The more time I spend with The Bread Bible the more convinced I am that the success to making bread is primarily in the details. Weighing the ingredients, probing the temperature, active yeasts – and now the oven temperature. On a bit of a whim I bought myself an internal oven thermometer, it cost me $7.99CAD.
So now to put it to the test, I preheated the oven for a loaf of olive bread which is supposed to bake at 475F. The oven claimed it would be preheated in 10 minutes – a hard coded setting I am sure. So, when the oven beeped its readiness how hot was it? 220F. I was shocked! I was prepared for a 20 degree variation but this is pretty bad. Not to mention that my oven was new when we moved into our place 2 1/2 years ago (Its a Whirlpool). So, I patiently waited for it to get to temperature, it took 25 minutes. However even worse was that after 35 minutes the oven temperature is 490F.
So I guess I will be tweaking the oven temperature to try and get the correct temperature for now on. That said I would highly recommend oven thermometers to anyone – a quick amazon search turned up some very affordable ones.