Convection ovens were developed by the baking industry as a means of evenly baking multiple racks of baked goods at one time. The heated air that is circulated around the oven by the Convection fan is a strong driving heat so the first thing to remember is that Conventional recipe temperatures must be reduced by 25 degrees when baking in Convection.
There are three important considerations that determine success when baking in Convection.
1. Temperature reduction – most often reducing the temperature by 25 degrees is sufficient but if your baked items have a dark ring around the edge and are not cooked in the center, this is an indication that a further temperature reduction is required.
2. Oven rack position – this one will truly surprise you but, if you take the time to consult your oven User Manual and follow the manufacturers recommendations for rack positions you will actually achieve great results. Remember the recipe writer has no way of knowing what type of oven you are cooking in they only know how they achieved the results in the oven they cooked in.
3. Type of baking tray used – another very important consideration. In my experience perfectly flat trays that have a lip either on one edge or two edges are the best pans to use for baking cookies. The key here is perfectly flat not cushion air pans .Cushion air pans were developed to help create air circulation for baking in radiant heat ovens, when used in Convection they do not provide optimal results. Rimmed baking sheets are good for baking scones or appetizers but mostly we use them for roasting vegetables, fish and chicken pieces. When baking in glass dishes a temperature reduction of 30 degrees is recommended because glass conducts heat with greater intensity.
Choosing the Oven Mode Regular Bake or Convection
Regular Bake is the idea mode to choose baking, meringues, popovers, souffles and angel food cake because all these foods benefit from the dry stable heat.
Convection Bake or True Convection (modes vary from oven to oven) is the ideal mode for baking multiple racks of cookies or cake bases at one time. When baking heavy dense breads in Convection we often “finish” them on the bake mode so they cook all the way through without over-browning.