The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Steaming lesson!

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

Steaming lesson!

 Last week I finally got my larva rocks so this week decided to have a go.  I made 3 batches of 2 loaves, 3 different breads that I often make, so nothing new there.  Made dough yesterday and did the final proof overnight in the fridge.   Preheated the oven for about 1 hour with larva rocks and DO. 15 minutes before I baked added container of steaming towells.  So first to bake was my version of Field Blend #2, one batard in DO the other on the baking stone. Added boiling water to larva rocks and baked 15 minutes lid on, and steam, then 15 minutes lid off, no steam.  this is the two loaves at rear of photo.  Quite disappointed with oven spring of the one on the stone (right hand loaf) compared to the DO version on left.

Repeated with next batch - 1:2:3 with 30% multigrain flour, single score on both. This time I put more water in steaming towells and more on larva rocks.  this is the middle row.  This time the one on the stone is marginally better than the one in the DO on left.

Finally, the last batch my favourite multigrain loaf.  this one I scored DO with 3 slashes and the one on the stone a single score. Made extra sure there was plenty of water in steaming towell and on larva rocks.  This time the one on the stone is definitely better.

to me there seems to be a definite improvement as the bake went on, much steam giving a better result.

the crumb shot (aligned as per original) shows the same improvement.

Lesson learned!!! lots and lots of free water onsteaming towells and larva rocks required to create lots and lots of steam - far more than I had ever imagined.  And to top things off, I accidentallt touched my oven mitt on the top element and ended up with a mini fire on my hand so now have to replace my favourite heavy oven mitt :(

Comments

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Not long ago I ran a test to see which put off more steam - Sylvia's Steaming Towels or David's Lava Rocks.  I put them both in the 450 F oven at the same time with the same amount of water and the lava rocks won hands down with the water disappearing completely much faster than the towels so I doubled up the lava rocks and dropped the towels.

The thing to remember about steam and spring and bloom is that the stone needs to be at oven temperature too and steam will keep that from happening since it lowers the oven temperature.  So heat the oven first, 50 degrees higher than baking temperature, with the lava rocks below in a pan with no water and then let it stay at temperature for 20 minutes to let the stone catch up to the oven temperatures as it lags about 20 minutes.  Then load the bread and the last thing is to put enough water on the hot lava rocks to keep the steam generating for as long as you want the streaming to take place.  Then turn the oven down to baking temperature. This will give you Mega Steam and the best spring and bloom you can get.

You bread looks grand too!  Well done and Happy Mega Steaming

leslieruf's picture
leslieruf

Next time I will try having more larva stonesand do as you suggest.  I would have lijed a bit more colour on the loaves but I am starting to have some concerns about my oven so didn't bake quite as hot.  

I noticed the crust on the bottom of the bread baked on the stone was quite a bit softer - is this because the steam is  affecting the stone temperature? 

Leslie

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

So get that stone hot before putting the water in the lava pan and get it good and hot.