When Forneau came out with their original oven insert, I was asked if I would like to test it. Their original oven insert wasn’t very large and would only bake small loaves. I LOVED their first model (the oven spring and crust was amazing!) but was disappointed that it could only bake smaller loaves. I gave them feedback and let them know that I and my followers would probably be enthusiastic about purchasing a larger oven insert if they would make one. I suggested an oven insert that would bake up to a 1 kilo loaf. So guess what? They did it!!!
I’ve been baking with the larger Forneau Grande oven insert since March of this year (about six months now). I’ve tested many different items that bake bread, like countertop ovens, Dutch ovens, stones, pots, etc. The heavy cast iron bakers usually gave the best results but with a couple of problems, it was hard to get the loaf into and out of the pan/pot and it was heavy and hot to move around. Some of the pans had lids that were very heavy to move, which I felt was dangerous when they were extremely hot. It’s why I stuck with my stone/roasting lid method for so long. That was until I got to try out the new Grand oven insert.
The new larger Grande insert is my favorite baking tool. I have two ovens, so I keep the Grande permanently set up in one of the ovens and use my second oven for all other baking. If you don’t have a dedicated oven, you will have to remove the Grande after it cools and store it someplace. It is heavy, so having a dedicated oven really helps. For those with a small in home bakery or those that bake for their Farmer’s market, it can really make a difference, since you can bake twice the amount of loaves in the same amount of time.
To bake that much bread, I use what I call the Assembly Line Method of baking. After pre-heating the oven to 480F for one hour, I place a loaf into the Grande and place the door cover on. I leave the dough in for 17 minutes and then I transfer the dough to the stone on the side of the Grande to finish baking. At the same time, I place another loaf into the Grande to bake. I keep switching out loaves every 17 minutes. The Grande give the loaf a great oven spring and “steams” the loaf for the first 17 minutes and then the open oven will finish baking the loaf and browning the crust. To move the loaves around I use the peel provided by Forneau covered with parchment paper (I cut a regular sized piece in half).
Watch the following video below to see how it’s done:
Forneau is now taking pre-orders. For a 10% discount on the Forneau Grande (during checkout), go HERE