The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Steam then bake...why not?

thihal123's picture

Steam then bake...why not?

I've been wondering about the possibility of first steaming breads in a wok steamer, and then maybe 5 to 10 minutes later, transfer the bread to a preheated oven. Do you think such a method could be successful for the home baker?

The reason I thought of this yesterday was because it's typically difficult for a home baker to create enough steam in the oven. But what if the bread went into a wok steamer first? I haven't tried this method yet though :) Any thoughts?

phxdog's picture

I would be interested to see what happens with a 10 minute direct steam. I assume this would result in a VERY thick crust that you might not find desirable in your finished loaf.


Good luck! Let us know.

fminparis's picture

Try it. Tell us what happened.

aytab's picture

I'm baking tomorrow, I'm gonna make a bit extra and try this method on a small loaf using my rice cooker/steamer. I will report back.


thihal123's picture

I'd be curious to know how it goes!

I know that using bamboo steamer would probably be better than using a rice cooker. The reason is because the bamboo lid won't collect moisture. Using a metal lid, moisture droplets would fall back onto the dough creating pock marks. Of course, one could perhaps cover the dough with cloth. I haven't tried that method before though.

When I bake next, I may try this wok steaming method and see how it goes! :)

wally's picture

Experimentation is a great thing, but I'm not optimistic.  If it's a panned bread you're talking about, then for the most part (notice the qualification), steaming isn't essential.  If it's a hearth-type bread that is slashed,  steaming is essential.

But if the latter, you are, after 5-10 minutes of wok steaming, going to have a loaf that is wet and woobley and probably pancaked and best of luck transfering it to a baking stone.  Oh, and in the process you will most likely collapse the loaf which at that point in the baking process is in a very fragile state.

There are lots of good suggestions for successful creation of steam in both electric and gas ovens on this site.  Why not avail yourself of them?

On the other hand, if you go ahead with this experiment, please take photos and share with us.

After all, you never know until you try.

Good luck,


thihal123's picture

Oh, I've tried some of the other recommended steaming methods. I'm mostly just curious here. Chinese do a lot of steamed breads, so I wonder how it would be do do partly steamed and partly baked.