time, take them out earlier not to burn your food.
- Alternatively, you can lower the temperature and cook for the same amount of time that your recipe calls for. Just drop the temperature 25°F (15°C) lower than the suggested level for the regular oven.
- Don’t use trays with thick sides as they will block the air circulation. Let the air blow and cook your food evenly.
- Use bakeware with lighter color since darker ones will brown the bottom of your food too much. They are more conductive to the heat flow in the oven than bright and light trays.
- Keep an eye on the aluminum foil and parchment paper since the air might blow them all around.
Can You Cook Pizza in A Convection Oven?
You can bake delicious pizza in a convection oven within 8 to 10 minutes. It is best if you don’t use a pan and place the pizza directly on the rack. Set your oven to minimum 450°F or more if your oven is capable of high heat. If you use a pizza stone it will even speed up the baking process. Convection ovens are perfect for reheating frozen pizza. If you don’t like frozen pizza then it is probably because you never had one in a convection oven.
When Should You Not Use A Convection Oven?
Although the convection ovens are very versatile, they are not suitable to cook some food types. Angel food cake, souffles, and custards are the best examples for this category. Delicate baked goods can dry out easily by the fan. They can also rise unevenly besides creating a thick crust. Cakes in general should not be baked in convection ovens. Don’t dry out your delicious muffins in your convection oven unless yours have an option to turn off the ¨convection¨.
Air circulation makes all the difference while baking. You will be amazed that you can cook delicious bread effortlessly by the power of hot air. Feel free to use all the racks of your convection oven conveniently since there are no hotspots or cold spots. Even heating is achieved with the top and bottom heating elements plus the air-fan and the third heating element next to it. Compact size countertop convection ovens are so efficient and you can use them along with your regular ovens. It is my favorite oven to cook pizza, cookies and bread at home.