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Author Topic: Steam in a pizza oven  (Read 244 times)

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Offline Brent-r

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Steam in a pizza oven
« on: February 21, 2019, 01:19:40 PM »
We were just reading the Forno Bravo suggestions for cooking bread in a stone pizza oven.
Adding steam to an oven when baking bread really enhances the crusts.

Anyone got any thoughts on what it would do for the corniche on a pizza  ???

The new oven we just got has the ability to almost totally seal off the cooking chamber from new air coming in and the hottest air going up the stack.   It would seem like it will hold the steam well.
Brent

Offline The Dough Doctor

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Re: Steam in a pizza oven
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2019, 05:01:45 PM »
The purpose for adding steam during the baking of crusty breads is to allow for greater oven spring during the first minutes of baking. We usually figure that the steam is most beneficial during the first 20% of the total baking time, after that the steam is vented from the oven and the bread is baked in a dry oven. In a way, pizzas are already baked with steam since the top of the pizza is cooled through evaporation of water from the sauce and toppings, this cools the air and this cooler air flows down around the pizza during baking (deck ovens and stone hearth ovens only). The addition of more steam might result in greater oven spring for an even larger raised edge, if that's what one is looking for but like I said, just for the first 20% of the baking cycle. Remember also that steam has a cooling effect upon the baking chamber so expect baking times to be a bit longer. Also, if the oven is not designed for steam application significant damage can result over time to the metal frame/superstructure of an over if steam is used regularly. During baking the oven cavity is filled with acids released during baking (by products of fermentation/acetic, lactic and propionic acids), these acids are carried by the steam and when they contact something cooler condensation takes place, then the heat of the oven removes the water leaving behind concentrated acids which raise havoc on any carbon steel part of the oven, it's like a cancer, first you see the rust that wasn't there before then the rust does its work over time, and there is no acceptable way to really address the problem.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

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