The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Steaming in oven

robadar's picture

Steaming in oven

 I have tried many way of getting steam into the oven to maximize loaf  expansion, but the latest method tried  is by far the best.  I slide the loaf onto a hot stone set just above the lower heating element and then immediately cover the loaf with a dome shaped steel bowl.  I even have a device inside the dome to hold a wet paper towel for additional hydration, but I doubt that this is even necessary (more tests).  I do not peek for 20-25 minutes then remove the dome.  Expansion is fantastic.  Loaf is finished off with no cover, and browns nicely.  This certainly beats the (to me) dangerous and awkward  method of dealing with a heated cast iron pot and lid and risking a trip to the burn center.     Anyone ever tyr this?


LindyD's picture

Hi Bob, you've been at TFL for some time, so I don't know how you missed Susan's "Magic Bowl" technique, first introduced around March 2007.  It's been talked about plenty since then, as well as other methods of covering the bread with bowls or roasting pans. 

If you do a search on "magic bowl," you'll find plenty of reading material.

Glad you've discovered it, albeit a bit late! 

BTW, you're correct about not needing to place wet towels under the bowl.  The dough will release plenty of moisture.