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Steam in the oven - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Steam in the oven

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  • Steam in the oven

    Hello All,

    I'm wondering what the proper way is to steam your oven for baking bread. My oven is a 36" pompeii oven made out of firebrick. Just worried about causing damage to my oven dome.

    Thanks !!
    Link to my oven build on YouTube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ujb7lqVcSzQ

  • #2
    Re: Steam in the oven

    i sometimes throw in a few ice cubes at the same time as placing the bread, or a pie tin full of water. Others say that with a really full load of bread you don't need any extra humidity.
    Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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    • #3
      Re: Steam in the oven

      I have one of those little garden sprayers with an adjustable nozzle. I set it for a fine mist. A good long squirt, 5 seconds or so, before and after I put the bread in does the job for me.
      I haven't cracked my oven yet. It's made of fired clay pavers (firebrick is quite expensive here in Oz). They haven't cracked yet, even though they are not supposed to be as thermal shock resistant as firebricks.
      Another way is to have a can of water sitting in the oven boiling away when you put the bread in. I imagine that would actually be kinder to your dome.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Steam in the oven

        Originally posted by wotavidone View Post
        I have one of those little garden sprayers with an adjustable nozzle. I set it for a fine mist. A good long squirt, 5 seconds or so, before and after I put the bread in does the job for me.
        You know, I was thinking I would make a steam delivery system as a part of another door, involving copper tube, a petcock valve and a hose quick connect.

        I like your way better. It will save me a bunch of time and fiddling. However, you need to post pics of the bread you bake using this method....seriously.
        Old World Stone & Garden

        Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

        When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
        John Ruskin

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Steam in the oven

          I have a tray of pumice that I allow to heat up with the oven(indoor electric) and I throw a jug of water in it as I throw the loaves in.
          I also use a hand spray on the loaf.
          I like my bread crusty

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Steam in the oven

            As wotavidone notes above, I've used the small hand pump sprayer for years to raise the humidity in the baking chamber. No problems with cracking, in fact when you spray into the chamber the mist never really contacts the stone...it just turns to steam.

            No light chamber misting (adequate for bread) is going to damage hot bricks...however there will be a problem if you throw a large quantity of water on the hearth. I talked to a fellow at a restaurant in Lake Havasu where they had cracked the hearth of a commercial (dome style) gas pizza oven. They were closing down and a new employee was told to clean out the oven. They meant to brush it out, but he thought throwing a bucket of soapy water in would work better...

            Another method that's been noted on the forum is to put some chain into an iron skillet and into the oven to preheat before baking bread. When you put the loaves in the oven you put a cup or two of ice cubes on top of the chain. The ice melts down into the hot skillet through the hot chain links producing lots of steam with no direct water contact on the hearth. If you do multiple batches of bread, simply leave the skillet & chain in place to get back up to temp for the next ice cube batch.
            Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
            Roseburg, Oregon ( www.sablesprings.com )

            Photo albums
            (working on restoration after web site upgrade )

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            • #7
              Re: Steam in the oven

              What??!

              I don't know who is the bigger moron, the manager for not explaining what he meant by 'cleaning' the oven, or the noob for dumping a bucket of soapy water into a hot hearth.

              That's pretty dumb.
              Old World Stone & Garden

              Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

              When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
              John Ruskin

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Steam in the oven

                Shouldn't a garden hose nozzle with a mist option do the trick?
                Matthew 19:26. With God all things are possible.

                My Build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...les-18741.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Steam in the oven

                  Originally posted by V-wiz View Post
                  Shouldn't a garden hose nozzle with a mist option do the trick?
                  NO! NO! NO! Way too many things that can go wrong. You're talking about the potential of quickly introducing a large volume of water into the hot oven (almost like throwing a bucket full into the chamber... ). All I foresee with that method is cracked dome and hearth bricks in the near future.

                  What I like about the 1-2 liter pump garden sprayer (not a small hand sprayer for counters) is that the volume is much lower and more controllable. You can deliver a good mist into the chamber without "actual, significant amounts" of water reaching the walls or hearth. The mist turns quickly into the steam you want without damaging the oven.
                  Mike Stansbury - The Traveling Loafer
                  Roseburg, Oregon ( www.sablesprings.com )

                  Photo albums
                  (working on restoration after web site upgrade )

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Steam in the oven

                    The nozzle i have in mind does not output alot of water the mist is very gentle. Trust me i know what alot of water looks like coming out of a hose/nozzle. It has the consistency of a patio mister.
                    Matthew 19:26. With God all things are possible.

                    My Build: http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f21/...les-18741.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Steam in the oven

                      Originally posted by stonecutter View Post
                      you need to post pics of the bread you bake using this method....seriously.
                      A coolish oven (about 220C) a garden sprayer and 800g of standard pizza dough. If there is such a thing as "standard pizza dough"
                      500g flour, 300g water, 2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp yeast, 24 hour ferment in fridge.
                      The peel is 12 inches across.
                      I'm reasonably happy with it, since its 60% pizza dough rather than dedicated bread dough. The whole point is to show that the oven spring is very satisfactory with a little steam. Texture is OK, considering it's 11% protein Coles Supermarkets home brand flour.
                      I lit the oven when I got home from work, burned it with only a moderate fire for an hour then let it die right back and cleaned out the coals. I really only injected just enough heat to bake two trays of OOK OOK, then the two bread sticks.
                      Attached Files
                      Last edited by wotavidone; 05-08-2014, 04:34 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Steam in the oven

                        BTW, I took more note of the stream from my sprayer. Really it's not quite a mist. More like halfway between a mist and a stream. I found a mist fanned out too far, so I adjusted for a slightly heavier spray. I haven't heard any bricks go crack! yet. You can hear the oven "roar" as the water goes in and evaporates rapidly.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Steam in the oven

                          I like the looks of it...and I bet it tasted great.
                          Old World Stone & Garden

                          Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

                          When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
                          John Ruskin

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Steam in the oven

                            I must get around to sharpening my knives, so I can put a decent cut down the middle just before I put them in the oven.
                            On that score, I used to think I was good at sharpening knives, but I have a workmate who is a qualified butcher and I was very impressed with his knives the other day when we were filleting fish. I may have to swallow my pride and get some pointers from him.
                            The goal now is to make a proper banh mi vietnamese style baguette. It's gonna be a struggle, but one of my mates is on good terms with the Vietnamese guys who do the baking at the French Hot Bread shop, and he is in Rotary with the owner of the Baker's Delight, so here's hoping we can get ourselves educated.
                            I reckon we have the baking technique sorted, but we need to wise up on the dough recipe and the prep/shaping technique.
                            I was speaking to Dino the Italian the other night, getting his approval for my OOK OOK recipe. He "signed-off" my basic technique, but the added a few pointers. After he rang his wife to check exactly how it's done, of course. All the Molfettese guys have to ring the missus - they are doing a good job of destroying the myth that all good bakers in Italy are men.
                            He says the dimples in the top are made with the knuckles not the fingertips, and instead of sea salt, he uses little bits of anchovy for the salt flavouring. Otherwise, exactly as I do it, he said, except he's lazy and buys his dough from the French Hot Bread shop.
                            Back in the 50's when he took his mortadella and mozzarella on ook ook sandwich to school, it was "What's that wog tucker you got there, Dino?". Now it's "How do you make that?" At least some things in life have changed for the better.
                            Last edited by wotavidone; 05-08-2014, 02:35 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Steam in the oven

                              Use a razor blade....pretty common practice for slashing loaves.
                              Old World Stone & Garden

                              Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

                              When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
                              John Ruskin

                              Comment

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