The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Steam

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nosabe332's picture

Oven in an Oven, what about shrinking your Oven?

May 23, 2008 - 3:27pm -- nosabe332

Hi,

So i was mulling over baking techniques and adding a few things together. Namely:

- professional restaurant ovens are optimally sized to bake whatever they're baking. eg pizzeria ovens are just tall enough to clear a pizza. this reduces wasted energy, heating only a volume of air that is in contact with the baked good.

- heating a small space is cheaper and quicker than heating a large space.

- the Oven in an Oven method traps moisture from the dough and keeps it close to the crust.

dmsnyder's picture

Humidity versus Steam

May 6, 2008 - 8:08am -- dmsnyder

All the "artisan baking" (I know the adjective is "artisinal," Mike!) books I have provide instructions for humidifying the oven to approximate the function of steam injectors in professional bread ovens. Some recommend using ice cubes. Some recommend hot water. Some recommend humidifying the oven before putting loaves in. Others humidify after loading the loaves.

Supes On's picture

Steam Injection for the Home Oven

October 27, 2007 - 9:34am -- Supes On

I am brand new to The Fresh Loaf and have read the content with great interest. I have tried just about every method ever suggested for creating steam in my home oven with varying results. My latest attempt to mimic the commercial steam injection is a relatively simple modification to my oven. I bought a quarter inch copper tube and inserted it into the vent for the oven. This took some disassembly of the oven which some may find daunting, but it's really just removing screws.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Yesterday morning I was busy feeding starters and I recalled some recent mentions on the forum about using the excess starter instead of discarding it. I decided to quickly put twice the amount I normally use (100g) into a bowl and start a soaker for later. My starter was very happy, bubbling away and smelled great! So I weighed out 200g and finished feeding the boys.

When I got around to finishing the soaker, I decided to make a SF style 50% whole grain combination using a "everything but the kitchen sink" blend. This is a highly random selection whatever I see in the flour pantry and never ever gets measured, except that the total weight equals the AP weight. A look at today's gumbo; WW, white WW, rye, seven grain mix, wheat germ and milled flax. This was a lean mix with no oil or malt or honey. I set the hydration at 85% based on the total flour weight and set it in an 80f spot for the day.

I managed to remember to stretch and fold once before I started my Saturday run around routine. Today was going to be a challenge to get everything accomplished and still do justice to the bread. Off to deliver 2 lap tops, repair a stubborn router, bank, take daughter bowling, Stretch and fold, drive to Milwaukee with son to move band equipment, another stretch and fold, groceries an pick up a pizza (no energy for home baked tonight).

A side note; My son is an aspiring musician. He teaches/plays the saxophone and most everything with a reed, flute and guitar. While Jazz is his passion, rock and roll funk style is the band focus. The drummer is a tall good looking boy who is a self described Vegan. My son tells me he is struggling trying to find tasty food that fits the vegan profile. Always looking for a justified excuse to bake something I decide to look into what this means. From initial research it looks like most of my breads would qualify since I don't add butter or milk as a general rule and honey is my sweetener of choice. Maybe I could just make most of my breads "OK for Vegans". The Tomsbread style 100% WW would be a hit for sure.

After dinner I declared the bulk ferment finished. One last fold and a decision about the final consistency of the dough. I added a little more flour at the last s&f so it's now about 80% hydrated. Formed into a boule and set on parchment for a free form proofing. My daughter had a friend over for the evening so they picked the movie. Had to be a thriller sci-fi flick for them. Movie's over and the oven is heating up again.  Checker board slash, hold my breath (no it didn't fall on slashing) and into the oven. Tonight I'm ignoring all the steaming gadgets/covers and unceremoniously toss a 1/2C of hot water onto the brick in the bottom of my oven. Quick cover the vent and set the timer for 10 minutes so I don't forget the towel covering the vent. Another 13 minutes and it looks done. The question now is will 2 teenage girls let it alone long enough to cool?. I better take the picture now, just in case!

It looks about right but I could of rotated it for a more even browning.

Look at that structure! I might try and remember how I did this! I do love the taste of whole grains caramelized on the outside and chewy in the inside.  

 

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