steam vs. water vapor
Baking instructions published in books, online, and in forums, almost exclusively used the term "steam" to describe what we should do to the oven when baking bread. We all know that there are a variety of methods of "steaming" the oven: spritz the side walls, pour boiling water into a hot pan, ice cubes, rocks, injection... the possibilities are endless.
My understanding of the term "steam" is that it describes water molecules in a gaseous state. If I'm remembering my early physics lessons correctly, this can only occur when water molecules exceed a temperature of 100 C, which can typically only occur under pressure, or very briefly at atmospheric pressure (for example, steam exists just beyond the opening of a tea kettle before it turns into visible water vapor).
So, my question to those who know about such things is this: when baking instructions call for "steam," do they actually mean "steam," or do they simply mean "water vapor?" If they indeed mean "steam," as in super-heated gaseous water which is likely attainable only in commercial ovens, are we home bakers wasting our time with by trying to recreate these conditions on our leaky home ovens? And if they mean "humidity" or "water vapor," why don't they use this language instead?
I know this is all academic, and ultimately, it doesn't really matter if we are satisfied with the bread we bake. I am happy pouring water into a hot pan. Others get perfectly good results from spritzing. Still, I'm curious what the more scientifically inclined minds among us think about this.