Combi ovens - Convection Steam Oven
There have been a few posts here asking about Combi ovens for making bread. I have had a combi for years, but was never all that happy with the results, then saw a few more questions , and some suggestions, and am finally getting some good results.
The earlier thread is here http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/60910/tartine-bread-combi-oven
This is my latest attempt.
The loaf is 100% home milled white winter wheat, with a sourdough starter.
It spent overnight in bulk ferment at 52F, then shaped and into a banneton, and about 12 hours in a regular fridge.
I preheated the combi for 3 minutes at 212F Steam only. I also put a cast iron griddle on my range and preheated that for 4 or 5 minutes to about 400F. I made a small deflector that attaches to the rear of the griddle, so that when the loaf is in the combi, it shields that end of the loaf from the fan.
When I was ready to load, I took the loaf out of the fridge, put it on parchment paper on a peel, then slid that onto the preheated cast iron griddle. Using very heavy duty gloves, I then loaded the whole thing into the combi oven, and ran it on steam for about one minute, then switched to combi mode 440. I ran it in that mode for 8 minutes ( though I probably could go a minute or two shorter next time) then turned to regular convection at 440 , and took out the loaf , took it off the parchment, and rotated it and put it back on the griddle in the oven. It baked for about 15 minutes and the temp rose to about 203, but there was not much browning. At that point I realized the deflector was still in place, took that off and 2 minutes later it was golden. I am now pretty happy with the results - I have had 3 successes, and one not so good. I have used a combo cooker before with pretty good results, though not as much oven spring as this .