Archive for August, 2012


Low Temperature Baking – A Journey Of Three Paths: Updated

Every year I update this article. See the new pictures, a new History Of LTB and more about convection ovens and medicinal foods. The section on slow-cooker ovens has been revised.

Low Temperature Baking: A Journey Of Three Paths


Maple-Sugar Yam and Chicken Pizza (Steam Baked)

The difficulty with pizza is that the cheese topping dries out if dry baked at low temperature for long periods. That’s why I was so excited about steam baking a pizza, because the superheated moisture would keep the cheese moist long enough to melt, while the crust browned. As the above picture shows, the recipe was a success. The cheese had a lovely drippy quality, fresh from the oven.

This recipe was also a test of a new yeast: Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast, a rapid-rise yeast with dough-relaxing enzymes, for a lower-rise, dense but chewy, crust. I liked it very much, for very easy to make dough with just 4 minutes of hand-kneading. Fleischmann warned against using Pizza Crust Yeast in other bread recipes. but I’ve seen excellent results in other kinds of breads. This product should be great with soft pretzels too. Substitute regular rapid-rise yeast, if not available locally.

The maple sugar yams were yam slices, steamed and then marinated in a bit of maple syrup. Likewise, the chicken was steam cooked, shredded and marinated in soy sauce. For both, I would marinate for at least an hour. For tomato sauce, I had a jar of Prego mushroom pasta sauce in the fridge.

Makes 6 servings
– 125 calories per serving
– Oven Temperature: effective 250°F/121°C (steam baking)

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3+ cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon pizza yeast or rapid rise yeast (see text)
  • 1/4 cup sliced cooked broccoli
  • 1/4 cup sliced maple sugar yams (see text)
  • 1/4 cup soy-marinated, cooked chicken pieces (see text)
  • 3/8 cup tomato sauce (see text)
  • 3/8 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon Menudo spices

Dough Method:

1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, sugar, yeast until evenly distributed.

2. Mix in 1/3 cup warm water and 1-1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil to form a moist pebbly dough (add more water, by the teaspoon, if necessary).

3. Knead dough for 4 minutes until smooth.

4. If using fast rise yeast, cover and allow to rise until double in volume, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Pizza Method:

1. Flatten dough into an 8-inch disk and set inside a greased 8-inch cake pan.

2. Spread the tomato sauce over the top of the dough.

3. Arrange yams, broccoli and chicken on the pizza.

4. Top with the mozzarella cheese. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil over the cheese and toppings.

5. Prepare oven for steam baking. Fill the water tray with boiling water, enough for at least 40 minutes of baking (about 1/4″ deep in my tray). Do not cover the tray. Heat oven to 300°F/149°C (effective temperature of 250°F/121°C with the water tray uncovered, checked with a thermometer). Put the pan on a trivet, so that it doesn’t touch water.

6. Bake for 40 minutes, until the crust is golden and sounds hollow when tapped, and the cheese has melted.