The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Steam with a Deck Oven

SourFlour's picture

Steam with a Deck Oven

I might soon get the chance to use a deck oven that is part of a restaurant.  I still have not seen this oven, so am not exactly sure of the specs.  I do know however that it it is not a steam injected oven, and so I'm guessing it is more like a pizza oven.  There are two decks in it, and one of them is currently not being used at all.

Although I'm excited to use the oven, I'm worried about steaming.  I currently steam in my home oven using a cast iron skillet with about 3/4 cup water poured in right before my bakes. I've experimented with spraying, but never feel I get enough water.

So for the deck oven, any recommendations on steaming? I definitely don't want to break their oven, so I'm tempted to try a few loaves with absolutely no steam. Perhaps a higher hydration dough will be less affected? My other thoughts are to spray the loaves with a light mist of water right before they go into the oven.

Thanks for any advice. I'll let you know more info as soon as I see the oven.

Take care,
Danny - Sour Flour

stevel's picture

 One of the best ways to produce steam in a deck oven that does not have injection is to use a hose rigged with a 0.5 GPM mister nozzle (gallon per minute). You can have a quick on/off manual valve with an extension on it so the nozzle reaches in so you can spray the walls and oven ceiling. All can be bought at Ace Hardware or equivalent.

yozzause's picture

Hi Danny

try it both ways  with and with out steam, put your skillet in the deck  as you currently do and see if there is any difference, a large surface area will help with steam being generated more quickly.

A full oven will also help with the amount of vapour in the oven, check on the sides of the oven towards the back for round openings these are for venting,  the controls are usually on the front that open little flaps in those openings that allow the steam vapour to escape when you want to let it go.

Perhaps you can get the use of the unused deck on a regular basis especially if you can turn out the dinner rolls for the restaurant.

Another trick you might like to try is to make up a paste of cornflour starch and water brought to the boil to make a paste, paint it on to the dough pieces with a paint brush it will keep the dough soft it allows any seeds to stick or rice flour to stick it also gives some sheen to the  crust 

Any chance of some photos of the oven

regards Yozza     

dmsnyder's picture


Lorenzo's picture


A simple way to genarate steam in deck (pizza) oven is to use ice.

Take 1/2 sheet pan place in oven just before (2-3 minutes) before you place bread in oven.

You will need to experiment with amount of ice, to get crust  you want. Use of ice works great as it slowly melts adding moisture gradually.

If you try it let me know how it works for you.

Lorenzo - Retired Artisan Baker