The bread oven has a long history as well. The earliest model to ever be discovered was the pot-based bread oven. The bread oven, as we know it today, had a deep pot with a dome and oven floor covered with animal skin. This method of making bread dates back to about 6000 B.C. The pot-based oven was used to make grain, olives and nuts but eventually the floor was covered in sand and the oven was used for baking other foods such as baked fish and meat.
To make bread, the ancient people would break up old fine grains, add water, seal them and bake them in an unbaked earthenware pot known as a ‘bread oven’. This was the first type of bread oven that was invented by man but there were several improvements that were made over the years. Eventually the fine wooden slats were replaced with cast iron and then finally with wooden peels.
Early man was probably not too concerned about the texture of the loaf because his main concern was the taste. The bread that tastes good has always been a food for royalty. During the course of time several advancements in cooking and baking took place and one of these was the discovery of the fermentation bread oven. When people began to discover the process of fermentation, they were attracted to this new way of making bread, which was a lot cheaper than their normal means.
The fermentation bread was first heated on an open fire and the stoves were later replaced with a preheated cast iron oven. This would then have a bottom tray that could be sealed to contain the contents of the loaf. This would allow the heat to draw out all the moisture and air from the bread thereby ensuring the baking process was complete and thus keeping it warm.
The oven spring would be a large pan that would be placed directly on top of the heating element, which would generate enough heat to fully bake the bread dough. The pan would be held in place by means of a set of metal handles. The heat generated would then slowly dissipate into the bread dough. The entire process would take up to an hour. After the baking process was complete the bread would be brown and crusty on the outside and light and crisp on the inside.
There are several different oven types including the European, American and Australian types. All ovens work on the same principle of generating heat through a fan oven. The most modern type of oven can function at more than 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Some ovens are even capable of generating electricity. The fan ovens are more commonly used for bread baking because they have larger burners which are also capable of sustaining higher temperatures.
The most common characteristic of home ovens is that they need to continuously monitor the temperature of the oven and keep it at the set level. Due to the constant monitoring of the temperature, the yeast does not dry out and thus does not shrink. Some home ovens also feature a timing mechanism which allows the bread to be made more quickly than usual. This enables the user to make numerous fresh loaves of bread at the same time without having to wait too long.
With advances in technology and modern manufacturing techniques, modern home ovens feature steam cooktops. Steam is added to the cooking chamber to enable the baking process to go faster. This is a much faster way to cook than the traditional baking procedure. However, there are certain disadvantages as well. The steam causes the bottom of the loaf to get very hot and can cause burning if not controlled properly. It also tends to boil the ingredients which make the resulting bread moist and sticky.