Yeast dough should always be baked on the center rack of a preheated oven for the length of time specified in the recipe. The final expansion of the dough, called "oven spring", takes place in the first few minutes of baking in a hot oven. If the oven has been used for the rising of the dough, remove dough before preheating the oven.
Testing for Doneness - Two Methods
1. The time tested method of determining if the bread has baked sufficiently is to tap the crust lightly and listen for a hollow sound.
2. A more accurate method is to insert an instant-read thermometer (available in most housewares departments) into the center of the bread. When the thermometer registers 190°F, remove the bread from the oven.
If the crust is browning too quickly, cover the top with a tented sheet of foil.
To avoid soggy bread, remove your bread from the pan immediately after baking and place on a wire rack to cool.
Selecting the Appropriate Oven Temperature
- 400°F to 425°F for bread with very little or no sugar, such as French bread.
- 375°F for most breads with an average amount of sugar (less than 1/2 cup sugar per 4 cups of flour)
- 350°F for sweet breads high in sugar (more than 1/2 cup sugar per 4 cups of flour)
To par-bake rolls, bake them at 275-300°F for about 20 minutes or until the crust begins to form, but before it starts to brown. The next day, bake them at the normal baking temperature until they are the desired color.