The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.


hopnoggin's picture


I am using a crude but effective method for producing steam during the first phase of baking sourdough. The steam is enough to fog my glasses when opening the oven door, so it seems adequate and I get pretty impressive spring in the loaves. But it made me wonder if I am producing enough steam to leave off the cover of the Dutch oven during first twenty minutes? How does steam penetrate a Dutch oven with the lid on? Seems to me like it doesn't. Do any of you bake sourdough in a Dutch oven without the cover?


justkeepswimming's picture

I don't have any input for you re: baking in a DO without the lid, but am curious what you do to generate steam. It sounds effective enough for baking on a stone, etc. 

barryvabeach's picture

Most here that use a DO use it to trap steam.  As the bread bakes, it gives off moisture.  In a normal sized oven, that moisture just migrates out of the oven.  In a DO, the moisture is trapped - assuming there is a good seal on the DO ,  and that is where the steam comes from.  You don't add steam to a dutch oven  ( though some that use a Lodge Combo Cooker will throw some ice in it before loading bread, or even spraying the inside with water.   There would be no point in putting steam into an oven while baking in a DO with the lid on.  Once the bread reaches a certain point,  often 1/3 into the bake, the lid is removed to help the loaf brown.