Temperatures naturally feature very highly in baking, whether it is very low for storage or setting and very hot when baking bread. It is important for the baker to have a good understanding of the temperature ranges and to be able to have a knowledge of the terminology.
Celsius known as Centigrade is a scale and unit of measurement for temperature as is Fahrenheit .
Centigrade = 0 freezing --- 100 boiling point. Fahrenheit = 32 freezing---212 boiling point.
Most Countries now use the Centigrade scale but in a number of Countries such as the U.S.A. Fahrenheit is still the official scale.
When a required baking temperature is shown in a recipe it will usually be shown in a number of ways to enable the baker to chose the appropriate setting for their oven, examples of which are shown below. Fan assisted ovens should be set 20 C lower than a traditional oven, however it is best to consult the ovens operating manual for confirmation.
220 C / Fan 200 C / gas mark 7 ( 425 F) .
FLASH HEAT. When an oven is turned on and set at a high temperature, say 250 C , it will reach this temperature in a very short time. The air in the oven will be 250 C but the the body of the oven will not have reached this temperature. This is ideal if you only want to quickly colour or brown the surface of a product and not continue baking it, an example of this would be a lemon meringue pie or colouring the marzipan on a traditional Simnel cake.
SOLID HEAT. This means that the body of the oven i.e. shelves, sides, top and bottom in the chamber are all at the required temperature. To do this you need to turn your oven on at least 20 minutes before baking to allow all the components to heat up to the required temperature. This will help maintain the heat when you open the door to place your product in, it will only be the air in the chamber that needs reheating, (a fan assisted oven will do this very quickly. For further information go to heat
Use the chart below as a quick reference aid.