We harp quite a lot here at Igneus that our pizza ovens are for so much more that making tasty wood fired pizza. Of course, that’s their primary purpose, but there’s so many more dishes and creations you can have a go at, and baking fresh bread is definitely up there with one of the most popular things to try. So, in this article we’re going to look into the basics, as well as some top tips for baking a delicious loaf using your Igneus Wood Fired Oven.
What Type of Pizza Oven Do I Need?
The good news is, it doesn’t really matter what kind of pizza oven you have, you can still bake a lovely crusty loaf in it, even if you own a gas oven from a brand other than Igneus. Where you take the bread to the next level though is by using a wood fired pizza oven such as the ovens in the Igneus range, all the way from our smallest oven, the Igneus Minimo, right through to our commercial grade ovens, the Igneus Pro 600 and 750 and ,Ceramiko Range. By cooking the bread in a wood fired oven, the loaf takes on all the flavour and fragrance from the wood and is arguably the more traditional method of baking bread.
What Kind of Bread Can I Bake?
The simple answer to this question is basically any type of bread! Obviously, the main variable is the temperature you’ll bake the bread at. This is down to the ingredients and make-up of the dough itself. Traditionally, bread is baked in a wood fired oven, so in reality, why wouldn’t you be able to bake bread in a wood fired pizza oven? For breads the require a higher temperature, you’re effectively simulating the traditional cooking vessel, in the case of naan bread for example it would be a tandoori oven.
What Temperature Do I Bake Bread At?
The first thing to consider when baking bread is the temperature of your oven. You want to aim for a consistent temperature rather than a fluctuating temperature. To achieve this, allow the flames to reduce as much as possible, and ensure the stone of the oven is around 250°C. The reason for this is when you launch the dough into the oven, the temperature will drop slightly to around 210°C-230°C which is the ideal cooking temperature for most loaves.
In truth, you can get away with baking bread at the top of that temperature range, i.e., 250°C, but the types of bread suited to those higher temps are breads such as naan, and garlic breads which cook within minutes. For more ‘standard’ bread such as sourdough, ciabatta and focaccia, it’s essential that you aim for the 210°C-230°C range.
Then when you head into the realms of sweeter breads such as brioche and banana bread for example, you’re essentially baking a cake, so you want to aim for a much lower temperature of around 180°C, otherwise the surface of the dough will scorch before the inside has cooked through.
Use an Infrared Thermometer so you can accurately assess the internal temperature of the oven and the stone.
What’s the Process?
Of course, you can just fire up the pizza oven simply to bake bread, but if you want to maximise the efficiency of the oven and be more economical you can bake the bread after
you’ve made your delicious pizzas. The reason this is possible is that it’s far easier to achieve a consistent ideal cooking temperature in the oven if you bring it up to maximum heat first (around 450°C-500°C), and then let it cool down slowly by letting the flames reduce. So, with that in mind, why waste the opportunity of cooking freshly made pizzas while your Igneus Oven is at those high temps? Either way, you’ll want to move the embers to the back of the oven, sweep away any soot and debris from the stone and let the temperature slowly come down to the temperatures listed above.
When your dough has proved and your oven is ready, it’s time to launch the dough. It’s a good idea to ensure the base of the dough has been floured liberally to stop it from sticking to the peel and the stone.
Make a slash in the top of your loaf to let the air out at it cooks. This stops it rising too high and from making contact with the roof of the oven.
The time your bread takes to fully cook through depends on the type of bread you’re baking, but for a standard loaf you can expect it to be around 15-20 minutes. It’s good practice to keep an eye on the bread as it bakes to ensure it doesn’t take on too much colour on one side. After 10 minutes, turn the loaf to ensure even cooking and colourisation.
What Internal Temperature Should the Bread be When It’s Cooked?
When it comes to internal cooking temperature, unlike steak, bread is not an exact science as there are so many variables such as type of dough, ingredients, sugar content etc. But as a rule of thumb, the internal temperature of the bread should be approximately 95°C.
- If the internal temperature of the bread hasn’t reached 95°C but the outside is golden brown, simply cover it with foil so that it can continue cooking without taking on too much more colour.
- If you don’t have a temperature probe, tap on the bottom of the loaf. It should sound hollow when it’s cooked inside.
Always allow the loaf to cool slightly before slicing into it so it can firm up inside, no matter how tempted you are to dive straight in!
We really hope you’ve enjoyed this article and that it’s given you a bit more clarity on how to maximise the use of your Igneus Wood Fired Pizza Oven. There’re so many recipes available online for different varieties of bread, so pick one and give it a go next time you fire up the pizza oven!
Thanks for reading!