Using Combi oven for sourdough

Joined Feb 23, 2019
Hi Chefs,

I have been struggling to get good oven spring with my sourdough batch at work.

The current process is we bake it at 220 with 50 percent steam for 17 minutes and 170 dry heat for another 17 minutes.

The issues I'm currently seeing is the first half of the bake with steam seems to build up crust way to quickly thus preventing a formation of an ear. If I increase the steam the loaf will even get darker even quicker.

I'm trying to replicate the environment where my load would be baked in a cast iron pot. With the first half purely on building size and ear without forming crust and second half with crust.

If someone is familiar with using Combi oven for this purpose thanks in advance.


Kitchen Dork
Joined Jun 15, 2006
My first reaction to your post was that 17 minutes of steam (even at 50%) is way too long. You end up with a tough rubbery crust that way. Steam is only effective in the first 5-10 minutes before the crust has set and the yeast has died off. So that is problem number one.

Number two is the fact that a combi oven is probably the least ideal oven for bread baking even though it has a steam feature. It's the combination with forced air convection that makes it a problem. All the advantage you get with steam is offset by the convection. Is it possible to bake your bread in another oven? Because that's the first thing I'd do.

If not, then I found this thread on using combi ovens with sourdough. I didn't read the whole thing, but it may help you to know your problems are experienced by many and they may have come up with some workarounds.
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