The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Convection steam oven options that work best for bread?

WholeGrainMix's picture
WholeGrainMix

Convection steam oven options that work best for bread?

I've experimented with steaming my own oven and it worked okay but I am looking at getting a new oven and want one that can steam my bread just right.

*Gaggenau Combination Steam and Convection Oven: http://www.gaggenau.com/US_en/products/product-detail.do?contentId=78b1160b-a568-4f52-8a4c-147fba99c97a
*Miele DG 4086 Steam Oven: http://www.mieleusa.com/usa/cooking/steam-oven/product.asp?cat=3&subcat=19&model=637&series=63&nav=&snav=&tnav=&oT=192&menu_id=11&active=Our%20Product...
*Subzero-wolf: http://www.subzero-wolf.com/oven/steam-oven
*kitchenaid: http://www.kitchenaid.com/flash.cmd?/#/product/KEBU107SSS/

I want an oven that will steam my bread for 15 minutes and quit, or so I can control the amount of steam and the time frame. I am a pescetarian, so roasting meats is not really what I am looking for. But I do want to be able to use it as an oven also. Bonus points for being the most energy efficient. Which one will work best or not at all? Do you have experience with any of these ovens? 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I know just about nothing about the brand of ovens you posted but I figured I would toss my 2 cents in here since I am looking into wall ovens at the moment.  

Only comment I have before purchasing any appliance is find out if parts and service are available in the area where you will be using the appliance.  I always call my repair shop and ask which brands they get the most service calls on.  They are always very helpful and have yet to steer me wrong.

Good Luck with your search.

Janet

WholeGrainMix's picture
WholeGrainMix

Thanks Janet!
Unfortunately, I live in a remote area where there's only one appliance repair man who has very limited experience, the next option would be 100 miles away. So, with whatever brand I end up deciding on, I know I will be putting big bucks into fixing it.
Thanks, very good point.
WholeGrainMix

wwitkows's picture
wwitkows

I'm also in the early stages of redesigning my kitchen. Let us know which one you pick and how it works with bread.

 

Warren.

WholeGrainMix's picture
WholeGrainMix

Warren, I will be sure to do that, although I have no real idea on how long it will be until I purchase one.
So, if anyone else out there has any experience with an actual steam/convection oven please feel free to share experiences.
WholeGrainMix.

bostonphotobill's picture
bostonphotobill

We have had our Kitchenaid Wall Steam Assit for 4 years and love it. I bake bread in it once a week. Carol likes the steam for moist roasting and the browing feature. The auto steam for bread produces just the right amount of steam. The only problem was the instaler used a smaller water hook-up than required. Once we had that fixed it has worked every time.

 

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

I was just looking through old threads and found these comments on steam ovens.  One of which is a Cadco oven that is like a big toaster oven.  You might be interested in what others who posted had to say though it is an old thread.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/8378/kitchenaid-steam-assist-convection-oven

I did look into the Cadco for a garage unit this summer - too hot to bake in our kitchen at the moment.  They look very well built and reviews seem to be good.  Just too pricey for me for a back up.  Went with an Oster for a mere 100.00 but I have to add the steam myself but I just use a flower pot to cover my loaves with and I get great results.  :-)

Janet

mike moss's picture
mike moss

I'm a newbie here with just a few months of bread baking under my belt. (Literally - I still have to learn not to bake when hungry).

We recently replaced our oven and I'm finding that the classic burst-of-steam methods that served me so well before don't seem to work quite as well with the new oven. The convection fan kicks in after closing the oven door (even when not in convection mode) and seems to dissipate the steam more quickly. This prompted me to research the dream ovens I wished we had considered (and in my dreams, the domestic Capital Equipment Committee would even have approved one of them) but I came across ads for the Sharp SuperSteam. Is it too good to be true? A 120 volt convection oven with on-board steaming capability? The Sharp ads hardly mention bread baking so I suspect it's probably not a stellar performer for this application but I thought I should at least put the question out there: does anyone have experience with using one of these for bread baking? If so, I'd love to hear more...

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Mike,

I know nothing about the oven above but do bake with steam and convection.  When I first place the bread in my oven I give it a few bursts of steam (I have a Cadco countertop convection oven XAF-113) and then turn it off for 5 minutes for rolls or 10 minutes for whole loaves of bread.  That way the steam has time to penetrate the dough and my breads usually spring very well during that time.

Good Luck,

Janet

mike moss's picture
mike moss

Thanks so much, Janet

Looks like my search is broadening! I appreciate hearing your experience with Cadco.

Mike

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

Here is a link to a Fresh Loaf review of the Cadco.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/12832/review-cadco-countertop-convection-oven-xaf113

I bake my bread in a Sharp Carousel Microwave-Convection oven.  I get steam into my oven spring by actually putting a little water into the loaf pan with my dough, and covering the pan with an inverted pan of identical size.  After 1/3 of the baking time has elapsed at 450F, I remove the pan and lower the temperature to 350F.

 

wwitkows's picture
wwitkows

 At the time of my last post I really had no plans about doing a remodel this year, but after reading up on steam ovens I just had to have one. Since I couldn't just put in a new oven in an old kithchen, I remodeled my kitchen and put in a Kitchenaid Steam Assist Convection oven with the Convection microwave combo.  Steam ovens are the way to go!  So far 30 minutes is the longest I had to bake bread and the crusts are so much darker.  Kitchenaid may not be the high end of these but if you are remodeling or looking for a new oven you should be looking at steam ovens.

Warren.

 

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

If the OP is still looking,  I just finished a fairly exhaustive search of convection steam ovens.  First, while Miele made a convection steam, they make steam ovens without convection as well, so look carefully to be sure.  In terms of convection steam ovens, IMHO, you really need 240 volts to get the best results - while a countertop toaster oven can run on 120, it uses all that juice to run the oven, with not much left over to generate the steam.  I bought the Westinghouse Tritec to check it out - it can generate steam, but took a long time to heat up for such a small cavity.   Most of the ovens are fairly small inside -  around 1.3 cubic feet, more or less - the good news is with 240 volts, and a small cavity, preheat times are minimal.  I bought the Viking which was just discontinued,  it heats to 350 in under 5 minutes.  Many of the models have a number of preset cooking options  for certain foods.  I was looking for more manual controls .  The Gaggenau has the best manual contols - you set the temp. and the amount of humidity -  30% means it adds no moisture, but does not release the moisture from cooking, and goes up in steps to 100%.  Most of the others allow you to choose convection, steam, or combination - some manuals are pretty clear that you can switch the steam on and off at will during a baking session .  In addition to the ones listed at the top, Thermador has one as well.  As far as I know, Gaggenau offers one that needs to be plumbed.  The others have a refillable jug for water, and whatever steam condenses, you clean up at the end with a sponge .  Refilling the water is no big deal, nor is the cleaning.  I have only used it for bread a few times,  and can't draw any firm conclusions yet - other than I made some banana bread that was very moist using combi mode.  While I bought it for making bread, it excels at steaming fish, and veggies, and I have used it for that most often so far.  One slight downside is that I have not found any cookbooks dedicated to combi ovens - so you are left with the cookbook - instructions from the various manufacturers to get ideas on settings for cooking different foods.  Sharp, and now Viking, are offering 120 volt models, but I don't know much about them.

2foodwithlove's picture
2foodwithlove

Hi, 

i got a combination steam oven and have started to blog some recipes including a great focaccia dough that I made today ! 

I would love to swap / share recipes with all of you !

My blog is 2foodwithlove.com 

Let me know some of your favourite combination steam recipes :-)