The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

super steam technique

mbaldrich's picture

super steam technique

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!