The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough baguettes using a 10-minute cover -vs- pan/water steam

neoncoyote's picture

Sourdough baguettes using a 10-minute cover -vs- pan/water steam

In my post last week about obtaining a holier crumb, a poster reminded me of using the cover method to produce steam for the loaves instead of my usual pan/water method. Using a large broiler pan, I produced the sourdough loves below. Pros: great flavor, great crumb, uniform loaf shape, no blow-outs. Cons: scores didn't open, crust disappointingly light-colored.


Compare the above to the below, which I produced from the same recipe using the pan/water steaming method: these loaves have open scores, but with blow-outs and a dense crumb (don't have crumb shot):

On the "closed" loaves above I maintained a 450-degree temperature throughout the bake, including the 10 minutes the "cover" was on. On the blown-out loaves, I started the oven at 500 degrees, and turned it down to 450 after 10 minutes.

Any thoughts on achieving the open crumb and loaf uniformity from the loaves above AND the open cuts and browning from the loaves below? On the up side, I feel like I'm getting closer, thanks to everyone's kind advice.

Thank you!

ehanner's picture

Can you tell us what kind of flour you are using, and what recipe and method is please?

My initial thought after looking at your images is that the dough is over proofed and underdeveloped.

Also, are you baking on the lowest shelf in the oven? I see the bottom crust is considerably darker than the top or sides. Just from that indication alone, you could probably stand to move up on level. That's not the answer to your main issue but worth looking at.