Baking is a fundamental step to obtain a good and tasty bread because it takes very little to throw away hours of work and leavening if the times and temperatures are not the right ones. It is obvious that there is no precise indication that it can be good for everyone because the many variables must be considered: shape and size of the bread, type of dough, type of oven with its temperature and internal humidity (for example, is the oven thermostat reliable? Is the temperature exactly what it marks? In my case, to understand better, I know that I have to keep it 20 degrees lower because the real temperature is higher than the one marked by the thermostat. So for me a temperature of 220° is sufficient for the first fifteen minutes of cooking and then continue at 200°. You have to find your own temperature by doing some tests: knowing your oven well is essential). For choosing fastest commercial pizza oven you need to look certain guides.
For baking bread and pizza in the oven there are some fundamental indications to take into account:
- The size of the bread: if the bread is large it will take longer to bake.
- The shape of the bread: if the bread develops in height (one loaf) it will take longer to bake than a pizza.
- If the dough is highly hydrated, the baking time will be shorter.
- If after the resting time the dough is well leavened and alveolate it will bake faster.
- If there is a good degree of humidity inside the oven, the bread will bake faster.
A good advice is to heat the oven to the maximum temperature, usually 250°, insert the bread at the temperature reached and then after ten minutes lower it to 200°. This step gives the bread a “heat stroke” which is important both for the formation of the crust and for the formation of a good honeycomb. In fact, it is right at the beginning that the crust, volume and growth develop.
An important aspect is represented by the steam inside the oven because it improves the appearance of the bread, but with homemade ovens it is not easy to recreate it even if it is not completely impossible: in fact, you can put a small pot of boiling water inside the oven which, as it continues to boil, will contribute to the formation of steam or a baking pan, to be inserted at the base while heating the oven with a layer of water which will produce steam. Another method is to nebulize the water, from time to time and with the help of a sprayer, on the walls of the oven. Steam plays a very important role: it helps to make the crust crisp and shiny, to form a soft crumb and to make cooking faster.
The oven must be kept in static mode because the ventilation tends to dry the bread.
To bake the pizza, the oven must be heated to the maximum temperature, usually 250° for a home oven. It should be baked in the lower part of the oven filled with tomato only. Almost at the end of the baking process, the other ingredients are added as desired, moving it to the highest part for the few minutes needed to melt the mozzarella.