The Spring Oven is a product that started as a university project and became something much more.
I love homemade bread, and as I began to learn about the science of bread baking, I found that steam-baking bread is a trick bakeries use to increase the rise and perfect the crust of their bread. In my final year at university, I set out to design a product that would allow me to produce steam-baked bread at home.
The Spring Oven is the simple answer to the steaming challenges that face any home bread baker.
The advantage of steam baking bread is clear. Hot steam allows the dough surface to stay supple longer, so the dough can fully rise before the surface starts to harden into a crust. Bakery ovens have injectors that pump in steam at high temperatures, which supercharges the rise of the dough.
A continual challenge for home bakers is trying to get enough steam in the oven while keeping the oven temperature as high as possible. A home oven is big space to fill with steam, and any pots of water added to an oven require a lot of heat to keep producing steam. The heat consumption to create steam lowers the working temperature of the home oven and has an adverse effect on the baking of the bread.
It's a catch 22 for home bread bakers—you need heat and you need steam. The Spring Oven is a new innovation designed to solve this problem. Within the terracotta design is a channel to be filled with water. When the lid is on The Spring Oven, only 150ml of water can fill the inside of the vessel with steam. Also with all of the steam contained inside the ovenware pot, your home oven can continue to work at full temperature without the usual cooling effect of a large pot of water.
The beautiful conical lid shape, reminiscent of a moroccan tagine, is designed to condense steam inside the pot and recycle it back down to the channel without dripping water onto the surface of the dough.
Each Spring Oven is produced from terracotta through the traditional method of slip-casting. The process to cast and hand finish each Spring Oven requires patience and skill before it is kiln dried at 1100 degrees centigrade for a hard and durable finish.
The Spring Oven was launched through a successful Kickstarter campaign in August 2016, reaching 140% of its funding target, since then hundreds of Kickstarter users have been enjoying the superior baking results of baking in The Spring Oven.
Currently available to pre-order from the website. A 50-page beginners sourdough baking book is also available for those who want to learn bread baking the traditional way.
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