Bread Burning On The Bottom

Bread burning on the bottom is a common issue when you first start to bake bread. But avoiding burnt bread bottoms can be avoided. Sourdough bread is particularly prone to burning. The way to avoid burnt bread is to invest in a baking stone and get to know your oven settings. Burnt bread bottoms occur when the heat on your baking tray is not evenly distributed.

The upper portion of your oven rack might also be too cool, which means that you have to bake your sourdough for longer, which also results in a burnt bottom. Baking can completely determine the flavor and texture of your bread. Using something like an oven thermometer will help you keep track of the heat in your oven to see where the cool spots are. A baking stone will also help avoid a burnt bread bottom, which we’ll talk about below.

Why Is My Bread Burning On The Bottom?

Bread burning on the bottom is all to do with the temperature of your oven and how well the heat is distributed across your baking surface. If your heat distribution is uneven, then this could cause your bread to burn. The hot air in your oven will fail to rise and be concentrated on your baking tray, where your sourdough is in direct surface contact with the metal.

You can use baking paper or a baking sheet, but this might not solve the problem, as the main issue is that your oven is not set to the desired temperature. In short, you need a consistently hot oven to bake bread from cob to crust.

Getting An Even Bake In Your Oven

No oven is the same. Different models behave in different ways, and it might be a case of trial and error before you get it right. You’ll need to make sure that you preheat your oven properly before you put your fresh dough in. Preheating your oven is an important part of the baking process. Follow the recipe carefully when it comes to preheating. Also, we would recommend using an oven thermometer.

This is because not all ovens come with a built-in temperature gauge, so you’ll need to make sure that your oven is reaching the desired temperature. You’ll also need to make sure that you abide by the stated baking time. Burnt bottoms come from poor heat distribution, which leads to a longer bake, which leads to your bread being burnt.

How To Use A Baking Stone?

A baking stone is a great method of ensuring that you have an even bake throughout your oven. However, a baking stone does not always work for everyone and might not prevent burning. The principle behind one of these stones is that it is meant to preheat the bottom of your oven tray more evenly. You need to put it in the oven before your dough and preheat it for at least an hour.

You should place your baking stone on the lowest shelf in your oven. In principle, your baking tray will absorb heat more evenly. This also works if you use another high thermal conductivity material, such as a pizza stone or just put a thick baking sheet underneath your bread.

Perfect Preheating For Your Oven

Perfect Preheating For Your Oven

When you are baking bread, having your oven temperature just right is crucial. This is so your baking surface will be heated all the way through, meaning the bottom of your loaf will also be nice and warm. When you open your oven to place your loaf in, then the oven will lose heat. If you have a high-powered oven, then this will not be an issue, as it will be able to recover this heat loss quickly.

However, low-powered ovens will have more of a problem regaining this lost heat. This is where a baking stone or pizza stone will really help an oven that struggles to maintain heat. Make sure that you are heating it for at least an hour and checking it with an oven thermometer for 10 minutes before putting your loaf in.

A lot of ovens take around 30 minutes to recover from heat loss. If you have a preheated oven, then you can be sure that your bread will brown faster and you can avoid your loaf having a burnt bottom.

How To Utilize Top And Bottom Heat?

With a lot of ovens, you can specify whether you want to heat the top of the oven, the bottom of the oven, or both at the same time. Ultimately, you’ll want to avoid excess heat in your oven. If you are using a stone to heat your loaf, then you should start with bottom heat only.

If you have top and bottom heat from the start of your baking, then the oven might detect that there is too much heat and automatically turn off. When you place your sourdough bread in the oven, then you should switch from bottom heat to bottom and top heat. This will ensure that your dough will brown faster around the crust.

The Best Bread Position In Your Oven

The first thing that you must remember is not to move your loaf when it is in the oven. A lot of people are tempted to move it to a higher shelf where the oven gives off more energy. However, you should keep your loaf as much in the center as possible, where the heat can get to it from all sides. You won’t want it too near your oven’s heat source, otherwise, your loaf will burn on one side.

Other Tips To Avoid A Burnt Sourdough Bread

Try and use dark coloured bakeware, as this will conduct heat much better and reduce excessive heat that affects your bread directly. Create a barrier between the dough and the bread pan. You can use parchment paper or coarse semolina for this.


We hope that this article will help you to avoid burnt bread bottoms in the future and you can enjoy wonderful golden brown bread from hereon in.

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Kathryn Sewell

Hi! I'm Kate and I have been baking and cooking for as long as I can remember. I like to share the most interesting tips and recipes I try here on What Kate Baked for you to enjoy. If you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share send it over on social.

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