The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

misting the inside of an oven question

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flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

misting the inside of an oven question

HI


 I have never made artisan bread before where you mist the inside of the oven but would like to try this. My concern is that I have a self cleaning gas oven and I am wondering if spraying the oven walls with water when the oven is hot will damage the self cleaning finish on the inside of the oven. Does anyone have an answer for me?
Thank you.

rosiePearl's picture
rosiePearl

Hi again, flourgirl.  This thread, called "Steam the Oven," which I was reading last night, has some discussion of misting and alternative methods for steam.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

You don't need to mist the oven walls to obtain a nice source of steam. 


Check out these recent comments.


A heavy pan underneath your stone will do a very nice job and is a heck of a lot less messy.  Plus, you don't have to worry about hitting your oven light with water and having it crack or worse.

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

Thanks for the info. So, the purpose of steaming is to develop a certain kind of crust?

holds99's picture
holds99

FWIW.  Room-temperature water is not our friend when it hits a hot oven light.  Particularly when the light has been pre-heated to 450 deg. F.  Like...bye, bye oven light. 


Everytime you open your oven you lose approximately 25-30 deg. F of oven temperature.  Lindy's right, forget about spritzing.  Use a pan or cast iron skillet preheated, when you bring your oven temperature up for baking.  Place the pan or skillet (I use a 10 inch Lodge skillet) on the oven rack directly under the rack holding your stone. 


Preheat your water to boiling using a microwave and pour 1 cup of boiling water into the hot skillet (use gloves or mits)---either immediately before or immediately after placing your loaves into the oven (I do it after but that's what works for me).  Close the door and don't open it until you turn your loaves around, midway through the baking cycle.


Good luck,


Howard

flourgirl51's picture
flourgirl51

Thanks for the information. I have a glass in my oven door so would adding steam bother that? I have only made traditional loaves before and made rye bread rounds but didn't spritz. The loaves have a soft crust.


Also, I sell my breads at a farmers market and have to have the loaves in plastic bags when I sell them. I am thinking that this will soften crusts on bread. Any input on that?

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

Water hitting your hot oven window can cause it to crack or worst case shatter.


 


If you're worried about that happening(I am) then put a thick tea towel over the window when pouring water into your steam pan.


 


One additional thing I do is to block the steam vent to maintain a very steamy environment.


 


D

holds99's picture
holds99

My experience has been...Storing or keeping bread in plastic bags (unless you're immediately freezing the loaves), particularly artisan breads with crisp crusts, will produce some amount of moisture/condensation in the bag and moisture/condensation will soften the crust of an artisan bread when stored in plastic bags for an extended period unless they're frozen.  When I give my bread to family and friends I put it in a paper bag and give them the plastic bag and tie seperately, so they can put it into the plastic bag and freeze it after they slice it.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Yes, steam is needed to create a crisp crust.  There's a very good TFL handbook available here - just click the "handbook" tab at the top of the home page and it will take you there.


 

nijap's picture
nijap

I am new to bread baking.  Started with sour dough with whole wheat flour.  I get good rise, but bread is dry and hard.  What needs to be done to get bakary lightness?


nijap


 

lynnebiz's picture
lynnebiz

Hi nijap -


I'm new to this board, but I've been baking bread for many years.


In my experience, that heaviness is common when you first start out. It takes some experience to feel your way around the dough.


I don't know what recipe you're using (weighing is so much better than measuring, but that said, so much also depends on the type of flour and even the air around you), and I don't make sourdough (at least not yet!). You could be using too much flour - or maybe you baked it too long (or a combination of factors). I found whole wheat more difficult when I was first starting out, as it tends to be heavier.


You'll get lots of suggestions here (I've been lurking for awhile, and I love the help people give on this board!). I will suggest that you make sure most of your handling of the dough takes place before the final rise (I now use a combo of the no-knead method and Peter Reinhart's Pain l'Acienne recipe). I used to practically kill my bread by handling it way too much...


Good luck!


Lynne