Is anyone using the Wolf steam oven?
We are putting one into our new house. I will be interested in any experience the folks have also.
I have the Viking combi steam oven, and have been using it for a while. I am still playing around with different settings. Viking lets you go as high as 440F in combi mode, so that is a little bit of a disappointment, since I usually heat up the regular oven to 500 with the stone to get it up to temp. I have made some nice sourdough in it, as well as some baguettes, and yesterday I made sandwich loaves ( using whole wheat and a ciabatta recipe ). What has me a little confused is how to prepare. Sometimes I put in the pizza stone, put it on normal convection, preheat for 1/2 hour, then turn to steam and heat for 5 or 10 minutes, then launch the bread, then turn off the steam 5 to 10 minutes later. The manual is pretty clear about the fact that you won't see steam at the higher settings, that is when you set the combi mode to around 200, it looks like a steam bath, around 350, when I open the door I get steam on my glasses, yet at 440, it doesn't seem very humid when you open the door. One time I tried adding the pan of volcanic rock, and pouring in water, that was a waste since the oven uses convection, all the steam got sucked out of the oven cavity in a few seconds. A few times I have preheated the stone, then switched to full steam, hoping to get it really moist, but since the upper temp limit for full steam is around 210, I don't know if the heat from the stone get the thermometer so high that it never really fired up the full steam. One real benefit is that if you are not using a pizza stone, the oven gets to temp very quick - under 5 minutes. I have never used a baking oven with real steam injection, so not sure what it should look like.
I'm similarly confused with the Wolf, though I have not yet purchased it. The documentation is very poor and the staff at the demo center for the distributor (not retailer) were of no help.
These ovens were clearly not designed with bread in mind, they are more focused on steam baking for turkeys, vegetables, etc. A deck oven would be 430F, get a shot of steam when loaded and then the moisture would be trapped inside the oven until it was vented late in the cycle.
It appears that the steam mode only goes up to 210F, which is just below the boiling point of 212F so there is probably some reason for that. What I have trouble understanding is how to make the leap from steam at 210F to baking at 425F.
The Wolf does have "convection humid" mode which apparently circulates the air, but does not vent the oven. This might actually work in conjunction with some spray or a lava rock pan since the moisture would be trapped and still allow baking at 430F.
Your approach of pre-heating a stone seems like a good attempt to recreate a deck oven.
What procedure has given you the best results with bread?
My gut reaction is that it shouldn't be this hard, we shouldn't have to be trying to out smart a very expensive oven.
Don't trust your gut, I think it is pretty complex, especially since each manufacturer uses different terminology for the settings. Gaggenau has it the easiest, IMO, one dial for temp, one for humidity. On the humidity side 0 equals vents all moisture out of oven, 30% is no steam is injected, but vents are closed so any moisture in the oven does not get released ( which may be the convection humid on Wolf, though because the heat is coming from an element that is not in the oven chamber, at least in the Viking, all the steam went to where the heating element was ), then you can keep increasing humidity in different stages till you get 100 percent humidity. Your Wolf has something similar - regenerate or reheat injects some moisture, just not full moisture. 100 % humid plus heat (combi mode ) is the setting I use the most, that injects preheated steam, but also adds heat from the heating element, and that has worked the best to give me a good spring. On most machines, you hit a button or key to turn the steam on or off during combi mode, On the Viking there is a heat range for that setting, it goes up to 440, but well below that as well, I think it just adds extra heat so that you hit the temp. That is the steam setting at 210 is wetter than the combi setting at 210, because so of the temp comes from the heating element, not the steam. i never get crackling of the crust, but that may be the dough ( 100 % whole wheat ) or I may not be letting the moisture out. BTW, I put together a page with some links to diff manuals and recipes for general cooking. https://sites.google.com/site/combisteamconvectionsteamoven/home/recipes-and-guides