October 8, 2007 - 10:40am
Avoiding perilous steam
I hope no one's posted about this before, but...
Tired of risking burns to my hands and face using a cast iron skilled and a measuring cup to make steam, I finally struck upon a better method for those of us without recourse to a professional oven: a turkey baster.
I heat up the skillet with the baking stones, pop the bread into the oven, the squirt the water from the baster into the skillet. This keeps hands and face away from steam and lets me get the oven door closed quicker to avoid steam and heat loss.
I've tried heating the pan with the water on the stovetop, then placing the whole thing on the oven bottom when the bread goes in. The pan doesn't get as hot on top of the stove, but it seems to provide enough steam and doesn't throw a hissy fit!
A gentleman on a sourdough group I belong to suggested using a transmission funnel to get the water into the pan without being burned. Makes sense to me.