The weather has played havoc with my timings. Things that used to reliably take an hour are taking half that time and I’m having to watch my loaves like a hawk. This time I was caught out by an over enthusiastic white tin loaf.
I make this pretty much every week and it usually takes about an hour for each stage but not this time. Once it had been shaped and popped into its tin it seemed to speed up. When I tested it after about 20 mins it was already springing back slowly – a sign that it was ready to go in the oven. But the oven wasn’t even on yet, let alone hot enough for bread. Pretty much all my recipes say you should get the oven up to temperature before the bread goes in but this wasn’t going to be possible. The best I could do was put the oven on for about 10 minutes before putting the bread in.
The oven was barely 100C when the bread went in. It wasn’t even hot enough to create steam when boiling water was added to the roasting tray (which obviously hadn’t preheated enough). I feared a bread disaster was on the way….
But look at it. It’s the best oven spring I’ve had from a tin loaf. It took about 10-15 min longer but somehow that lower starting temperate has given the bread more of a boost than it usually has.
It may be a one off but I’ll try this approach again and let you know. I’ve heard of people putting sourdough into a cold oven to proof and bake in one step but not conventional bread. Maybe it wasn’t as far gone as I feared and it just finished the process in the oven so possibly slightly under-proofing and a lower initial temperature gives better results. Let me know if you’ve had a similar experience.