Is baking in a Dutch Oven a myth?
Recently I made a research about how steam works in baking. I found four main functions:
1. Steam condensates and keeps the dough surface cool, preventing the crust to form too soon, what could hinder the oven spring
2. As the water condensates, it releases a lot of energy into the dough, heating it faster
3. Because the surface is not too hot, the enzymes work longer and we get a better crust
4. The combination of heat + water gelates the starch and we get a crispier and shiny crust
That makes perfect sense. Almost all of that information I got from the amazing book "On Food and Cooking", Mcgee
Knowing that, now I am am very confused about how baking in a dutch oven works.
- Because all the water in the environment (dutch oven with lid on) comes from the dough. I understand that it wont condense back into the dough, so I won't get that "water layer", neither the initial "blast" of energy of the steam condensing into the dough.
Is that right? What am I missing?
My personal experience says that DO works, I get a good oven spring and crust. But know I dont know if this is because of the "humid environment" of the trapped steam as almost everybody says, or just because the dough is closer to the radiant source, so it heats faster.
By the way, do we really need to bake at that high temperature? What would happen if we could bake at 100ºC (212 ºF) to get the oven spring and only after work on the crust color?
Thank you, and sorry for the english mistakes if I made them.