One of the most consumed foods by Romanians is bread, and many of them want to prepare it themselves for a better taste and a healthier product. We have identified the essential elements that make the difference between the performance of an electric oven and a gas oven when it comes to bread in the oven.
If you think that the success of baked bread can make you tip the scales in favor of one type or another of home appliances, or if you simply want to win a bet, then you can see what are the results obtained by our research to make an idea of the differences between the two methods.
In order to be able to establish a comparison between the two types of ovens and their results in baking bread, we must start from the parameters in which the actual baking process takes place.
Gas ovens use an open flame, so the atmosphere inside heats up very quickly. Basically, the time you can prepare a gas oven for baking bread is less than that of an electric oven. However, this does not mean that you can bake the dough as soon as you start the fire. You should also consider the fact that the walls of the oven also need time to heat up.
An electric oven requires more time for preheating, it takes a few good minutes until the heaters manage to release enough heat to create a hot atmosphere in which to place the dough. That is why it is recommended to start the oven at the required temperature setting by the end of the recipe.
Both gas and electric ovens have various temperature settings. The electric ones are usually presented with exact gradations, while the gas ovens have rather steps, for low, medium and high temperature, as well as intermediate gradations. The accuracy of the settings from the electric ovens is a clear advantage, but you must take into account the fact that there is usually a gap of about 5 degrees between the actual temperature and that recorded by the thermostat.
Another advantage of power supply is temperature stability. This remains constant throughout the baking period, with smaller and rarer fluctuations than in the case of gas supply. In other words, an electric oven is more reliable. The gas one does not produce the same constant temperature, and to determine the exact temperature it is safer to use an oven thermometer.
A trick that you will need in both cases is to increase the temperature with the introduction of the bread in the oven, for a few minutes, after which you can reduce the heat level again, to the recommended one. The process is necessary because the cold dough mass produces a momentary drop in the temperature in the oven, below the required one.
Most modern ovens also have a fan in their construction that allows them to convect hot air, distributing heat evenly. In the case of gas ovens, they also use ventilation for oxygen supply.
Ventilation of electric ovens is more efficient, while in gas appliances it tends to be unevenly distributed and can create dark spots in certain areas, usually on the front of the shelf. Strong convection affects the open flame, so the heat source oscillates.
As with other dishes, moisture is essential for the success of the recipe. Only for steaks or sauces it is important that the liquid does not evaporate excessively, while in bread recipes the moisture level inside the oven must be high at the beginning of the baking process. The dough needs moisture to grow, and a crust formed too early during preparation will prevent the bread from gaining volume. Only after that, the low humidity favors the appearance of a beautiful crust.
Gas ovens favor a slightly higher humidity, which is why many people who use electrical appliances will find that their bread is dull and lacking in volume. But even so, the humidity level is lower than ideal. It is preferable to resort to additional methods to create an atmosphere conducive to good bread.
Use of accessories
Both for maintaining the ideal temperature and for producing humidity, you can use accessories for both types of oven. The most common are stone slabs, volcanic stones or samota, different trays. The purpose of the stone plate is to keep the temperature constant even after you have preheated the oven and you are going to introduce the dough when baking. For gas ovens the method is even more welcome, given the larger fluctuations throughout the preparation.
Volcanic rocks or trays can be used successfully to create moisture. Pouring water into a tray or directly over the hot stones creates the steam that you can catch inside if you quickly close the oven door. Other methods can be used, such as using a water spray directly on the hot walls of the oven, but this process can affect the material and is usually recommended for unpretentious models.
Evaluation of the result
We recorded expectations and results from several perspectives, from a variety of users. Some of them are entrepreneurs who started making bread in a built-in gas oven and continued with a small-scale commercial production, others are owners of standard electric ovens, and others skillfully use ovens with any type of power supply.
A guaranteed recipe is used to evaluate the results, the steps of which have been followed exactly. In this way, the quality of the dough is out of the question and only the performance of the type of oven remains to be established. Even in this respect there are notable differences from one brand to another and from model to model.
The evaluations are related to the presence of a beautiful, crunchy and consistent crust, to the appearance of 'raised' bread, to the well-penetrated core and to the uniformity of the product, its browning equally. It seems that bread can be made just as good with both types of oven, provided you use the tricks of a skilled baker.