how much water should i use to create steam?
and is less water make better steam than more?
It depends on how you are creating it. There was a method described here not too long a go that used a loaf pan and several water-soaked towels.That works really well-I have used it often.
Or just throw 1/4 c in the bottom of a preheated oven-but NOT if you have an oven glass door! Many members here have described how it cracked the glass!!! Some baking stones dislike cold water being thrown on them and shatter, also.Or glass loaf pans.
(I rarely use a steam pan).
Easiest way is to fill baking dish 1/2 way with water and put on lowest rack of oven BEFORE preheating. When loaves are put in the oven it is already filled with steam. After the bread has baked for 10 minutes remove the baking dish.
I typically just use a long, wide (metal) pan and fill it about half way with warm water. I've found that putting in cold water just takes that much longer for it to get hot enough to create steam. I also use a misting spray bottle.
One thing I tried recently, although its a bit nerve-racking is after you've got the steam going in the oven and the loaves are in, to remove the pan after about 7 minutes. This makes me nervous as I don't like the idea of trying to pull out a pan of boiling hot water with it sloshing all around. Its a recipe for getting very badly burned if you lose your grip. So instead, I just cut back on the amount of water I put in the pan. That way the pan is very close to being empty when I do remove it.
I also tried using one of these steamer devices you might see advertised on tv. However, I found that to be incredibly ineffective as it really lacked the pressure needed to get much steam into the oven.
I don't think there's really any single "magic" method of creating steam. Just find what works best for your situation.
I have found there are "residential" ovens now available that have steam injection built in, but they run in the neighborhood of about $2,500. Ouch!
I keep a cheap metal pan on the bottom rack in the oven. After the oven has preheated and I'm ready to load in the dough, I put 1/2 cup of (nearly) boiling water into the pan. In my oven, that amount of water lasts 15 minutes before completely evaporating, so I don't have to worry about removing any extra water.
My experience in comercial and artisan bakeries is that they typically use a small stem generator (boiler) to produce steam for crust formation. Pressure is typically less than 30 psi 2.06 bar temp is 250 F and 121 C.
Not practical for home bakers.
I find using a spray bottle with room temp water vigerously sprayed into the oven just before loaf insertion and then continuously as I close the door. Then in 1 or 2 additional vigorous sprays at 5 & 10 minutes do a great job. The second spray may not be needed unless your looking for a very distinctive crust.
Placing a pan of water in the oven will saturate the air but not supersaturate it for a short period which is what you want. It will also slow heating of the oven because boiling water wants everything to be at 212 F 100 C. As mentioned in another post it's also dangerous to remove a boiling pan of water from a 500F oven.
Be sure to use a virgin spray bottle unless you enjoy the taste of household products in your bread LOL
How much water to use for steam depends greatly on
Quantities I've seen vary from 1/4 cup (or occasionally even less) to 2 cups (or occasionally even more).
Open the oven door 7-8 minutes into the bake and see if there's still a little water in your steam generation kludge. If not, use more water next time.
Spray mist is one of the premier ways of generating steam. Like everything else, it does have some drawbacks though:
I'm using a brownie pan placed on the bottom of the oven and pour boiling water about half of the pan before i load breads in.
I usually leave the pan in the oven until it finished baking but as I saw many people say to remove it after 10 min. so I did it last time but I don't see how different the crust is between the one that i leave the pan in the oven until it finished and the one that i removed it.
btw, the crust of my bread also very thin... does anyone know how to make crispy thick crust?
i do like this guy - remember to protect your hands and ovendoor glas!
I've done my steaming three ways for baguettes with a 67% hydration
1) This guy's method with lava rocks in a pan, using a baking stone preheated in oven and sliding the loaves onto it.
2) Covering the loaves with an aluminum roasting pan before putting them into oven (no baking stone) with the loaves having risen on a cookie sheet with parchment and covered with towel. I've recently changed to a sheet metal pan to cover the loaves with. Removing the pan after 30 minutes (at 450') and giving loaves an additional 20 minutes.
3) Doing exactly the same but using a hand held steamer to introduce steam through a little hole in the aluminum as soon as loaves are in the oven.
Results? Number 2 is the definite winner. Great rise in oven, great crispy crust.