Oh Yeah…Bread

Sometimes I think I’ve figured out a technique for making bread.  This is the right way, I say with confidence.  Then I slap myself upside the head because I’m obviously wrong.  I used to create steam in my oven with a complicated and dangerous process involving spray bottles, lava rocks, and the potential for the oven door glass to explode in a cloud of red hot needles.  No more!  I found out it was better just to cover the bread with a foil roasting pan for the first ten minutes of the bake to hold in the moisture.  No more, take two!  Last night I made some sourdough and because I’m Uncle F%@k-Up, I made a big round boule that didn’t fit under a foil roasting pan.  So I put the pan in the bottom of the oven and threw some water in it.  The oven spring was tremendous  and it formed a huge ear.  The batard baking in the other oven under a foil pan came out with a more bland crust and less spring.  Aha!  So I made a third loaf with a steam pan again and came out with this:

Once again I’m back to steam, but I’m thinking the dramatic hiss of steam when I throw water on hot lava rocks isn’t necessary.  Gentle steam in a thin pan seems to have been plenty to help along this bread to a happier ending.  You’d think that flour, water, and salt baked in a hot place wouldn’t be so complicated.  Maybe that’s why I like the challenge of sourdough—the simple things are the most complex.  Head over to the bread page and try it out for yourself.

Writer, architect, father, husband.

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One comment on “Oh Yeah…Bread
  1. akamonsoon says:

    I love all these break making tips you post! I’m going to have to put the bread machine away and start doing some of these by hand. That looks delicious!

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