An Aga oven differs from a traditional gas or electric oven in that it is always "on" so you do not have to pre-heat the oven when you are baking cakes. Another key difference is that Aga ovens do not have conventional temperature dials but a single knob to control the temperature in all the individual ovens, such as the roasting and simmering ovens. Enthusiastic bakers should get to know their own Aga well as they differ considerably. The best approach is to experiment with cooking times and tray positions in the oven and find out what works for you. Aga ovens work with radiant heat, so making moist cakes and crusty breads is easier than in a conventional cooker.
Read the instruction manual for your Aga and the cookery books that often come with the oven as this will give you some introductory baking tips. If you have a three- or four-oven Aga, you will use the baking oven. This oven compares well with a commercial baking oven, so you should get some good results, particularly with bread. Those with two-oven Agas will use the roasting oven.
Acquaint yourself with the oven's functions and parts and what bakes best in the different ovens. If you have a two-oven Aga with a roasting oven, experiment by putting shelves on different sets of runners. For example, compare the difference between putting your cake tray on the fourth set of runners and the bottom set and see what works best.
Put the cold baking shelf on top of your cake or bread if it is likely to burn when using the roasting oven.
Employ traditional recipes but remember you can make more than usual because an Aga's ovens are much more spacious. This is ideal if you are making lots of cakes for a party or stall in a market.
Learn new recipes that are specifically for Agas, such as "The Secrets of Aga Cakes" by Lucy Young.
Heavy-based tins work best in Agas, so review your baking equipment.
Experiment with the cooking times in your Aga because a cake will often bake faster in this type of oven. Keep an eye on your cake in case it burns.
Tips and warnings
- Heavy-based tins work best in Agas, so review your baking equipment.
- Experiment with the cooking times in your Aga because a cake will often bake faster in this type of oven. Keep an eye on your cake in case it burns.