The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

should I leave oven door open while loading multiple loaves

mutantspace's picture

should I leave oven door open while loading multiple loaves

im currently using a deck oven that can hold 10 loaves at a time and ive been steaming the oven, putting 2 loaves on the peel, opening the oven, loading, closing oven door and then putting 2 more loaves on peel, open door, load, close door and so on until all loaves are in and then inject steam. 

Is it best to open close open close like im doing or should i just keep door open, load all the loaves as fast as i can and then steam.

advice much appreciated. Thing is i cant see the point in pre-steaming oven if door is constantly open, or even open and then closed? Im not worried so much about heat as the stones in the oven are pretty good and hold onto the heat pretty well. Its a great oven.... 


jimbtv's picture

Here's what I do.

Since my deck isn't sealed I have to continuously inject steam for the full duration. About 30 seconds before I begin loading the oven I kick on the steam, essentially pre-steaming the oven. There is no doubt about the presence of steam when the door is opened and after loading I close the door. Next time I open the door, maybe 10 - 15 seconds later I am again reminded that the steam is present. So, I start my steam in advance and when the oven is fully loaded, I start my steam timer.

I don't know what oven you are using, or if it has a steam generator. Some ovens just have a momentary push button that only produces steam while the button is depressed. That isn't going to help in this case unless someone else is holding the button.

You might also start looking into a way to load the oven faster - maybe 4 or 5 at a time. I bake 6 baguettes at a time and each peel holds 3 baguettes about 5 inches apart. I load one peel, close the door, then immediately load the second peel. I do the same thing with Pain au Levain - 3 per peel.

This is why the invented speed loaders for ovens. Zip - zoom and then steam. I watch King Arthur's bakers load 20 baguettes in about 7 seconds.


mutantspace's picture

I use a Zanolli deck oven and can get about 10 loaves into it. I can only fit 2 on my peel. It has a set of buttons for steaming that  do a specific time. 1, 2, 4 seconds and manual.

I do a 4 second pre-steam. and 4 second steam and if i making sourdoughs i inject a further 2 seconds after a number of minutes as sourdough takes longer to spring. Up til now ive been opening, closing. I just dont know what the best thing to do is. Either way im losing steam. As for heat im not too worried as the stones hold onto that for me.....