The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bakers Pride deck oven experiments.

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Kyle Renalds's picture
Kyle Renalds

Bakers Pride deck oven experiments.

Hey guys, been getting a LOT of useful information from these forums the past couple of years, although have not contributed really to any conversation until now.   Excellent site though, I recommend this to any friends who are interesting in learning to bake.  Anyway, I've been selling some hearth style sourdough loaves and pan style sandwich loaves at a local yoga studio where some friends work for fun, and in the past few months I've been attempting to bake at a pizza place that I work at part time....with mixed results.   On one hand it's sooo much nicer because I can load in six or eight loaves at a time instead of one or two in my home oven, and the extra heat from the stone gives a much better crumb I feel.   I'm still having trouble with getting the proper amount of steam though.   It's an old Bakers Pride oven from 1977 and probably leaks a little, and of course there are no steam injectors.   At first I was placing a large flat metal pan with a bunch of crushed ice toward the back of the deck, but lately I've been doing that in combination with spraying the door and floor of the oven with a small garden sprayer.   Some of the loaves open up nicely, others rise up well but end up with just a really dark crust on top and not much bloom from the scores on the loaves.  I know this topic has been covered here before, but just checking if anyone had any new thoughts or experiences to share regarding using these types of ovens for hearth bread baking.   

Thanks!   this site is awesome!

Kyle

golgi70's picture
golgi70

Is there any pattern to which loaves open well and which don't.  Like the location in the oven?  You may want to try a couple pans with rolled towels soaked in h20 for steam.  You can search above for more info on this.  They work very well.  You just need to have them in a good 20-30 minutes before loading so they are kicking off steam.  In addition you could give the loaves a mist with a spray bottle right before loading.  I'd be weary of spraying someone else's oven with a garden sprayer.  If the loaves in front are the ones that don't open it must mean the seals of the door are not good.  From your description I'm assuming it's the loaves in the back and maybe the oven is a bit too hot on the backside (a good place for the steam pans).  Finally are you loading the oven full?   The fuller an oven load the better the results will be as they will steam themselves better the fuller the load.  The more empty space the more dry heat to "steal" your moisture retention.  

Josh

David Esq.'s picture
David Esq.

I would be equally hesitant about putting anything flammable inside someone else's commercial oven.  I know wet rolled towels are not exactly prime kindling.... but a pot or large pan of boiling water seems to be a safer generator of steam. 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

The same happens when i load my home oven with loaves on a high rack, close to the top elements. What josh says hold a good deal of truth, but you may want to consider other factors too. just my 2cents.

Kyle Renalds's picture
Kyle Renalds

Thanks for the suggestions!   the loaves that open up nicely are usually more toward the middle or back of the oven, although too much toward the back will cause them to get darker than I'd like on top.  I actually tried the towel method when first starting with this oven, I think it helped but I was using the pan with ice at the same time as well so it's hard to say.  Also the oven door leaking is a very good point that I hadn't thought of yet, I could try and bungee cord it or something....or just load all the loaves more toward the center, haha.   And no, I haven't loaded the oven full yet, which I'm guessing would be something like 12 to 15 loaves.  I'll load them all toward the same area this next time and see what the results are with just the pan of ice.   I'll see if I can get pictures this time.

thanks guys!

Kyle Renalds's picture
Kyle Renalds

Ok so the oven has a small vent on the left side so I thought putting the pan of ice toward the back right side of the oven would be a good idea and then load all the loaves I was doing around the same area near the vent.   I left the vent closed during the first 18 to 20 minutes of the bake, and then opened it up and removed the pan that had the ice in it.   I know I didn't post up pictures of the other bake I was talking about, but these are a big improvement!  Except for one (which I think I didn't score deep enough) all of the loaves opened up beautifully and developed a nice colored crust, in my opinion.    I will see what happens if I can get two pans of ice on the right side of the oven and load in more loaves to the left, it seems it helps to have the steam waft over them while going out  that vent.

Kyle Renalds's picture
Kyle Renalds

 

Here are the pictures from the bake.