What is the best home oven for baking bread

We are finally getting a new oven! I have been waiting for the old one to die on me as it was on its last legs and using it was painful. I was so happy it finally died 2 months and now I have no choice but to buy a new one 🙂

When looking for a new oven, there was so many features that I was overwhelmed at first. Can its temperature rise fast enough, can it hold the temperature, is there steam injection? All these features are just part of what is available right now.  The more features you want, the higher the price so it is case of balancing it out.

For me, below is what I think is the most important

Factors to consider in buying a home oven for break making

If you are buying an oven to cook a host of other thing then you might need to consider other things. For me, I used it mainly to bake bread so that will be my most important consideration. If it can roast chicken, great! If not, I am also ok as long as it can make delicious bread. Remember to check out my dough kneading machine review as well. It is going to save you lots of time and effort if you are into bread making like me.

  • Steam injection: I found out that professionals actually use steam injection to make the bread. Since they are doing it, I think it does have benefit, which is allowing the outer layer of the dough to be more stretchy. This lets it expands before becoming too hard and interfering with the baking of the inside dough.  The problem is their way of steam injection is to introduce it under strong pressure. This is something that a home oven probably can’t do perfectly but try to look for one that comes close.
  • What is the temperature ceiling: Depends on the kind of bread you like make, how hot an oven can get is an important consideration.

 

Gaggenau home oven seems to check the most boxes when I surveyed what is available that meets most of the criteria listed above. However, it grossly expensive! I looked at a lot of shopping websites and the cheapest seems to be in the range of USD700, with most beyond the $1000 price range. I definitely could not afford it so I skipped this choice.

Then I stumbled onto Jim Lahey’s famous bread making recipe where he used a Dutch oven for bread making. This got me interested since a Dutch oven is way over affordable than brands like Gaggenau. Looking through this method, it seems you seen to have particular set up with high temperature, some form of soaked materials likes towels et so as to create your own steam. When I looked at the same set up, it gives me a headache. Bread making is already tough enough with all the steps needed. Adding this new process is gonna things more complex so I abandoned this idea and look for more convenient methods.

 

Fourneau bread oven review

This is when I found out about Fourneau Bread Oven. If you have never heard of it, it is perfectly normal as it is a new company. What got me interested is its low price tag of below $300 and yet has the ability to introduce steam injection into our baking process with ease.

Fourneau Bread Oven review

 

The secret lies in the two cast wall irons as shown above. You slide your bread into them like a pro and they will do the work. These walls help to trap the steam inside, which is the magic needed to have a bread with a beautiful crispy crust.

This way of heating the dough is very much like how a baking stone works. The difference is that

  • it heats the bread from all sides, rather than just the bottom
  • the walls traps the water vapor inside a compact space which helps to produce a steamy environment

These 2 differences are all that is needed to have a much better bread at the end of the day.

Looking at the videos and reviews, I was convinced this might so I bought one. The package that arrived was nice and secured. I was of course excited to use it and see if my bread became more crispy.

Setting it up was pretty straight forward like any other ovens. I liked the fact that I can now slide in the bread safely rather than putting my hands into a hot oven like I used to.

sliding in the bread safely

After sliding it in and letting it bake, I was excited to see the end results. Fortunately, it did not disappoint. The bread turn out to be more crispy than what I was getting with my old dying oven. It was definitely thicker as well probably due to the steam injection effect.

Since the first experiment, I had baked around 2-3 times a week and it has given me no problems. If you are thinking about getting a home oven for baking bread that wouldn’t bust your bank account, this is a good choice to consider.

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