The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

mbaldrich's blog

mbaldrich's picture

Greetings to all...

I'm brand new to the website, and love all the helpful hints! I am also brand new to breadmaking, and am FASCINATED by the art of breadmaking. I've been a serious home chef for years, and have mastered (or so I like to think) many different appetizers and entrees, but have never taken the time to bake...until now! I'm using "The Breadmaker's Apprentice" and having great success. I use his hearth baking technique, and preheat a heavy pan to add water to at the beginning. I've tried both top and bottom, and haven't really seen much of a difference in the crust. What I have found to work EXTREMELY well generating steam is to take a regular old plastic 16oz. water bottle from Costco or wherever, and poke 6 or 7 holes in the top. I used the point of a corkscrew to make the holes...but any sharp object will do. For the three or four steam injections I think you'll find that it creates an amazing amount of steam as compared to a squirt bottle. Also, it dramatically cuts down on the amount of time the oven door stays open, thus retaining a higher oven temperature throughout. One quick shot on each side of the oven only takes about 3 or 4 seconds total, and really kicks out a tremendous amount of water and steam!

Anyway, just a minor trick from a novice baker. Thanks for listening!

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