The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread Topping Video

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jcking's picture
jcking

Bread Topping Video

joyfulbaker's picture
joyfulbaker

So, for steam in the home oven, the method is to "go to Home Depot, buy a brick, soak it in water overnight, and put it in the oven before setting it to 500."  Sounds like a plan!

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Hmmm, I don't think I have the guts to do this. (Note the guy that talked about it didn't actually do it; he seems to do everything in his commercial oven rather than in any home oven.) Any time you soak water into a sort-of porous substance and heat it (especially unevenly, as being close to the heating element in a home oven is likely to do), it's a little bit risky. Will there be time for all that steam to come back out of the brick gently, or will a pocket steam swell up somewhere inside the brick so fast the brick cracks (or even explodes)?

You can use the search box to find lots and lots of discussions here on TFL about the "best" way to kludge steam in a home oven. Many center on some kind of use of lava rocks; some center on use of rolled up towels; some involve some kind of cast iron vessel such as a frying pan; etc.

Interestingly, many reports are that some kind of closed vessel (a dutch oven, a Le Creuset, part of an old roasting pan, a cheap foil roasting pan from the market, Baparoma pans, search "magic bowl" here on TFL, etc.) works just as well. The general philosophy behind all of them is steam "just the bread" rather than "the whole oven". Besides working just as well and arguably being simpler, using some kind of closed vessel eliminates any small risk to electronic oven controls.

jcking's picture
jcking

Especially with a vented gas oven it's difficult to keep the steam in. So covering the loaf is the way to go.

Jim

linder's picture
linder

Chuck, I don't think the soaked brick in the oven is a good idea either.  I'd be concerned about the brick exploding as well, even if it's fire brick, I just don't want to risk it. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Oh well, it was fun thinking about my moss covered bricks in the wet cold garden stinking up the kitchen with earthy smells.  I think I'll stick to my covered pots, better for the longevity of the oven.  Ignore my enthusiastic brick post.  

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Neat brick idea.

I bet that is an extruded brick with holes inside for more surface area.  I got bricks!  ...and rye   gotta get me some beer!   :)   thanks Jim!

jcking's picture
jcking

I'm always on the lookout for bread related info. With all the Micro breweries, and varieties of beer, ale, porter and stout (to name a few) it could take a while to try them all; but I'd like to try! :-)))

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and the little diagram that popped up during the video.  I suppose it was something about the flavour of the rye & beer going into the crumb while the loaf is cooling.  I have noticed that but with burnt bread.  I'm always quick to grate off any burnt coaled crust while hot because I've noticed the bitterness going into the crumb while the bread (or whatever) cools.  (knock on wood)-(don't want to burn anything)  Same with cookies.  

What's the difference between a port and a dark beer?  Or are they the same?  

jcking's picture
jcking

Dark beer would be about the same as saying Rye flour. They both come in different styles/colors, light to dark. With the darker ones having a fuller, richer, heavier taste. An Ale could be light or dark, yet a porter is almost black (dark chocolate) as is a stout. Yet a stout tastes a little thicker and more bitter. So with the many varieties of dark beer (worldwide) one could spent a long time trying them all. Or having them in, on or with bread. I think a darker beer would go well with a darker bread.

century's picture
century

The glaze itself would give a great look to any rustic bread.

Thanks for the vid.