Convection ovens? Talk to me!
OK, stove geeks, this is your chance! I've got a month to use a fantastically outfitted kitchen, including a double oven with a convection feature. What does a convection oven do, and what should I use it for? Do I need to adjust oven times/temp when using it? Many thanks!
They're good at roasting meats and veggies.
Not good for the kinds of breads I bake, however: pizzas, bagels, and hearth breads cooked at high temps (500+ degrees) that need the searing heat of a hot stone sitting on the floor of an oven fired from the gas burners below it.
I just moved into a house with high end, electric double convection ovens and will need to adapt my oven technique for these kinds of breads. Low end gas ovens are a blessing for home bakers like me.
For other kinds of breads, it works fine (loaf breads, and those where a hard crust isn't desirable).
re: Professor Salt
I have an electric convection oven and have found the bread gets nice and crusty if you cook it at a lower temp and longer time than the recipe calls for. You still go for the inner temp of 250F, but just take longer to get there. I'm not sure what degree of curst hardness we are talking about here, but I've not had what to me is a problem as long as I stick to that technique.
I love my convection oven. It's great for roasting vegetables:
eggplant slices with salt, olive oil, and paprikat at 300deg for 1 hr. zucchini similarly.
i recently discovered how to make the most succulent red peppers -
spray or lightly rub the whole peppers in canola oil, cook on 450, turning once, until the peppers are thoroughly black all over.( they should look completely dead and black -- they will be sweeter that way.)
wait until the peppers cool and peel off the skin while keeping the pepper intact. sprinkle with some salt and olive oil. that's it. needs no other flavor, and they are heavenly.
I have the Dacor double oven, one of which is equipped with convection -- actually, "convection bake" and "pure convection." I have found that pure convection does an especially fine job with whole poultry. Roasting a turkey, whole chicken, etc., using convection results in a supremely juicy bird. And it takes quite a bit less time as well. Temperature settings when using convection are generally around 25 degrees lower than when using non-convection.