The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Video Comparing Steam and No Steam

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Video Comparing Steam and No Steam

This is the first of a number of experiments that were recently conducted in order to visually compare the differences between 2 identical doughs baked at separate times in a home oven. One baked without any steam and the other baked with an external steam generator (pressure cooker). The Steam Generator will be published and documented in the very near future. By the way - I got the idea for the Steam Generator from Lance, aka Albacore. Here is his article. Lance tells me he got the original idea here.

For a better viewing experience, see THIS LINK.

- - - - - - - - - - - - New Test - - - - - - - - - - - - 
For this experiment Hamelman's Five-Grain Levain was used. With 34% Seeds and 25% Whole Grain, it seemed that this dough would put the External Steam Generator to the test.

For a better viewing experience, see THIS LINK.

Here is the writeup for the External Steam Generator.

Danny

jey13's picture
jey13

What it is, how it works, if any home baker can use one with any oven....

Can someone elaborate on the steam generator used? 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Sure Jey, I plan to post the full write up soon. Basically a valve is placed in the cover of a pressure cooker and high heat silicone tubing transports the steam to the oven. I was successful piping the steam into the oven via the oven's vent. No alterations to the oven needed. Full details to come...

Danny

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Danny,  first, great video.  I tried taking photos of bread cooking in my combi oven with steam on, but when I opened the door to take a photo, the moisture fogged the camera.  Through the door it is extremely hard to see.

Second, was it on bake mode during the first part of the cook  or was it on convection.  I have found in a few experiments that when i have the steam going with the convection on, the side of the loaf nearest the fan tends to dry out earlier than the other side, getting less oven spring?  With bake mode,  I don't think that would happen

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Convection was not used at any time during either bake. I actually tried 400F convection to finish off the loaves but my home oven for some reason won’t turn the fan on when the temperature is way over the setting. In this case I came down to 400 after 15 minutes at 500F. Any ideas, Barry?

Judging from the appearance of the baked loaves, it seems the steam is distributing well. Loaves on both sides turn out great.

As far as video through the oven glass, Doc schooled me. Adjust your camera angle, clean glass, and most important turn off all other lights except the one in the oven. I had to put sheets up over my french doors to stop all light. Once it is relatively dark your video will shine...

I would like to see others record in oven videos. An iPhone or iPad with Lapse It (3 or 4 dollar app) will provide excellent time lapse video.

Dan

BobbyFourFingers's picture
BobbyFourFingers

It looks like you drilled a new hole in the lid to attach the valve. Is there a way to make this work without permanently altering the lid?

BTW, that’s a fine bit of “Cajun engineering”.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Some PCs have extra pressure relief valves in the cover, but the hole is very small. I guess you could remove one of the 2 extra release valves, if you could find a shut off valve small enough to fit.

But it is easy enough to drill a new hole for the valve.

I plan to do a write up on the PC soon. The big thing is to locate where the oven exhaust vent comes out of the oven. In my case (GE Profile, electric) is here.

The image below shows the locate of my oven exhaust outlet. The high heat silicone tube is simply pushed about 1 1/2” into the vent. The valve allows the PC to still be used as a pressure cooker. BUT, I have a slight mod to this that would be better. Will write up soon.

Dan

 

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

....according to my wife.  She can't wrap her head around why I thing this video is so cool! :)  Danny, that's a really awesome visual about the effect that steam has on the spring, bloom, ear, etc., of our loaves.  Super neat to see the difference in how each loaf performed.

Thanks for posting that one!

Rich

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

You gotta’ admit, Rich. We are a bunch of loonies. At least that is what my wife keeps telling me. 30 years ago, I was driving her crazy, now she tolerates my obsession.  LOL

rgreenberg2000's picture
rgreenberg2000

....one hobby making my wife roll her eyes at me, it's another! :)  At least most of my hobbies produce good eats! :)

Rich

Benito's picture
Benito

My partner thinks I'm weird too Rich, you're in good company here.  

This video is super cool Danny.  Very creative idea of having a steam oven of your own at home.

Benny

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Danny,  you said 

 I actually tried 400F convection to finish off the loaves but my home oven for some reason won’t turn the fan on when the temperature is way over the setting. In this case I came down to 400 after 15 minutes at 500F. Any ideas, Barry?

I don't know anything about your oven, so won't guess as to why the fan won't come on, my problem is the opposite, my electric ovens only do convection, if I turn off the fan, I turn off the heat.

It is my belief that convection is something we want to avoid -  it dries out the surface too quickly.  When you see the videos of people baking in stone ovens, they get the oven up to heat, fill it with dough, then seal the oven tightly.  That lets the moisture from the baking bread supply the steam.  You never hear of them using a fan to distribute the air.  Also, when you see a deck oven, or even the Rofco, it just uses heat, no fan.  

I did some experiments on my combi, and I agree with your tests that a healthy amount of steam can really help oven spring in a properly proofed bread.   

When I get around to it,  I want to load my Cadco convection oven with firebricks, get it up to 500, then put in a loaf and add some steam from a hand steam, and see if the thermal mass will do a good job cooking the bread - again like a tradition WFO. 

Keep up the testing, and thanks for the suggestions on how to shoot the video. 

 

 

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Barry, in my opinion, you are our Mechanical Appliance Genius. Have you though about ant in-line switch to turn your fan on and off?

albacore's picture
albacore

I don't think that would be a good idea. The heater next to the fan is a compact unit that relies on the fan to carry the heat away (it's not the same style of heater as the bottom and top elements).

Without the fan the heater would overheat and possibly burn out.

Lance

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Lance is right on the money, the heater is a few wraps of a heating element, with a fan to move the heat.  My guess is that it would burn itself out if the fan is not turning,  though I have considered making a fan with fewer blades to reduce the airflow.  The other option to to gut a convection oven  and just install a baking element , but I have not got around to that.  

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Danny, when you do your right up,  it would be helpful to post the size of your oven - in cu ft ,  since that will have in impact on how long you need to add steam to the oven.  

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

My oven is 5.3 cubic feet.

EastOceanAir's picture
EastOceanAir

I can't stop watching the video. It is like watching a birth of bread. The motion of rising bread in steam is imprinted in my head now. Lol.

Mesmerizing! 

Thank you for brilliant experiment.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Thanks, EOA! There is more to come.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

New information was posted to the initial post. Click here to view.