The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Steaming

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KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

Steaming

I've been using the steam breadmaker which I'm satisfied with, but since I'm a kllutz with getting bread into the oven, even using the parchment paper method, I don't do two loaves of bread at one time.  I've tried and always mess up the bread, not to mention how many times I've burned myself.  So, I have a Countetop Oven that I wanted to use, but didn't have a stone to fit.  I found one, probably not a good one, but it just fits into my Waring Countertop Oven.  I also bought a 1/2 size buffet pan 4" deep.  I don't think the oven could take a  6" deep pan.  I also bought a handle to attach to the pan. 


Had my hubby drill a hold in the pan for the steaming, and holes for the handle.  Only problem hubby had was the drill bits he had were old and he had a hard time getting the holes drilled.  Finally, got it done.  Now I can do two loaves of bread at once without messing up and getting burned. 

Chuck's picture
Chuck

-since I'm a klutz with getting bread into the oven-


Hmmm. I'm a major klutz too  ...but I don't have this particular problem. What sort of peel do you have? What sort of oven mitts do you have? How are your loaves contained (freestanding, loaf pan, cold dutch oven, hot dutch oven, etc.)? Can you describe in more detail what you mean by "the parchment paper method"?


(It's probably just me, but it sounds like a very indirect approach to solving the original problem -one that entails an awful lot of trouble and an awful lot of opportunity for new problems:-)


 


(I found a pair of oven mitts with a Kevlar layer that are the "long" form rather than the "regular" form so they come up all the way to my elbows. Using them has meant that I've never gotten any sort of burn no matter what. They were easy to find, and they didn't cost much either. The hardest part is skimming through Amazon's selection [there were over a thousand (!) slightly different pairs when I was searching]. I was truly amazed at how much more variety there is online rather than in stores for oven mitts.)

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

I have regular oven mitts and also ove gloves.  I have two peels, one is metal the other is super peel.  I have used both.  Lately I have put the bread on the back of a sheet pan with parchment paper on it and slide the bread & parchment paper right onto the stone.  After steaming, I take the cover off, & remove the parchment paper.  The problem of me burning myself is normally on my arms.  All my breads are baked directly on the stone.  Once in a blue moon I might use my La Cloche Clay Baker. 

Chuck's picture
Chuck

It seems this old brain of mine just doesn't "get it". Maybe it would help me to understand to know which operation (loaf into oven, loaf out of oven, removing cover, removing parchment paper mid-bake, etc. etc.) is the problematic one. When I raise a loaf on parchment, then slide my metal peel under the parchment/loaf combination, then use my peel to slip the parchment/loaf onto my baking stone, my hands and arms never get closer than a foot away from anything hot. What am I missing?


(I know it's not the "proper" thing to do, but I generally just leave the parchment paper in place for the whole bake. In theory this leads to a less crackly bottom crust by partially negating the effect of my baking stone, but in practice I can't tell enough difference to make it worth the additional hassle.)

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

I don't have a problem getting the parchment out.  No problems with that.  We like the crackly bottom.  That's why I take the parchment out and let the rest of the loaf bake without it.  My problem is getting two loaves into the oven without burning myself. so I opted to use my Waring oven for doing one loaf, and my regular oven for doing the other.  I only make two loaves at a time, and they are large loaves. 

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Sorry to be so obtuse, but I fear I still don't "get it".


Let me guess: Only one loaf at a time will fit on the peel so putting the loaves in the oven involves two uses of the peel, the loaves are side by side (rather than front and back) in the oven, and when putting the second loaf in the oven the first loaf typically gets in the way of the peel. Thus something usually has to be scootched over somehow.


Did I guess correctly? If so, two possible solutions come to mind. Hopefully one or the other will work for you. With either one, there should be no reason to ever have your hand anywhere other than on the handle of your peel.



  1. (assuming the peel is less than half the width of the oven) Arrange for the left loaf to be fairly close to the right edge of the peel, and the right loaf to be fairly close to the left edge of the peel. That way the peel shouldn't ever  bump into the other loaf. Since the loaves are on parchment paper, you can easily slide each one to the correct position on the peel before putting it in the oven.

  2. Have some "handyman" cut down the edges off the peel to make a narrow peel that's just a little wider than your biggest loaf (rather than as wide as it is now).


IMHO (others may think differently of course:-), trying to bake two different loaves in two different ovens at the same time and getting similar crusts on the two loaves and getting all of the temperature and the timing and the steam right on both is a recipe for headaches. Although I admire the creativity of this proposed solution, after thinking about it a little I certainly wouldn't try to do it this way myself.


And I'd not be at all surprised if the super-peel, rather than solving the problem, actually makes it worse. It seems to me that one can either use parchment paper or use a super-peel, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to use both at the same time.

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

I don't use two at the same time.  Anyway, that's the way I've been doing it.  Sorry for the confusion.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

the parchment paper during the baking - with bread I don't really see the difference, only with pizza or pita.


I had some burns, too, usually when I was too hasty, didn't pay enough attention, or didn't open the oven door completely.


Karin