Internal temperature of bread

Jock

Does anybody here check the internal temperature of bread as it comes out of the oven? I do and it is consistently higher than the instructions say it should be. Take the brioche buns I made today - they should have an internal temperature of 180 according to the recipe but they came out at 208. That's almost 30 degrees more! I find that most of my breads come out in the 205 - 208 range, regardless of what they are supposed to be. If I were to stop the baking at the correct internal temperature the surface would be too pale. It's very frustrating - Grrrr!!

Jock

badge posted by: Jock on February 05, 2012 at 4:02 pm in Q & A
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reply by: Mike Nolan on February 05, 2012 at 4:16 pm
Mike Nolan

I haven't made broiche, but sweet breads might need a lower temperature. With most breads I aim for around 200 degrees internal temperature. Anything less than that and I think the inside is often doughy. Rye breads need to go to 205.

Gluten-free breads require an even higher temperature, usually 210.

reply by: RonB on February 05, 2012 at 4:44 pm
RonB

In my limited baking experience, I see the same thing almost every time I bake, but as long as the item has not dried out, I don't worry about it ~ Ron

reply by: Jock on February 05, 2012 at 5:26 pm
Jock

Me too Ron. The bread usually turns out OK so I don't worry about it too much. I just wish I could control it better.

Mike, how do you manage to control the finished temperature?

Thanks

Jock

reply by: Mike Nolan on February 05, 2012 at 8:54 pm
Mike Nolan

Mostly it comes from making recipes lots of times, but with a new recipe I may take the temperature two or three times the first few times I make it. (And I record the final temperature and what we think of the bread after it cools.)

There are a few recipes that I know so well, I'll be sitting in the family room and stand up and head for the kitchen just before the timer goes off, because it smells right.

reply by: frick on February 05, 2012 at 9:20 pm
frick

IMHO, bread at 180 F is not done. Most books recomment 190 - 210. I no longer bother to check unless I am making a new recipe. I have found most breads I want to get to 200F, and with my oven, I consistently have to bake 5 - 10 minutes longer than recommended though I have checked the oven's temp and it appears to be right.

reply by: HerBoudoir on February 05, 2012 at 11:12 pm
HerBoudoir

I shoot for 200 degrees for a loaf. I usually don't bother to take the temp of rolls....I seem to have a much better sense of them being done.

I typically use bread machine recipes and make the dough in my Zo, but then pull the dough to finish in the oven. As such, I don't have a recommended time to bake on the recipe I'm using so I have to wing it....I'm learning as I go :-) A quick temp check when I'm not sure if a loaf is done means that I haven't cut into a loaf that isn't cooked through yet.

reply by: RonB on February 06, 2012 at 6:56 am
RonB

What about using a thermometer with a wireless probe? You could insert it into the dough when you place it in the oven and monitor the internal temp constantly. You can even set the "done" temp, and it will tell you when the bread is done. I'd check visually to make sure it doesn't over brown, but you would then know for sure when it was done. Here's a link to the one I use, (normally for meat/poultry):

http://www.amazon.com/Oregon-Scientific-AW131-Wireless-Thermometer/dp/B0...

Ron

reply by: HerBoudoir on February 06, 2012 at 8:08 am
HerBoudoir

I'm cheap.....I use a $10 digital from Wally World, but it does the trick. I am usually pretty close to guessing right at this point, so it's one quick check and either the bread is done or needs 5 minutes more.

I wonder how the rise after the bread goes in the oven will affect a probe that's already in there?

reply by: sandra Alicante on February 06, 2012 at 12:38 pm
sandra Alicante

Jock, if it is always higher than the recipes recommend, maybe your thermometer is off? That would be my obvious conclusion.

sandrascookbook.com

reply by: NCRockhound on February 06, 2012 at 1:13 pm
NCRockhound

This makes me curious. Some of what I've read says that when bread first comes out of the oven it still isn't finished. It's still cooking inside while the crust has already finished. That's the reason given that we don't cut it or eat it until it cools. It allows time for the baking in the middle to complete. Does that mean that the bread comes out of the oven it's still raw in the middle no matter what the temp is? That is assuming that the crust is done correctly and has not over-baked. Does inserting a cold thermometer interrupt that internal baking?

You know someone really ought to do a documentary on the science of baking.

reply by: BakerIrene on February 06, 2012 at 6:23 pm
BakerIrene

Doesn't the internal temperature depend on the size of the loaf? I mean, buns will get a little hotter in the middle than a loaf just because they have more surface area to absorb heat.

Next time somebody with a probe is baking bread, can you please try large/small from a single batch of dough, and let us know the numbers?

I use the knock-on-the-top test after the smell starts to say "cooked" as opposed to "yeast getting HOT". There is a definite change from "not quite" to "hollow" that is about 5 minutes in the oven.

I use a lower oven temp than most recipes, to keep the bread as moist as possible while making sure it's properly cooked. Does anybody know how that affects internal temperature?

And maybe the hydration affects the internal temp to some degree? Because water has a higher specific heat than flour? Eh, this is starting to sound too much like physics/chemistry and far too little like baking fun...so it's the tap test for me.

reply by: BakerIrene on February 06, 2012 at 6:34 pm
BakerIrene

The reason I heard for not cutting a very hot loaf of bread is that it will squish/collapse under the pressure of the knife, and that you will burn the roof of your mouth.

As the loaf sits, the excess water and other gases have a chance to escape. The bottom crust actually gets wet if you don't take the loaf out of the pan after about 10 minutes.

I know for sure that the inside is completely cooked because I have ripped open and gobbled buns/small loaves right after baking. They are fully cooked and the middle is steamier than the outside. And so fresh they are worth the occasional burn.

There are documentaries on the science of baking, that's what culinary schools use. Those videos would make really good TV if only the networks would try...

reply by: BakerIrene on February 06, 2012 at 6:37 pm
BakerIrene

Jock, first of all put that probe into a small pot of boiling water and make sure it reads close to 212 (or adjusted for height above sea level). If the calibration is off, then all your readings will also be off.

reply by: KitchenBarbarian aka Zen on February 06, 2012 at 7:26 pm
KitchenBarbarian aka Zen

Books have been written. VOLUMES even.

Check out "How Baking Works" and "Baking Science" for some good introductions that don't get crazy technical.

reply by: Jock on February 06, 2012 at 7:29 pm
Jock

Thank you all for your ideas and suggestions.

First of all, to address the question of not cutting into bread fresh out of the oven, it has to do with "gelatinization" of the starches. Above 180 degrees the starches, although fully cooked, remain soft and that's why the bread squishes if you try to cut into it. Below 180 the starches begin to set up and the crumb cuts more cleanly. You know when you make polenta, the polenta is loose as long as it is hot but it stiffens up when it cools. The same thing is happening in the bread.

Anyway, as to the internal temperature of bread, I know what it should be and I have the means to measure it, but the challenge is to achieve that while making sure the crust is sufficiently brown. As much as it goes agains the grain (no pun intended, honest! LOL) I think I will try the suggestion to insert a probe while it bakes to see what it looks like at the right internal temperature.

Thanks again for your comments and suggestions. I'll keep you posted on my findings.

Jock

reply by: RonB on February 06, 2012 at 7:32 pm
RonB

NCR - Check out "Bread Science" by Emily Buehler. It has more technical info than you will want.

Irene - I use a calibrated thermometer, and have checked it in boiling water. It reads just shy of 212 - probably 211.8, and my breads come out of the over hotter than recipes give.