Can You Bake Great Sourdough Bread in a Gas Oven?

Last updated: February 5, 2021
putting bread into a blue star oven

This post is sponsored by Blue Star Cooking. All opinions are my own.

If you’re a baker, the “gas versus electric oven” is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make when buying a range. With the time and energy that goes into making homemade bread, having an oven that does a proper job baking it into the golden loaf you’ve dreamed of is so valuable!

When I began baking sourdough bread, we had a duel fuel range in our St. Paul kitchen.

A duel fuel range has a gas cooktop with electric oven, giving you the convenience of gas for sautéing and searing, while having the heat control and precision of an electric oven.

Many say this is the ideal setup for avid bakers because the temperature doesn’t fluctuate during the process, and it’s a dry heat source, producing crisp and golden crusts.

whole wheat sourdough bread being placed on a wire cooling rack, that is sitting on top of a wooden cutting board

We later moved to our current home in Hudson, and a full kitchen renovation began to shape. The focal point of our design was going to be a unique backsplash with an eye catching range, that also needed to handle a lot of wear and tear with my job as a recipe developer. I definitely wanted to stick with a duel fuel range, because I had had such great results baking sourdough with it.

We looked at many different brands and styles, but I fell in love with this stunning, white 48 inch Blue Star RNB Series Gas Range with Griddle, with brushed brass knobs/handles. It was so dreamy!

white kitchen with white blue star range and stainless steel hood

There was one problem…. it wasn’t duel fuel.
After many conversations, I decided to give it a go with gas anyways, and deal with baking issues as they came. If it was a complete failure, we could install an electric wall oven in the back pantry.

So, could I bake great bread in a gas oven?

I’ve been baking sourdough bread (my Whole Wheat Sourdough recipe is what you see in these photos) in our Blue Star gas oven for an entire year, and I’m happy to report that my sourdough baking is even BETTER than it was before!

scoring sourdough bread on parchment paper
baking sourdough in a challenger bread, pulling it out of the oven

Here’s why:

  • High heat is crucial for baking sourdough bread, one of the main contributors to great oven spring. Blue Star ovens can reach 500+ degrees F, which my electric oven could never get to.
  • Because you bake sourdough bread in a covered vessel, like the cast iron Challenger Bread Pan that I use (or dutch oven) there’s no need to worry about the slight temperature fluctuation that occurs with gas ovens. Nearly all the constant heat is held within the pan! Rather than relying solely on the oven.
  • Using covered cast iron also reduces the likelihood that hot or cold spots will affect the bake.

The Challenger Bread Pan is the best I’ve used for baking sourdough in a gas oven. I’ve tried combo cookers, dutch ovens, you name it, and I would never go back. In combination with my Blue Star oven, my bread consistently rises higher, and the crust is so thin! The pan is great for baking bread because:

  • Shallow base: Loading your dough is easy.
  • Sealed environment: Creates the perfect amount of steam.
  • Top handles: Easily remove the cover mid-bake.
  • Deep cover: Plenty of room for your oven spring.
woman holding sourdough bread in front of her oven, she has a white shirt on.

Tips for Baking Bread in a Gas Oven

  • Preheat your baking vessel in the oven to achieve the hottest environment for your bread.
  • Bake in the top third of the oven to ensure the loaf doesn’t burn, as the heat source for gas ovens is on the bottom.
  • Good oven technique comes with getting to know your oven. The more baking you do, the better you’ll work in tandem with it.

Best Sourdough Bread Recipes:

whole wheat sourdough bread, cut in half with crumb showing

Did you make this?

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February 5, 2021

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4 comments

  1. Wow, you did a great job baking a beautiful loaf of sourdough. I had a gas oven before when I lived in overseas and it took a quite of effort to figure out how to use it properly for my baked goods. I like pies baked in gas oven since the bottom crust always turned out great. Cookies? Nah~!

    If you baked cookies in gas oven looking similar to the one from convection oven, let me know how you get the same look.

    BTW, Your kitchen looks fabulous!

  2. Thanks for the article. I’m struggling with my electric oven in Florida. Not sure if it’s the humidity affecting my rise or the oven. As you know bread still tasted great but just not a pretty rise like I get in my gas oven in WI.