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Steam for a better crust - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Steam for a better crust

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  • Steam for a better crust

    Jim (CanuckJim) asked me to copy his steam comments in the bread section since right now they are a tangent in another section discusiing fire building and heat management..

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    I have used two methods for generating steam in my oven. When the ash has been raked out, I leave my high mass oven to moderate for two hours, about the time I take my slow rise doughs out of the fridge. Then I brush and mop the hearth. At this point, I either put an old sheet pan loaded with damp rags into the oven, or give it a long spray with a cheapo garden sprayer. When the breads go in, there should be visible steam in the chamber. Once they're loaded, I give the oven another long spray, pointing the nozzle upwards, not at the breads. Again, there should be visible steam in the chamber. Once more, too, without steam, the crust will not develop properly and caramelization will be underdeveloped.

    To retain the steam, it's important that the door seals the oven opening. Although I made my door quite carefully to ensure this, I still have to prop a brick against it to retain the steam, mostly because the metal part of the door has warped a bit from heat.

    Simple, but effective.


    follow up


    I guess it's easy to talk about the need for steam, but it's better to illustrate the result. Here's a close up of one of my breads that shows the grigne that opened so well because of oven spring, the caramelization of the interior and a bit of the crust.

    These just won't happen without a wood fired oven and steam.

    Hope that's of some help. Members might want to visit my web site, www.marygbread.com , for additional examples of what I mean.

    jengineer added these 2 photos cause he can't figure out how to get the photos already residing on this forum to show up, Guess he isn't as much of a computer geek as he thought he was.

  • #2
    Hot linking

    On any picture on any site on the web, you can right click (or mac control click) and select "copy image location". If your browser doesn't have that choice, choose "open picture in new window" and copy the location in the URL bar on top.

    When you post to forno bravo forum, select the postcard icon above the text box and paste that location in the pop-up box.

    This shows an image that's hosted on marygbread.com. A couple of notes about hotlinking. First, I don't know mary g, and don't know if she wants this image used, in other words there may be a copyright problem. Second, if you hot link to her image on a high traffic site, which I don't think this is, the addtional traffic could cause access problems or additional expense to mary g.

    Best web etiquette is to ask for permission to use the image, and having recieved same, to host the image on your own or a borrowed server like photobucket. It's also good form to link to the site of origin.
    Last edited by dmun; 10-26-2006, 08:29 AM.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


    • #3
      Dmun's point about image linking and aksing first is good advice. In this case marygbread.com is Cannuck Jim's site, and he had already posted the pics, so I think it is ok...

      My Oven Thread:


      • #4
        Posting Pics

        Drake and all,

        Of course it's okay. If images are posted from my site, I just hope they are useful. Otherwise, there's no problem at all.

        "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827