New Electric Fan Oven

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by KayC, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. KayC

    KayC New Member

    Jul 31, 2019
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    I'm relatively new to baking and on top of that I have a new electric oven (always used gas in the past).
    Couple of basic questions:
    1. Fan or not for cakes?
    2. Scones (for instance), top oven without fan or bottom oven with fan?
    Any help will be gratefully received!!
    Thanks Kay
    KayC, Jul 31, 2019
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  2. KayC

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2017
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    Northern California
    If you have the option of turning the fan off, I would recommend you do for baking.

    The fan will circulate the air in the oven chamber. Great if it’s a large commercial oven and you’re a baking a dozen cakes, or five trays of biscuits. That would ensure all the cakes bake evenly.

    But in a small home oven you are only baking a couple of cake tins of batter or tray of biscuits. The fan will simply intensified the heat around the cake tins and over-bake the cakes.

    In fact it would over bake anything you put in the oven since it’s a small volume of baked goods and in a small oven chamber. So when it comes to a baking, it’s best done with the fan off in a small home oven.

    What’s important is you get an oven thermometer to check the oven temperature. Preheat the oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Then check the temperature reading. If your oven is off by more than 10° you should have it calibrated.

    Recipes always indicate a baking temperature of 350°F (170°C). But this is really too hot for cake. I’ve been baking for nearly 20 years, I bake all my cakes at 325°F (160°C). And if your cake tins are anodized aluminum, or non-stick coated, or dark metal you absolutely must reduce the baking temperature to 325°F (160°C).

    These types of metals conduct heat more intensely, so they will cause the cake batter to set on the outside edge too quickly. The center will continue to rise and the cake will end up domed. The cake will also be over browned, dry with a chewy crust. So reducing the baking temperature is necessary when using these types of tins.

    Using cloth baking strips on your cake tins will Also help create a level cake with a soft crumb. If you don’t bake cake often, and don’t want to purchase them, you can make your own.

    I am from the US. Since you mentioned scones I thought I’d pass on an American scone recipe. American scones have more butter, sugar, usually contain currants. There is a bakery in San Francisco that is noted for their bread. But their pastry chef is also highly acclaimed. The line forms before they open every morning as people eagerly wait to buy morning buns, croissants, and scones. And of course loaves of their bread.

    Tartine Buttermilk Scones
    Elizabeth Prueitt

    3/4 cup (3.5oz/100g) Zante currants

    4 3/4 cups (24oz/680g) plain flour

    1 tablespoon (15ml) baking powder

    3/4 teaspoon (3.75ml) baking soda

    1/2 cup (3.5oz/100g) sugar

    1 1/4 teaspoon (6.25ml) salt

    1 teaspoon (5ml) grated lemon zest

    1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (9oz/255g) cold, unsalted butter

    1 1/2 cups (12oz/375ml) buttermilk


    3 tablespoons (45ml) melted butter

    sugar for sprinkling

    1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Butter a baking sheet (or line it with parchment paper). Combine the currants with warm water to cover in a small bowl and set aside for about 10 minutes until the currants are plumped. Drain well.
    2. Shift flour, baking powder and baking soda into a large bowl if making by hand or into stand mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment. Add sugar, salt and lemon zest and stir to combine. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and scatter the cubes over the dry ingredients. Use a pastry blender or the back of a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. If using the mixer, pulse on and off so you don’t break down the butter too much. Do you want to end up with a course mixture with pea size months of visible butter.
    3. When you are finished, the butter should be dispersed throughout the flour in pea-sized lumps (or bigger… mine always are).
    4. Add the buttermilk all at once along with the currants and mix gently with a wooden spoon by hand or on low speed if using the mixer. Continue to mix until the dough just holds together. If the mixture seems dry, add a little bit more buttermilk. You want to see some bits of butter pieces at this point, which will add to the flakiness of the scones once they are baked.
    5. Dust your work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Divide the dough into two even portions. Using your hands, pat the dough into a rectangle about 18 inches long, 5 inches wide, and 1 1/2 inches thick). Brush the top with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar. Using a chefs knife, cut the dough into 12 triangles.
    6. Transfer the triangles to baking sheet. Bake until the tops of the scones are lightly browned, about 25 to 35 minutes. (check at 20 minutes.) Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
    Norcalbaker59, Jul 31, 2019
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