One of the supplemental processes to bread and roll baking is steaming in the ovens. Historically, this has been more of an art than a science and over the years techniques for using steam in the baking process have been passed on from baker to baker.
Steam is generally used by the baker to provide a glossy surface to the crust and to avoid cracking the crust during the bake.
Important quality considerations for the baker, gloss and cracking are contingent on ingredients and recipe used combined with effective oven operation balanced with appropriate amounts and consistency of steam.
Types of Steam:
Bakers refer to steam used in the bakery in a wide variety of ways including – wet, dry, soft, hard and more. There are, however, two distinctly different steams produced in boilers:
- Dry Saturated Steam – steam at the temperature of the boiling point of water corresponding to its pressure (212°F @ 0 psig; 240°F @ 10 psig) and does not contain water held in suspension mechanically.
- Super Heated Steam – steam heated to a temperature higher than the boiling point corresponding to its pressure (250°F steam @ 10 psig equals a 240°F boiling point plus 10°F of superheat). Super heated steam can not exist in contact with water, nor contain water and resembles a perfect gas.
For more information on steam systems :