The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My new steaming apparatus..

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ArieArie's picture

My new steaming apparatus..

I find that ssteaming is not working as well as I like. Spraying works well, but opening the door every time, and the oven drop 50f. 

I was using a metal dish with water placed very close the the heating element but it didn't produce the blast of steam I wanted.


so here is my contraption:

I use the Espresso machine to push, first steam, and then hot water and the hot tubing makes a lot of steam at one time.. 






breadinquito's picture

In Italy we say " la necessità aguzza l' ingegno" which would mean something like " in front of a particular need you always find a solution with a little touch of genius" , and no doubt your way to solve your need was original..however I personally prefer to use my espresso machine for the original purpose it was created and use the pannarello to get steam for a cappuccino, now, about giving my breads a crispy crust and a nice colour I prefer a couple of alluminium disposable pans (where you would bake a turkey, for instance): I put my dough in the first, a few drops of water in the second, cover with the second an bake about 20 minutes....then I remove the upper one and keep baking about 20 more minutes....hope i gave you a cheap, usefull solution so you really can use the pannarello of your espresso machine to make a tasteful cappuccino! Cheers from Quito. Paolo

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

We have a saying for that, too:  "Necessity is the mother of invention."

Greetings from Missouri :-)

breadinquito's picture

Hi Debra for the translation of my italian saying, nice, everyday learning something new...happy baking and happy day! Paolo from Quito, Ecuador

CaptainBatard's picture

very clever use of an existing appliance...

does it provide enough steam...?

ArieArie's picture

If I push hot water though, the water squirts out and evaporates the second it hits the walls and bottom of the hot oven (preheated to 550f). The oven is so hot that any amount of water will turn to steam.  The short answer is yes.. :)

BTW, I use RO water for making coffee, so there are no water spots of mineral build up in the oven.. 

wantabepastrychef's picture

I have been using the method described in Baker's Apprentice using lava rocks in a sheet pan on the bottom rack of the oven, heating them and pouring water over them when the bread in placed in the oven. I get a crust that cracks as it cools. The other way I get a good crust is using a gas grill outside, turning the knobs to high setting and placing a stone on the grill and an aluminum pan of the same lava rocks under the grill near the heating elements. When the temperature is around 500 degrees, I peel my loaf onto the stone and add water to the lava rocks. The bread usually bakes in about 20 to 30 minutes with an internal temperature of 212 degree F.

rayel's picture

Hi AirieAirie, I think your idea is ingenious. The copper line isn't so flexible, that it could redirect the spray of steam or water, under pressure, in a direction that could break anything glass.  How does it perform as a steaming device, as it affects the bread? Crisp crust, golden color, shine, etc.?   Ray

ArieArie's picture

I used it only once so far and it worked great.. I needed to figure out that I needed to run steam first to cool the line and then run water. If I run water into the hot pipe it created back pressure and pooped the rubber hose off the espresso nozzle. 


The bread looks the same as if I sprayed it with a spray bottle but it has a nicer oven spring because I do not open the door that much and the over in hotter at the first 5 min of baking. 


that's what the my bread looks like (last weeks bread):



nbicomputers's picture

maybea few hose clamps like the ones used on car hoses would help with the pressure problem.

ArieArie's picture

Nuh, that is my "safety valve" :) I rather have the hose popping then damaging my espresso machine.