Hi all, do you use a fan or non-fan when you bake? I’m pretty new to this and always bake at 200C fan. I’m often also using a ratio of 300ml water to 500g (which I believe is 60% hydration) of whatever flour and flour mixes I'm concocting and 30 mins.I'm a bit scared of making a wetter dough as I use a Kitchen Aid due to shoulder problems with kneading. Any comments gratefully received. Al
1. Temperature depends on what you are baking and the type of pan/sheet used.
2. Fan is not advisable unless you have a very large oven chamber (4 racks or more) and baking product on each rack. The purpose of the fan is circulate air between multiple pans/racks. If there is only a single product on one rack, all the heat is concentrated around that product and it will over bake. If do you have the option to turn the fan off, it is better to bake with it off.
3. Mixing isn’t about time, it’s about developing the proper amount of gluten in your dough. The amount of gluten you develop depends on the type of dough you are making.
4. Regarding convection ovens, despite what some people say about convection ovens, they are not designed for home use. Convection is designed for commercial use where multiple racks with multiple pans or full size sheets (a home oven cannot even hold a full size baking sheet) bake at once. Convection circulates the heat to ensure even heating between each rack and between the pans.
5. Professional bakers have to adjust the temperature and time when using a convection oven because they bake so hot. Some things like muffins and cupcakes cannot be baked in some models of convection ovens because the fans blow the batter out of the tins. Some bakers failed to do the research on ovens; they don’t realize the fan is the inherent feature of a convection oven. Then they complain about the fan, and want to know how to shut it down.