Does steam affect the oven thermostat? I'm losing heat.
I've been having trouble keeping my oven at the desired temperature when baking bread.
We've moved house recently and I'm still trying to adapt to the new oven. It has coils at the top and bottom, as well as a fan. I've got two baking stones in there (above and below the bread), as well as a cast iron pan at the bottom for steam. I tend to give the oven a good preheat with the fan running, about an hour, until it gets to about 260c. Then switch the fan off, load the bread and pour boiling water in the pan. I use both top and bottom coils ('conventional heat') as the bottom coil alone never seems to get the oven hot enough. I have an oven thermometer inside the oven which seems to be accurate (it matches the preheating temperature).
However, from the moment I close the oven door, the temperature steadily drops down to about 200c within the first 10 minutes or so. The oven's 'heating' light doesn't cycle on during this time, unless I raise the dial higher than the temperature I want.
So I was wondering whether steaming the oven has the potential to affect the oven thermostat, or whether the problem lies elsewhere? Any thoughts appreciated.