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Electric Oven and Burnt Bottoms


clumsycook
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Hi all.

I live in an apartment complex where the oven supplied to me (probably about 15 years old) is electric with the heat source at the bottom for baking. Even though I adjust the times for recipes (the oven usually cooks in about 3/4 of the time stated), all of my breads end up with burnt bottoms and just-a-little-too browned edges. If I try and take out the bread before it's burnt, it's never cooked through. Is there anything I can do? The rack is set in the middle of the oven---should I raise it? Is there any bakeware that would work better in this situation (I have Baker's Secret aluminum nonstick). Maybe silicone?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!! :biggrin:

Thanks,

Robin

Robin

“Cooking is an art, but you eat it too.”

Marcella Hazan

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I still have that problem from time to time - although I'm factoring in high altitude adjustments - but I have a baking stone in their all the time, drop my temp a bit and for the most part have success.

When you say you have a baking stone---is that placed on the rack (right under your baking pan)? I've seen those stoneware baking pans from places like Pampered Chef--but haven't gotten one since they are heavy and take up a lot of room in my small apt. I do have a baking stone though.

Robin

“Cooking is an art, but you eat it too.”

Marcella Hazan

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Hi, Robin --

I must have the exact same electric oven in my (soon to be former) apartment. I finally got an oven thermometer (actually, two) and discovered that it was way hotter than it was supposed to be, particularly at higher temps. Have you tested your oven yet?

Also, do you use a baking stone? Preheating one along with your oven for 45+ minutes will help disperse heat more evenly, even if you are baking your bread in a pan on top of it. However, I wouldn't use a nonstick pan on one at too high a temperature. Not sure about silicone.

One more thing...the darker your (metal) pan, the faster your breads will brown. You might want to take that into consideration as well.

Good luck!

-- Lisa

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Hi, Robin --

I must have the exact same electric oven in my (soon to be former) apartment.  I finally got an oven thermometer (actually, two) and discovered that it was way hotter than it was supposed to be, particularly at higher temps.  Have you tested your oven yet?

Also, do you use a baking stone?  Preheating one along with your oven for 45+ minutes will help disperse heat more evenly, even if you are baking your bread in a pan on top of it.  However, I wouldn't use a nonstick pan on one at too high a temperature.  Not sure about silicone. 

One more thing...the darker your (metal) pan, the faster your breads will brown.  You might want to take that into consideration as well.

Good luck!

-- Lisa

Thanks Lisa--- I haven't checked the oven temp yet, but I'm sure it will be way off. My metal pan is not too dark, though I think I want to buy a new pan anyway. Is glass a good idea for baking bread?

-Robin

Robin

“Cooking is an art, but you eat it too.”

Marcella Hazan

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When you say you have a baking stone---is that placed on the rack (right under your baking pan)?  I've seen those stoneware baking pans from places like Pampered Chef--but haven't gotten one since they are heavy and take up a lot of room in my small apt.  I do have a baking stone though.

I leave it in all the time on whatever shelf I'm going to be using...its my dirty stone. Bialetti (the espresso maker) sells a stone set for $20US. So I have the dirty one and a nice one that I only use for pizza (which slides in a special nook).

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Ever since a mishap with an exploding Pyrex pan a year ago, I am very wary of using it for anything but pies. I guess it depends on the actual temperature of your oven. When I bake bread, it's usually free form and sits directly on the pizza stone in a pretty hot oven -- 450 degrees (F) or so. I would strongly advise against placing a Pyrex pan in such a hot oven, although it does brown wonderfully. I'd get a pizza stone, stick with the pans you have, and make sure your oven is the temperature it's supposed to be. If it is correct, perhaps you should lower the temperature anyway. :unsure:

-- Lisa

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First of all, as others have said, get an oven thermometer. Make sure you're getting the right temperature.

Second, when you open the oven up to put the bread in, it loses heat, reignites the element, and you get burnt bottoms. So when you open your oven to pop the bread in, do so very quickly, so the oven loses minimal heat.

Third, just lower the heat a little. I bake just about everything at slightly lower temperatures than recommended, you get more even cooking.

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