When the term "internal thermometer" crosses my mind, invariably I think of the home thermometer my mother used to shake before using, the one that was difficult to read, and taken out when a child was sick. My mother's preference for the uncomfortable place in the body where common lore had it she would get the most accurate reading was definitely one all children fought against and the impetus, no doubt, for the invention of easy in-the-mouth thermometers ubiquitous today.
I'm not talking about that internal thermometer. I'm talking about the food kind, the kind you stick inside a food - in this case a bread - to determine its readiness.
Ode to the internal thermometer
I count an internal thermometer as a must-have tool, way ahead of bannetons, ahead of fancy proofers, ahead even of a mixer that can knead and otherwise mix and manipulate dough. (Confession: I do not have a mixer that can deal with dough; the one I have is tiny and can barely deal with cake batters.) I am lost without the thermometer. I use it half for its temperature readings and half as a kind of cake tester, which merely shows if anything is clinging to the metal stick when I pull it out from the mostly-made bread. What is the temperature in the middle and is it still wet?
Yes, this item can be pricey, but there are sales. If you let the thermometer company that I purchased from contact you, they will be a faithful correspondent and write almost everyday, even about sales, but also about the many different type of thermometers you never knew existed. After this lovely education, I unsubscribed.
My thermometer is a Thermamite 5 from ThermoWorks. It's not as expensive or as fast as the top-of-the-line thermapen, but within 30 seconds the temperature is displayed. In about two years of use, I am still on the first set of batteries.
I have zero, as in completely no, experience with any other brand or type of internal food thermometer. I am sure that anyone baking bread in bulk would want something faster, but for one or two loaves at a time, mine works quite well.
The best part about the internal thermometer is that my breads are baked well and I am no longer seduced by the outward appearance in deciding when to take the loaf out of the oven.