The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A question for those who have steam home oven

JerrytheK's picture

A question for those who have steam home oven

An acquaintance of mine is a bread baker and she recently installed an oven with steam in her home.

She said prior to switching to that oven, her bread rarely if ever molded. We're in Colorado, where it's very dry.

Now that she's using a steam oven, she said her bread is molding rather quickly.

I asked her how long she was using steam and she said for the entire baking cycle. I suggest that might be water logging the loaf, which is leaving it open to mold.

I've not used a steam oven, but do bake in a dutch oven. When doing that, I take the cover off the dutch oven after 20 minutes, so any residual steam escapes.

I recommended she stop using steam for the entire baking cycle. She says she bakes to 199 degree F. I suggest she should be able to get to 201 degrees. (Remember, we're at 5,000 feet +, and the boiling point of water decreases by about 2 degrees F for every 1,000' of altitude). 

Based on the dutch-oven experience, I suggested stopping steam after 20 minutes. 

For those with a steam oven, when do you turn off the steam?

Thanks in advance.




SugarOwl's picture

I live in Florida where it's humid year round. Things mold here quickly because of the heat and humidity. Your neighbor needs a humidity sensor. I'm guessing all that water vapor is making the kitchen very humid. They should probably find a way to get it outside. We have a humidity sensor on our ac, it turns on cooler to get the humidity lower when it goes above 50%.

Adding that homemade bread only lasts a week before mold starts here.

JerrytheK's picture

Colorado is the weather antithesis of Florida. Our relative humidity today was 10% at 82 degrees.

I'm still thinking the problem is continuous steam while baking.

Still hope to hear from someone who has a steam oven.

gavinc's picture

I pre-steam the oven for about 5 minutes before loading, then steam for the first 10 minutes of the bake. Finish in a drying oven. I have a Miele oven with the steam function they call "moisture plus". I don't get mouldy bread. You don't need any steam once the oven spring is finished.



JerrytheK's picture

That's exactly the information I was looking for.

Appreciate the help.