Hot Rod Steam Injection
I couple years back, I picked up a used Italian made, electric utility oven, i’ve recently got around to hot rodding it with steam injection.I’ve come up with a pretty slick and effective steam solution, the parts list is quite simple, the heart of it being a piece of stainless steel hand rail. I purchased the exact length of handrail required, two ends, copper pipe and a stainless steel funnel that fits perfectly inside it. With the drill press, i made three rows of 5mm holes and one hole in each end piece.The mounting turned out to be quite slick and simple, the back pipe cap has a bolt mounted that fits tightly in a hole in the rear oven wall, the copper pipe fits tightly in the front cap hole and leads through a hole to the funnel.
The three rows of holes, are of course pointed upwards. By pouring a small amount of boiling water into the funnel, it produces an intense blast of steam as it flows down the hot copper pipe into the „hotrod“ injector tube.
My objective is to have all of the water turn to steam in a very short time, the trick is figuring out the optimal amount of water and angle of grade on the pipe.
So far, i’ve done four test bakes, the first two of which, i used far too much water. The bread though has been sporting a lovely shine.
One problem with this is that when the pipe gets piping hot, those tight fitting end pieces loosen up just enough to allow a slight drip of water, so this makes the dosing very important. During the last two bakes, I managed to keep this to a minimum. I have the idea to disassemble the injector, increase the mass by stuffing it full of heavy nuts&bolts or lengths of steel rods, the increased mass should give me the option to increase the water dosage somewhat. When i’m happy with that, i’ll take it apart again and have a friend weld the end caps on, that should put an end to possible dripping. Being that there are so many bargain priced used commercial pizza ovens on the market, i thought this might be of interest to folks wishing to take a step beyond the regular home oven.The baking chamber dimensions with pizza ovens are sometimes less than ideal, some are a little tight in the height department for bread baking. But the ovens are often well insulated and feature heating coils designed to bake pizzas lightening fast. Rigging up steam injection though is the real key to making them truly useful for bread baking. The oven that I rigged this up in has a 26cm chamber height, i’d rather that it was 23, but it’s turned out to be a pretty decent bread oven non the less.additional oven info& photos here
bread from a test batch