When baking, when should I use top+bottom vs bottom heat, fan vs no fan? I read bottom only for puff pastry, what about fan?
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Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
For puff pastry especially, you want high heat and good circulation because it is entirely steam leavened. You want the moisture in the pastry to turn to steam very quickly. I love the convection setting for general baking, but not for custards. Convection heat tends to form too much of a "skin" on custards.
I'm generally a fan fan. helps ensure more even heat, though can be a bit drying and it can reduce the cooking time so, especially with American recipes, be sure to check things a bit earlier than you might otherwise. As for the top/bottom, depends on what your oven is like. If the top is just the exposed grill element, don't...