The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

to steam or not to steam

CSBaker's picture

to steam or not to steam

I am pretty new at this bread thing, and like a good little student, I have following the experts' instructions and doing the steam thing for all of my crusty type loaves.  I was wondering if you all steam for sandwich loaves, or focaccia loaves.  I would think not, because if I'm not mistaken, the idea behind the steam is to make a better crust, right?  

Ford's picture

I steam both during the first 10 - 15 minutes. 


lumos's picture

If you want crusty crust, steaming is the way to go.  Personally I don't steam when making focaccia, but I do if it's toasting/sandwich loaf like this. (this photo is not mine, mind you, but just  to show you what kind of bread I'm talking about.)

best wishes,



jcking's picture

Adding steam allows the crust to remain soft enough to achieve a nice oven spring. As Ford says it's only needed for 10-15 mins. A high hydration dough will require less steam. If you have a gas oven, block the vents while steaming.


hanseata's picture

between steaming and not steaming is a thin, crispy crust versus a thick, hard crust. I steam almost all breads during the first part of the bake.