The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking Artisan Bread in a Gas Fired Pizza Oven

MellieandthePastries's picture

Baking Artisan Bread in a Gas Fired Pizza Oven

Hello All!

This is my first post here. I've been lurking for some time and your posts are always so helpful! Thank you!

Does anyone have experience baking Artisan Breads (spec sourdough) in a commercial gas fired pizza oven? The restaurant I work for has a second restaurant with a brand new Marsal Pizza Oven. I thought it would be a great idea to incorporate sourdough breads if possible but I'm unsure how to get steam into the oven. Any suggestions if it is possible?

Thank you!


jimbtv's picture

It would help to know the make and model of the oven you intend to use. Some oven manufacturers have accessory steam kits. I am using one in my deck with a steam generator attached to the steam manifold. It takes-up very little oven space (negligible). 

I know bakers who are using pans of lava rocks and boiling water in their decks. Steam happens but admittedly not as well, and the steam pan takes-up real estate that could be used for more bread.



rdurangeo's picture

Jim I have access to a deck oven and been wondering the same for a while: how to adapt a steam source to it, do you have any links to those kits that you mentioned?

jimbtv's picture

I use a Blodgett deck oven and early on I downloaded the spec sheet and manual from the Blodgett website. In the literature they described a steam injection accessory. That is how I found out that about it but in all honesty, in the future I might just build the assembly myself. It is very simple and relatively expensive from Blodgett. I then had a few email exchanges with Blodgett's tech support and they sent me some instructions on the best way to plumb in a steam generator.

I would first contact the oven manufacturer and see if they offer a steam kit. It would be the path of least resistance. The steam manifold (the part that is in the oven itself) is only part of the required equipment. You will next need a steam generator.

Some folks seem to feel that a home shower steam generator will work but having contacted a manufacturer with that question, they told me that it was not intended for that type of use. It is designed for the occasional steam shower and not for extended use in food preparation. They also do not certify it for food safety and my calculations show that it takes twice the power to generate the same amount of steam as my Reimers unit. Others may have different ideas and reasons.

 I am happy to continue this conversation but it might make sense to go into a private message exchange. We're now getting pretty deep in the weeds on how all this stuff is interconnected, and the in's and out's of using steam in a deck oven.


aeffect's picture

I use a small 9th pan with hot water loaded into the back of the oven. It provides constant steam during the bake. Before sealing the door, I spray the inside of the oven with a hand pressurized sprayer. After the steam cycle, I rotate the loaves and remove the pan in the back and continue baking dry.