The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Setting up Oven for Steaming

EDS33's picture

Setting up Oven for Steaming

I did my first attempt at baking without a dutch oven.  I used a cast iron pan with lava rocks and a hotel pan with kitchen towels.  I also used a baking steel.  I had success however the back of my loaf did not rise as much as the front and I think it's because the pans were too close to the front.  Does that make sense to anyone who has used ths method?  I assume I should push the pans back more so they are centered under the steel?

suave's picture

No, it does not make sense.  Steam is a gas and fills the oven cavity uniformly no matter where steam pan is placed.   Unless, unless your oven has a vent.  Then all steam will escape through it as it is generated.

AlanG's picture

Is it a convection oven?  If so, you need to do things a bit differently.  I've not experienced the problem you describe and I use the towel method with a baking steel for everything.  Our oven is a bit too low for me to lift up cast iron baking stuff (when you reach your 70s, you work on preserving your back!).  I load loaves directly on parchment and then onto the steel.  They are then backed without convection and the steam towels at 460F followed by convection without the steam at 420F.  I find this very reliable and the loaves rise uniformly.