Have you ever ever loaded your completely risen artisan bread into the oven, solely to find a boring, constricted loaf on the finish of the bake? How do artisan bakeries obtain that pretty golden, crisp, shiny crust? Steam in bread baking is the important thing!
Including steam throughout baking doesn’t simply allow an ideal rise within the oven, and assist develop a stupendous, crackly crust.
However how can we get outcomes like this at house?
Right now we’re going to check totally different house strategies of including steam in bread baking. Our take a look at bread is the Ache Au Levain recipe utilized in our Baking College. This pretty sourdough bread has a gentle taste and a splendidly open crumb.
Ache Au Levain is the proper guinea pig for our steam assessments. We will first admire the loaves baked at school, using an expert steam injection oven. Subsequent, we’ll use the identical recipe at house to check numerous baking and steaming strategies. Which house steaming technique will convey us closest to skilled oven outcomes?
That’s the Baking College’s steam injection oven on the left, and closeups of the Ache Au Levain loaves baking on the suitable. And right here’s a stupendous loaf straight from the oven. See what we’re aiming for right here?
If you wish to comply with together with our assessments and bake the Ache Au Levain bread, you’ll find the recipe and instructions right here. If not, these steaming strategies will work with any artisan bread recipe.
Time to bake
We’ll bake this bread at 450°F for 35 to 40 minutes. In case you plan to make use of a stone and a forged iron frying pan (for steam), preheat each of those for 60 minutes earlier than baking.
A quick word about scoring (a.okay.a. “slashing”)
Earlier than we get too steamy, let’s…