Larger loaves, or multiple loaves: How to adjust?

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Larger loaves: In our books, our standard size for a loaf-bread is 1 pound (450 grams), or a piece of dough about the size of a grapefruit.  Why did we opt for these relatively small loaves?  Because for beginners, they reliably brown without burning, and are easy to bake through to a nice result in the center of the loaf. At that size, the baking time is usually about 30 to 35 minutes.

Larger loaves need more baking to avoid a gummy result in the center, and that means longer baking times at the listed temperature.

  • Two pound loaves need about 45-50 minutes
  • Three pound loaves need about an hour. 

Let the crust get nice and dark, but keep an eye on the loaves as they bake–your own oven may not require this much extra time, or it may require more.  When baking large loaves, temperature is critical, so you must check your oven temp with an oven thermometer (click to see one on Amazon). 

Multiple loaves: In larger ovens, there may not be much extra time needed, but in smaller ones (or if baking without a stone), you may need to increase baking time by 10% to 20%. If the recipe calls for steam, you don’t have to increase the amount of water you use.

More in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and our other books.

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