Sourdough bread oven

Joined Jun 16, 2021
@foodpump, I've read much of what you have written about ovens, and if I may summarize your points and my take-aways (so you don't repeat yourself), I have some follow up questions about ovens, specifically for sourdough breads.

1 - Deck ovens are more versatile than convections.
2 - You adjust the deck oven to the product, and the product to the convection oven.
3 - Most convection oven fans turn only one way resulting in uneven baking and depending on the product, undesirable results.
4 - Pizza ovens are not deck ovens, so be aware when shopping.
5 - Deck ovens are generally more expensive than convection or conventional ovens.

One thing I read that kind of disappointed me was that convection ovens don't produce that oven spring. In my tests I have actually found that to be true. It didn't matter if I placed foil over the loaves, or put a pan of water at the bottom of the oven. That cut on the top of the loaves stayed small/narrow instead of the hoped for spread that creates a wonderful visual appeal.

So, I am rethinking my oven wish list.

To explain, my baking process looks like this (I bake in cast iron bread pans lined with silicone mats cut to fit):

1 - loaves done proofing get slit on the top and covered with a foil sheet
2 - they are placed in a conventional gas oven at 450F (oven dial is set to 500F, but the actual temps is closer to 450F) and baked for 45 minutes
3 - the foil gets removed and in the process all the pans are rotated top to bottom, front to back, side to middle (each oven holds 16 loaves, 8 to a rack)
4 - still at 450F they get baked uncovered for another 12 - 15 minutes
5 - removed, and cooled

With sourdough bread I'm steering away from convection. Yes, bake time is less, but the oven spring is missing.

Do you know any of the following?
1 - how many loaves a single deck oven would fit,
2 - would I require the foil and the rotation with a deck?
3 - could I expect the total bake time to be about the same?

Please let me know if you need any other information. And anyone else, please chime in with your advice. I'm open to all suggestions about what I am doing and shortening processes and increasing quality.


Joined Jun 16, 2021
Oh... I hope that didn't come of as brusque! Time was short. I really do appreciate anyone's input here.

Thank you!

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