Originally Posted by Luc_H
Steam cooking accomplishes 2 things at once:
for the same temperature, heat is transferred more efficiently (maybe more evenly) to the food for a faster baking (i.e. moist heat feels hotter than than dry)
It also impedes (somewhat) the surface evaporation of the foods humidity during baking possibly making a moister final product with less browning (maybe more even) for the same temperature and time as dry cooking.
have you observed any of these predicted outcomes?
As to what it does to scone baking or the difference between American and Brit scones, I have few additional info.
I think this is a great explanation of steaming things like Vegies, starches, fish, meats, puddings, fowl, etc. I'm not quite sure this translates to the process for baking goodies. Most formulas use different ratios of fats, leveners, liquid, etc. The formula is tried and tested and usually requires the full amount of bake time to deliver a quality product. Speeding up the cooking process by increasing heat usually doesn't work. The fats and the CO2 will react differently for each temperature. I know the science look like it would and sometimes does like bread. Introducing steam in the beginning will give the crust elasticity so that the bread can expand. (spring). The heat increase gets things going quicker in the center of the bread. The steam does impede the surface evaporation a bit by drawing out the sugars in the crust, starting the browning.
I would like to know more about the science of steam. I can recall in Culinary school many yrs. ago we discussed heat transfer. The Journal of Heat Transfer?? I can remember doing equations to see how much hotter was compared to dry latent. I remember something like 3X's hotter at certain temps.?
@Luc_H if you have the time?