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    • Profile PhotoLuke
      Participant
      @avogadro
      Post count: 9

      Pretty much everywhere you can find mention of steam injection/high oven humidity being good because of it’s effect on crust formation during oven spring and how that leads to an increase in overall loaf volume. I can’t seem to actually find any research quoted anywhere that explains this. McGee’s food and chemistry doesn’t reference anything, Bakery Products: Science and technology doesn’t reference anything. I have access to most of the relevant journals, but searching I can’t seem to find anything.

      Can anyone point me in the right direction?

    • Lin Carson, PhD
      Keymaster
      @lin-carson
      Post count: 41

      Hi Luke, are you ready with what I have to tell you? There is nothing on this. All the research that our team has tried to look for resulted in anecdotal theories. I did an Ask Dr. Lin episode on this sponsored by Reading Thermal. The reason is mainly because this is an effect that only happens to industrial bakers. It is very hard to replicate in baking labs due to the difference in oven capacities, oven loads and airflow. I hope the bakers on here can help you through sharing their experiences. What are you looking for? Specifically, is there something about Spring and Oven Spring that you have problems with? I’ve had experience in dealing with this area.

       

    • Profile PhotoLuke
      Participant
      @avogadro
      Post count: 9

      Hi Dr Lin, thanks for the reply. My interest is more academic than having a practical issue. It’s simply confusing as to the amount of people who purport to actually have definitive answers on this (Modernist Bread even tried to debunk a relation between oven spring and humidity/steam injection).

    • Profile PhotoZziwa
      Participant
      @kamos-bakehouse-ltd
      Post count: 49

      I think effects of steam injection are more scientific than culinary especially the shine I have been trying to relate the formation of dextrins from gelatinisation of starch and the optical rotation of light.

      1. When starch is gelatinised it gives a fluid  of low viscosity  which is optically active causing rotary polarization(carbohydrates are known for their property to rotate plane polarised light to different lanes because of its asymmetric carbon atoms in their structures this causes polarisation control which is important in imaging
      2. Our eye lens are polarised and so the polarised reflection reduces glare, improves contrast,  reduces hot spots (highly reflective portions of the field with in a more diffuse reflecting field )
      3. I don’t know so much about bread volume but what I know it gives bread extra minutes in the oven to rise before the expansion is limited by the hardened crust so a better volume
      4. You may find that these things are not included because they were kinder complicated to explain but it doèsnt deny the idea the fact that it works
    • Lin Carson, PhD
      Keymaster
      @lin-carson
      Post count: 41

      Steam is a great insulator in the oven. When administered, it reduces heat transfer to the product from the heating element. So even when the temperature remains the same with or without steam, the transfer of heat is greatly reduced when you press that steam button. When heat transfer is slowed down, the interior part of the bread doesn’t get to yeast kill quite as fast. Therefore, the yeast is happier in the oven and continues to produce gas, creating that oven spring. This is the correlation between steam and oven spring, and how steam contributes to volume. Therefore, its still very anecdotal. I haven’t proven this concept, I have only seen it with my eyes and watch the zone humidities when I carried out commercialization plant trials.

    • Profile PhotoMark Floerke
      Keymaster
      @independant-consultant
      Post count: 223

      Just to add other resource information, AIB (American Institute of Baking) used to produce Technical Bulletins since 1979 I think.  This archive is now free:  https://www.aibinternational.com/aibOnline_/Publications/TechnicalBulletins.aspx

      I did a rough quick search and did not see anything earth shattering jump out at me.  One mention I found was the paragraph below:

      For typical French loaves, the dough must be introduced into a humid (steam) environment. This allows the crust to expand to its maximum before setting. The humidity also produces an attractive sheen and enhances the crispiness of the bite.

      No definitive research per say.

    • Profile PhotoZziwa
      Participant
      @kamos-bakehouse-ltd
      Post count: 49

      I came across a paragraph in professional baking 6th edition by gislen wayne page 393 though he was talking about about cakes but he was talking about the same reactions that steam delays the formation of the top crust hence an enhancement in volume

    • Lin Carson, PhD
      Keymaster
      @lin-carson
      Post count: 41

      This is also true @zziwa. Great point!

    • Profile PhotoZziwa
      Participant
      @kamos-bakehouse-ltd
      Post count: 49

      I was reading through the bulletins OF AIB  that I came across a bulletin about humidity inside ovens it was issued in 2003 volume twenty five  it gives more detailed information about this phenomenon thanks to Mr Mark (<span class=”atwho-inserted” contenteditable=”false” data-atwho-at-query=”@”>@independant-consultant</span>) for the link above

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