[Sca-cooks] OP Pan

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Wed Jul 28 08:07:10 PDT 2010

On Jul 28, 2010, at 4:36 AM, Stefan li Rous wrote:

> Bear explained:
> <<< Cold oven is a baking technique where you start baking without preheating
> the oven.  The primary use is in situations where you want to conserve fuel,
> on a boat or in the middle of nowhere.  When you are baking bread, the
> technique can increase oven spring.  For pound cake, it's usually a
> precursor to baking at lower temperature for a longer period resulting in a
> denser product. >>>
> Okay, why does this result in an increased oven spring for a bread, but a denser pound cake? I thought more oven spring meant a less dense product.

It does, if there's structural gluten to support it. Bread generally has much more than pound cake.

And in the case of bread (and not pound cake) there is that component of oven spring coming from yeast, which, in a hot oven, dies quickly. Paula Peck (and later James Beard) pushed for decades a low-labor Cuban bread recipe that had essentially no proofing time other than the period in which the oven warmed, after the bread was put into it cold.

> Is it just because you are lowering the temperature on the pound cake? Because wouldn't that mean you would need to cook it longer, thereby getting more oven rise?

Except you eventually reach a point where the structure of the dough is established, the gluten is form and the dough more dry -- think hardened cement. Longer baking time won't make much difference at that point (which arrives at a different time with each case) except for dehydration and browning.
> Or is there something in the difference between a pound cake and a load of bread that makes them act differently from each using this technique?

In part, yes. Apart from the tendency of fats, dairy solids, and sugars to aid in browning, the egg yolks, sugar and butter in pound cake all act to reduce the role of gluten in the oven spring.

Adamantius (who may have lunch in the Brooklyn restaurant with the alleged best claim to the birthplace of the deep-fried Twinkie, and loath to omit mentioning Twinkies in a post when given the chance -- what would Mario Nebbits say?)

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