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markwt1951

Sourdough bread in Miele combi-steam oven

markwt1951
6 years ago

I've been learning how to make sourdough bread over the past few months, mainly following the Tartine Bread book as well as Ken Forkish's "Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast". They both recommend using a cast iron dutch oven or combo cooker, and that's worked very well.

I have a Miele DCG 6700 combi-steam oven and thought there should be a way to make fabulous sourdough bread in it, even though the max temp is 435 degrees. Not the 475-500 degrees usually recommended. So, yesterday, I got out a 12" square baking steel which I had made and put it in the oven. I used 3 stages of cooking.

1. I pre-heated the steel and the oven to 350 degrees and 60 % steam. ( I wanted to make sure there was moisture in the oven when my bread went in.) I pre-heated for 30 minutes.

2. The next stage, when I put the bread dough in, I kept the oven at 350 but went to 100% moisture and baked for 30 minutes. I didn't used a dutch oven for this bread. Just put it on parchment paper and slid it in on a pizza peel.

3. The final stage was 435 degrees for 20 minutes at 0% humidity. I think I could have gone a little longer, but didn't want to overdo things.

I was very pleased with my results! I've enclosed 2 photos. They're not great photos, but I think they give you an idea how it turned out.



Comments (86)

  • Daniel Gallo
    3 years ago

    This is an old post but thank you!! I have been baking in larger quantities and I want to stop using my Dutch oven. so before I Jump into combI baking I wanted to hear some Input. I have a combi oven that goes up to 600 so I am going to try 550 preheat with 100% humidity. Lower to 475 100% steam for 35 min and then 10 min convention.

  • Kim G
    3 years ago

    I think 35 min is a long time for steam. I was told by some well known baker (may have been Peter Reinhardt but not sure) to only steam only until your crust starts to turn brown - it is set at that point and steam will not provide further oven spring and steaming past that point will negatively impact your crust I steam for 10 min at 425 in my combi. I also use a surround mode (top and bottom element heat) with NO convection. When I have used convection for that last bake I found my crust is not crackly crunchy but soft/chewy. You will likely need to try some different combinations to a see what works best for your oven and sour dough formula. Would like to hear your findings.

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  • Daniel Gallo
    3 years ago

    Hmm interesting. I Guess I was basing that number off the amount of time I leave my lid on my Dutch over for the “steam” affect. Maybe I’ll rethink that. My normal dutch oven method is preheat 550 degrees with lid on. Put bread in with lid on for 35-40 minutes. Then take lid off for an additional 10 minutes.

  • Kim G
    3 years ago

    I could see your thought process. You will have a lot more steam in the combi oven at 100% than your Dutch oven. Your Dutch oven is using the moisture I assume from your dough to generate the steam. Your really dont know how long that lasts as I assume removing the lid is more to ensure good browning. I tried a Dutch oven once when I was not home with my combi steam. It didn’t work out too well. I do need to try again!

  • stambler24
    3 years ago

    I agree about the timing. I steam for 10 minutes at 100% then I steam at 60% for five minutes. I don't know if the 60 is necessary but it doesn't hurt anything. I don't think I would steam for longer than 12 minutes at 100%. It only takes me about 25 minutes to bake a loaf that is 2 pounds. I have a Meile combi steam oven and the top temp is 435. I use the surround setting. I can't tell for sure but I think it's a convection setting. If you are interested in serious bread baking with these ovens you're on your own as the manufacturer seems to not know much about how to bake bread. In the end, with any oven it's all trial and error

  • Doug
    2 years ago

    After a bit of trial and error, I settled on a program I'm happy with. Kim - thanks again for your suggestions.


    The main change here is my first stage uses Maxi Broil (level 3), which I like for 2 reasons.

    1. it's hotter than 435F (my baking steel reaches 495F)

    2. since there is no target temperature set, when I open the door to put in the bread, and close it back up again, more steam is added right away -- it doesn't wait to heat up first


    When done this way, I don't notice a benefit of spritzing (which I did notice when I was using Surround for the first stage). The hydration of the dough is 78%.


    The program I use is:

    1. Maxi Broil, Level 3, 100%, 0:20h

    (I put the loaf in after 5 minutes)

    1. Surround, 435F, 0%, 0:15h

    2. Convection Bake, 435F, 0%, 0:15h

    (Bread comes out 3-7 minutes in, depending on the recipe)


    This has 15m of steam cooking. I tried less time, but this yields a thicker crust that I like better.

  • Kim G
    2 years ago

    Doug - post some pics of your next loaf. So you broil for 15 min?

  • Doug
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    That's right - I broil the loaf for 15m. The first 5m are to make sure the oven is steamed up before the bread goes in.

    The steel is on a wire tray in the lowest position. It seems like MaxiBroil has intense heat coming from above, but with the baking steel so hot, it doesn't seem to be a problem.

    And of course, I preheat -- 45m on convection bake @ 435F, then 10-15m on MaxiBroil #3. Then I start the bread program.

    Here's today's loaf. It's my first try using a bread lame. :)

    This is Forkish's Pain de Campagne, with 1/3 of the whole wheat flour swapped out for dark rye flour (one of his suggestions). And 40% more salt.



  • flinderroo
    2 years ago

    Great thread; thanks for everyone's input. But I am confused now. There is frequent mention of an oven temperature at "60%" or "100%". Where are you finding this on your Miele CSO?? I use the MoisturePlus setting and select Surround and then have an option to select how many 'bursts' of steam I want and whether it is to be done manually or automatically. The latter prompting the 'when' in the baking process. So, can someone help me understand the references to % steam? Thanks!

  • Kim G
    2 years ago

    The percent steam option exists in the Combi Steam Oven not their oven with the burst of steam. I would love to hear how you are using your moisture plus and how you results have been. I have the same oven as well as the CSO and have not been successful using the burst of steam very often to my benefit. I use my CSO most of the time when I want to inject moisture into the cooking process. Please share!

  • flinderroo
    2 years ago

    I just looked and my Miele is a double wall oven with steam and not the CSO; thanks for correcting me on that. I'm so glad I knew what I bought! I spent three days at King Arthur Flour honing my sourdough skills and they suggested I inject the steam as soon as I closed the door. I have been experimenting since then with doing just that and adding an additional burst of steam about 10 min later (both manually). The breads turn out great! But then I do not have the CSO to compare it to, so I may be falsely singing my praises. Thanks again, Kim.

  • Kim G
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    Which KA class did you take.? Was it worthwhile? Those are on my bucket list. Post some pics of your bread. Glad to hear the burst of steam is working for you. There are other posters on hear interested in how the burst of steam works. Have you tried the bread programs?


    Here is a thread you might want to post your experiences with the burst of steam as the OP is interested in whether or not the burst of stream with work for him:


    Moisture Plus for Bread Questions

  • huruta
    2 years ago

    Oooooooo...I am so excited to find this thread. I use the Forkish book and have for several years. We had our Gagg steam oven installed about 6 years ago and at the time, I didn't have the time or energy to figure out how to best cook sourdough in it and after a few failed attempts I just went back to the dutch oven method. There was little on the internet on how to trouble shoot this and I don't think Forkish's book was out yet.


    Fast forward to COVID and I've got an active levain starter and am working at home and am finding so much joy in bread making, with time/schedule to fiddle around, take notes and beyond. So all this information is helpful. I've got some baguettes being made today with levain using Forkish Pain au Levain recipe in combo with a youtube vide on how to shape baguettes with high hydration dough. Will try Kim's approach to cooking. I don't think the Gagg has a way to turn off convection so I'll just need to live with a thicker crust I suppose.


    Anyway, one question about the stone. I use a steel for pizza in our Lacanche oven and it turns out beautifully. But I'm wondering if a steel/stone is needed at all for sourdough breads. Since you get the top to brown, why do you need a steel for the bottom of a sourdough loaf? I suppose it might make the bottom crust thicker. Thoughts? Experience?

  • Ada Fan
    2 years ago

    I'm new in baking. Any tried making the no knead bread (the recipe that calls for a dutch oven) with the combi steam oven? What moisture level should it be?

  • barryv_gw
    2 years ago

    huruta , you can use a steel for baking in a combi, but if you use a steam , or a combi mode, when you first load the bread, it is quite likely the dough will stick to the steel and cause problems. If you want to use a steel, put the dough on parchment for the first part of the bake, once you vent the steam, you can pull the loaf, take off the parchment, and put the loaf back into the oven.

  • stambler24
    2 years ago

    The idea of the steel or stone is that a transfer is a lot of heat immediately to the loaf contributing to oven spring.

    my Milela has a surround mode That supposedly mimics in that supposedly mimics a brick oven. I consistently use a stone but I’m not convinced that makes a big difference. I have not baked without it in sometime, but I seem to recall I got a very good result without it.

  • huruta
    2 years ago

    Thanks for the responses. Stambler, that makes sense re: oven spring. Barry, I used parchment, which also makes it easy to manipulate in my small Gagg oven space. My steel doesn't fit in the Gagg which is much smaller than my Lacanche oven, so here's what I ended up doing for 2 baguettes:

    - used lodge cast iron flat griddle that did fit as 'stone'

    -Preheated oven for 45 min at 450 (the highest it goes), 0% steam

    -Added 100% steam for last 10 minutes of preheat

    -Baked 20 min 450 w/100% steam (slid in on parchment)

    -Based 15 min 450 w/o steam for baguette 1 and 20 min for baguette 2

    Crumb and texture turned out surprisingly well. Shape didn't work out great. Use of parchment was valuable, particularly since the oven is small. I'm notorious for burning myself on food entry/exit.

    The first loaf was too big and wide. I re-handled/reshaped the second so it was not as puffy or wide and a little deflated, but probably cooked it a little too long (20 min). I think I need to get better at working at shaping high hydration dough - I think it went in too slack. It was probably too long of a proof time. I'll need to look into this a bit more. I'm used to the dutch ovens giving the dough shape Suggestions welcome. Excited to try again.

  • Doug
    2 years ago

    I'll echo the comments above from barryv_gw and stambler24.


    Parchment makes loading the loaf super easy. I slide it onto a baking steel, and I slip the parchment out (grabbing it with fingers) once the 100% steam is done. I have a Miele Combi-steam.


    I can also confirm that cooking without a baking steel (instead, on a thin pre-heated baking sheet), does result in less oven spring. (I only tried it once.)


    However, I find that cooking in a steam oven is less tolerant to poor shaping/tension/proofing of the dough. After more practice (esp with covid non-stop breadmaking!), I'm happy with the consistent results. Here's today's loaf:



  • huruta
    2 years ago

    Doug, That's beautiful! I watched some videos yesterday on shaping high hydration dough. I have two slow proofing loaves of round loves (Forkish, Field Blend 2) in the fridge that I need to cook up before they overproof. Since I can go from fridge directly to oven, I think I might get less spread and will try one of these in the Gagg. I could end up with focaccia (!) but fresh bread is delicious regardless so I doubt I can go wrong.

    For other who might come across this post, I got decent rise out of the baguette using the cast iron griddle. I'll continue to experiment with it - it's narrower than I'd like but seems like a reasonable stop gap measure.

    Anyone played around with different levels of steam and have feedback on your experience / opinions? I can have 0, 30, 60, 80 or 100% steam. Seems like for most, it's an all (100%) and then nothing (0%) approach.

  • webuser 499013063
    2 years ago

    Has anyone used the rye sourdough settings?

  • Doug
    2 years ago

    Huruta - Thanks! I have no problem going from fridge to the oven (and have made Forkish's Field Blend #2).


    For the first 10-15 minutes at least, you probably want 100% steam so you get as much oven spring as possible. At least on the Miele. After that, if you want to have a second stage with something in between (like 50% steam), that could work - it depends on how you like your crust. For me, after roughly 10 minutes, the oven spring is complete, and the bread starts to firm up and brown (the browning makes me wonder if the Miele oven is a bit stingy with the steam, compared to a cloche). I personally like 20 minutes of 100% steam since it results in a thicker crust, when followed by 15 minutes of 0% steam it's pretty crunchy. (The exact program I use is in an earlier post.)


    If you want a somewhat soft crust, a second stage with partial steam might get you there -- I haven't tried it, but there are some earlier postings with stages like this.


    Someone else asked about "rye sourdough" settings -- what oven is that on? (Mine doesn't have it.)

  • webuser 499013063
    2 years ago

    The rye sourdough setting is for the Miele Steam combination oven. The manual says under the Bake section that it is combi steam convection at 410F at 60% for 6min, then 410F at 0% for 6 min, then 310F at 0% for 60 min

  • Libaya
    2 years ago

    I have the Miele DGC6865 XXL combo steam oven. I use the Tartine 75%ish hydration dough. I’ve used the following method a couple of times with success. Preheat at surround 435F for at least 30 minutes with a baking steel. Slide dough in (I use parchment) and I do manual bursts of steam for the first 20 minutes. Then no steam for another 25 minutes. I like a light colored crust. Then turn off oven and leave loaf in oven for another 20 minutes to cure the crust. Here’s a pic. I have two loaves in the fridge right now. I’m going to bake tomorrow and might use the maxi broil function. But the purpose of this bake is for me to see if a more vigorous starter will help produce more holes in my bread.

  • Silvia Fysch
    2 years ago

    webuser 499013063 Have JUST pulled my very first sourdough loaf ever (gluten free to boot) from my Miele DGC 5070 or 5080 (don't know which) - used the ryebread auto setting. The result? FanbloodyTAStic. My husband (who doesn't have a gluten problem) says it's like Real bread. Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!

  • webuser 499013063
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    @Silvia Fysch So awesome! Thank you for encouragement. I also just baked my first ever loaf of bread. Family loved it and didn’t bake up like a brick 😱🧱?! Combined Food52 no knead and Claire Saffitz recipes with the regimen above @Doug: first, 435F, 0% humidity, for 30 min and 500F lower oven for Miele freebie cast iron (don’t own a stone 😬) and after 25 min, loaded cast iron into Miele; then, 435F, 100% humidity, for 23 min; next, 435F, 0% humidity, for 15 min; and finally, 10 min oven off and door cracked. Ugly and sour!


  • Iza B
    2 years ago

    Hello, I have had my Miele steam combination oven for 5 years now but never baked any bread in it. I always thought the temperature available in the Miele is not high enough.
    Today I tried the following:
    Surround, 220°C (428F), 100% for 13 minutes
    Surround, 220°C (428F) 0% for another 15 minutes
    The result is satisfactory. I would, however, like a thicker crust. Do I need to extend the steam time?
    Thanks!

  • Silvia Fysch
    2 years ago

    Iza B I'm a newbie at this but Doug (see above, about 8 days ago) suggests 20 minutes of 100% steam for a thicker crust - definitely worth a try.

    webuser 499013063 I don't own a stone nor cast iron (sigh), just been using an ancient aluminium baking tray liberally dusted with buckwheat flour to stave off the sticking issue. That didn't work so well with an experimental fruit version. I've been proving in a plastic ricotta basket lined with cheesecloth - at the moment its a matter of using what's available. Also, with cold weather in my part of Australia, a hot water bottle in a polystyrene box has been helpful for proving. If you're looking at starting from scratch, the recipe I've been using is "Seeded GF Free Soughdough" from bakingmagique.com - absolutely delicious.

  • nazyeb1
    2 years ago

    I don’t have stone or cast iron either. Can someone direct me how to make my sour dough loafs??🙏

  • webuser 499013063
    2 years ago
    last modified: 2 years ago

    @nazyeb1 I read @Doug’s posts above and it’s quite detailed. Maybe his directions will work just as well for you. Next, I am gonna try the mixed rye bread pre-set as recommended by @Silvia Fysch since it seems a bit less labor intensive.

    @Silvia Fysch yes, in these times we must use what we have. I left my sourdough on a floured dish towel with a salad spinner basket overnight for proving (not a baker). Miele cast iron came as incentive to buy the combi—got lucky.

  • Libaya
    2 years ago

    Nazyeb1 I have tried the surround and maxi broil methods. The one that works best for me is convection bake 435F 100% humidity for 20 minutes then 435 0% for 20-25 minutes. And I “cure” the loaf by leaving in oven but turned off. It gives the loaf an extra crunch. Baking a tartine country sourdough right now.

  • Libaya
    2 years ago

    Oh I forgot to say you don’t need a pizza stone. If you have a cast iron that would help. It’s to conduct the heat. But I suspect you don’t need it. But if you feel like you really need one just to slide the bread on, invert a sheet pan in the oven. I always use parchment paper under my bread to ease sliding dough off pizza peel. You can use an inverted tray or sheet pan as a peel. On Instagram I have seen DIY baking steel. I have one from years ago when Kenji Lopez-Alt from Serious Eats first discovered the company. But you can go to any metal fabricator and ask for a remnant that would fit in your oven. You need to oil and season it regularly because the moisture will rust the steel.

  • Libaya
    2 years ago

    Walmart has a 10” store brand cast iron for $7.33

  • Libaya
    2 years ago

    Here I set up an overturned 10” skillet. Propped up by a pot cover to try to level it. I know the pizza stone is there but use a sheet pan or broiler pan underneath instead. Sliding off the bread will be tricky and I’d wear oven mitts. A wider pan would be better. If you have unglazed terra cotta tiles or if you can get fire bricks that would work too. Anything that is a heat conductor.

  • Doug
    2 years ago

    @Libaya - Those look great! What are you doing to preheat your pizza stone? My understanding is that hotter is better, and I use Maxibroil since it gets the steel to 475F (I have an infrared temperature gun). I get noticeably more oven spring this way. Convection bake and surround only got it to 440F or so.


    Did you find you had more oven spring with Maxibroil, compared to Convection bake? And you just like the crust better with Convection bake?


    I've been experimenting with skipping the Surround step I posted above, and finishing with Convection bake -- still settling on something which works.


    Still, after all this, I never get a nice big ear on the loaf. Not sure if this is the oven, or my lack of skills with a bread lame.

  • Ally B
    2 years ago

    I’m new to baking sourdough bread. Thought my experience with my Miele oven (H6660 BP) in Australia may be helpful. My dough recipe has 50% hydration which is good for me as a newbie. This is my baking process

    Preheat Miele oven - Convectional Heat setting 240C

    Place dough on tray lined with bake paper and sprinkled with polenta. I also tried pizza stone with similar results

    Score the dough - while preheating and just before bread goes into the oven

    Once heated to correct temp, Change oven setting - Moisture Plus 230C (300ml water ready), 2 bursts - Time Controlled @ 1 min and 8 mins.

    Place the bread immediately into the oven on Shelf 2, bake for 20 minutes.

    Change oven to Convectional Heat Setting 200C, bake for further 35 minutes.

    Loaves have great crunchy crust, good rise and softer inside. Pizza stone versions are crunchier on the crust.

    My daughter says I now need to work on my “ear” 😀

  • Mary Zee
    last year

    Has anyone made Gluten Free bread in the Miele steam oven in the U.S.? My biggest issue with Miele brand is the major lack of how to use all this oven can do. I have called and asked about classes when we first purchased our oven but no luck. A lot of money spent to not be able to use all the fun features.

  • schmip
    last year

    Mary - Try emailing chef@mieleusa.com. That will connect you with the main chef advisors (Mary and Vicki) in Princeton for specific advice and recipes. I would specifically ask about Gluten Free bread making. If you have a contact at a Miele Experience Center, I would also ask that person specifically for advice on Gluten Free Baking. Also, Miele is offering virtual classes on a variety of topics - browse and sign up on the website. https://www.mieleusa.com/e/events-e. I have taken many of these and it is starting to help me understand how to use the combi steam. I have taken the various bread classes they have offered so far and they have not yet done any Gluten Free.


    I agree - there is a real learning curve that Miele seems to downplay. They often direct you to the Masterchef programs, which I find very frustrating. They think Masterchef is great. I had thought Masterchef would be great because I could learn from it.
    But, the Masterchef just cooks the food for you without telling you what it is doing - what operating mode it is using, whether it is using a comination of modes, whether it shifts temperatures, whether there is any steam, etc. Miele will not provide that information about its Masterchef programs however many times people ask --apparently, it is properietary. So, for me, Masterchef has been a source of total irritation rather than a resource. But taking these classes repeatedly and experimenting with the programs has been helpful to me. I have learned things about the appliances that I did not know.


    I hope this helps.

  • M
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Yes, taking the classes is a great idea to get a feel for the oven. But in the end, it's just an oven with more precise control. Once you understand your recipes you understand your oven.

    I don't know much about gluten free cooking/baking. But there are bound to be books or online resources that don't just give you recipes but also explain the theory of why they work. That should give you a better sense of when steam is helpful.

    In general, steam does a couple of things. In baking it helps with gelatinization of the flour and promotes oven spring. It also has a very high heat capacity and thus transfers heat much more effectively and evenly than regular convection. And for dishes that are prone to drying out, it can slow that process. It won't necessarily stop it though, as you're frequently cooking/baking at temperatures far above the boiling point of water, even though your food never exceeds that temperature.

    It is important to understand that humidity exists both below 212°F (where you'd see condensation) and above (where it is steam that you don't actually see).It is important to understand that humidity exists both below 212°F (where you'd see condensation) and above (where it is steam that you don't actually see).

    On the other hand, if you want browning, you probably should dial down the humidity. Browning will still happen when humidity is present, but it might take longer.

    If you want even heating (e.g. for cooking delicate veggies or for sous-vide style cooking) you go for the opposite extreme and dial humidity all the way to 100%.

    It does take a little bit of getting used to having another parameter that you control. But if you think about the science of cooking it does eventually make sense and becomes intuitive.

    In the end, nothing beats experimenting to build up trust into your new tools.

    And when you find a procedure that works well for you, save it as a favorite. I have a whole bunch of those that I collected over time. I also occasionally use the master chef, but I agree that it is over rated. I think my main use is for blanching asparagus which it does spectacularly well.

  • markwt1951
    Original Author
    last year

    As the one who originally started this thread a number of years ago, I thought I'd chime in with a few thoughts.

    First of all, I agree with one of the posters above that the classes that Miele in the US have been offering are very good for getting better acquainted with your ovens, especially the combi steam ovens. They seem to use those in almost every class. The timing of the classes may not be very good for those of you not in the western hemisphere, but I think anyone can sign up for them and it's nice to have the recipes to keep after the class is over. They also give some tips for when to use various amounts of moisture in the combi-steam oven for cooking different items.


    I've been mainly baking pan loaves of sourdough bread recently since my wife prefers those. (Happy wife = Happy Life) I have a Miele range with Moisture plus and have really liked using the San Francisco Sourdough setting for my pan loaves. I also learned, through one of the Miele classes that the Farm House Bread MasterChef setting on the combi works well, too. So yesterday, I baked two pan loaves using my two different ovens. The photo on the left shows the loaf that baked in the combi oven using the Farm House Bread setting and the loaf on the right was baked in my range using the San Francisco Sourdough setting. I did add one more level of browning to the default setting on both ovens.



  • Michelle
    last year

    How did the Mixed Rye Bread setting work for you ? Did you try it using the Tartine method? Also, one of the pictures posted looked like you just put the dough in on parchment paper on the bottom of the combi steam oven? I noticed that theMiele manual actually recommends using the mixed rye or regular rye function under sourdough. I bake all my own breads, but have been using my Miele oven on surround mode and I add a tray of boiling water under the rack for the first 20 minutes. I am happy with the results for this sourdough recipe, but I would love to adapt to the combo steam oven.

  • waverly6
    last year

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    Luke Hagenbach Real Estate
    last year

    Has anyone found a list of time/temperature/humidity settings for each of the default bread settings? It would be great if there was less "magic" and more knowns with these MagicChef settings.

  • Kim G
    last year
    last modified: last year

    If you look in the Miele owners manual for the CSO - at least the one I just looked at online. Go to Bake function around page 130 and then starting on page 131 you will see programs for different items including bread items with various baking steps that include using the combi steam mode. Hope this helps. If you are using the moisture plus then I have no idea what they are doing.

  • dredfunk
    11 months ago

    Here is a sourdough recipe for olive bread, that I’ve been working on, trying to leverage the features of the Miele CSO to make bread. Please note, I’m a newbie baker, and the half dozen attempts to make this are the whole of my sourdough bread baking experience! The routine I’ve been using is based on simplicity and a bread that my family enjoys eating.

    The recipe that I have been following is from:

    Great detailed instructions and videos

    I’ve changed the recipe a bit. Deleted rosemary and garlic, added 12 g of diastatic malt and 200 g of pitted Kalamata or mixed green/black olives. The olives are added at the beginning into the liquid, before adding to the flour. I’ve found, if I fold them in at the end, as in the recipe, they wind up being distributed unevenly at the ends. This way, they’re more evenly distributed throughout.

    After a half dozen attempts, my routine is:

    Take starter from refrigerator add to CSO
    Proof 85° 8-10 hours. (I realize that this is over proofed and can be reduced, though this makes it possible to work into my daily schedule)

    Make recipe above:
    Proof 85° 6-8 hours.

    Cool in refrigerator 30-60 minutes. (optional)

    Bake on steel in CSO, preheat only until reaches operating temperature.

    30 min 435° Surround 100% steam.

    10-15 min 450-500° in convection oven in range.

    I do the latter in the range, so as to be able to make an additional loaf in the CSO, while the first loaf is finished in the convection oven. I have done a whole loaf in the CSO at various steam %, but haven’t noticed much after 30 minutes.

    This schedule was created, so as to be able to activate the starter in the morning before work, make the dough in the evening after work, then bake early the next morning. I can easily do one loaf on a work day. 2+ if bake day is on a weekend.

    I use the oven to proof the starter as the Winter kitchen temperature varies widely and wanted to create a recipe that was less dependent on the season.

    Here are some photos of the most recent attempts. The crust is crisp and dark, but not burnt.

  • Doug
    8 months ago
    last modified: 8 months ago

    It's great to see everyone making such lovely loaves! I've simplified what I do a bit, and also am getting nice ears these days. I'll summarize everything here, so you don't need to piece it together from my earlier posts.


    My go-to loaf: Forkish's Pain de Campagne (78% hydration), with 1/3 of the whole wheat flour swapped out for dark rye flour (one of his suggestions), and 40% more salt. Raw sesame seeds on the top (don't use toasted seeds -- since you want the oils to run out of the raw seeds during baking, which is very tasty). I shape the bread into a batard, which is better for sandwiches.


    I have a Miele CombiSteam, which is what you'll need to set particular moisture percentages.

    I put my baking steel on the bottom shelf on one of the wire racks.

    Then I preheat:

    (1) Convection Bake 435F, 30m

    (2) Maxi Broil, Level 3, 15m (no steam)

    (my program has it last for 30m, so I have slack when it goes in)


    You could do Maxi Broil the whole time, but that wastes electricity, since the steel can only heat up so fast.


    After 45m of preheating, I interrupt it, put in water, then start the baking program:

    (1) Maxi Broil, Level 3, 100%, 25m (loaf goes in after 5 minutes)

    (2) Surround, 435F, 0%, 10m


    I set a timer for 5 minutes -- my goal is to have the loaf in the oven at the 5 minute mark.

    I put a piece of parchment on a pizza peel, invert my loaf on top, lightly spritz the loaf with water, and sprinkle raw sesame seeds on top. The spritzing is mostly so the seeds stick, but it also may help with the baking - I don't know.


    Then I score the loaf. I was just doing this poorly -- I wasn't holding the lame horizontally enough, and my strokes had hesitation. Just watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ebKpEG0tBM, however I use the straight-blade configuration of the lame when making a single long slice.


    After 5 minutes (20 minutes is left on Maxi Broil), I slide the bread (and the parchment) off the peel onto the baking steel. I do this as fast as possible. If I do it fast, I'd like to think that some of the steam is still in there. Perhaps it all escapes,


    I set my timer to 28m, which is when I'll remove the bread. I'll try to remove the parchment sometime early in stage (2) -- after the steam goes off. The bottom of the bread comes out a bit better, but also, the parchment can be used a few more times.


    Here's today's bread, which has a nice ear, unlike my earlier posts.

    The crust is moderately thick and bit crispy, but still pliable.



  • Doug
    8 months ago

    @dredfunk


    That olive bread sounds nice! The aroma always makes me so hungry when it's baking.


    I do something similar. I use kalamata olives and some thyme. I also add a few oil-cured olives that are very finely ground, on the first mix, and try to get it spread uniformly. It makes the entire loaf much richer. Metropolitan Bakery (in Philly) does something like this, so I tried this out.


    In the end, it's only 10g of ground oil-cured olives added (to a loaf that weighs about 900g before cooking, not counting the whole olives).

  • dredfunk
    8 months ago

    Doug,
    Thanks for your suggestions. I’ll try the oil cured olives next time. I use ~200 gm of kalamata olives on each loaf. I’d tried folding them in at the end of proofing, but found that that crated an uneven distribution. Now I add the olives to the flour at the very beginning and that seems to distribute them more evenly, though an occasional errant olives pops out of the surface. I’ve not much baking experience and recently increased the proofing time from 8 to 12 hours with a much better open crumb.
    I use the CSO proof program at 85°, then 435°surround, 100% steam for 30 min. This produces a crisp, very dark loaf.
    Which oven settings do you use?

  • Doug
    8 months ago

    Yeah, I always add the olives early too -- they go in along with the starter, right after autolyse. I only worry about ones that pop out on the last fold. I just push them in, and pinch off that area. It closes up nicely during the proof. I don't proof in the oven, though - it's retarded in the fridge for this recipe. I think this part is pretty flexible.


    For baking, I use a 2-stage program, starting with maxibroil @ 100% (and a baking steel), then surround @ 0%. Scroll up - it's just one post above my earlier reply.

  • andersons21
    6 months ago

    @Doug, thanks for the update about your bread baking with this oven. The loaf and its ear look beautiful. I am wondering, when you say you "put in water" AFTER the 2-stage preheat, do you mean that you fill the oven's reservoir then? If so, why then and not before all the preheating? Also, if I understand correctly, you are using top heat from MaxiBroil for the early baking stage because it achieves a higher temp than the other bake modes and therefore you get better oven spring in the loaf?


    It is really too bad, IMO, that this fancy, expensive oven tops out at 435 degrees. I have a 30-year-old Whirlpool oven with few redeeming qualities, but if I turn the (mostly unmarked!) dial as high as it will go, it gets to 550, which is great for bread, pizza, broccoli, and who knows what else.

  • Doug
    2 months ago

    @andersons21 - I only saw your reply now - sorry about that.


    Yes - by "put in water" I just fill the reservoir. (I don't have the plumbed in version of the oven.) I don't do it before preheating because somewhere in the Miele manual it mentioned that the oven works best with cold water. So I always add water at the last moment. Maybe they just meant not to use water that was sitting in your hot water heater. I have no idea. The manual is vague in many places.


    And yes on MaxiBroil -- the baking steel does reach a higher temp, and the oven spring is better. I use it for both pre-heating and the first cooking stage. When I've pointed an IR thermometer at the baking steel after preheating, it's something like 480-490F. I forget the exact figure, but it's significantly above 435F. I wish it got hotter too, but the interior of the oven is made very differently than a regular oven, so I suspect that's probably why it's limited.


    The same thing happens in the regular Miele oven (not steam) - the high broil settings let the baking steel reach significantly higher temps (~650F) than the highest setting on the oven (which I think is 575F). I have both ovens btw - and use the steel in the regular oven for pizza.