If you ever wondered how professional bakers get their loaves perfectly domed with their shiny glossy crusts,the secret is steam.
It might seem insignificant but trust me,it makes a whole Lotta difference to your bakes.
In the first minutes of baking,the loaves usually expand rapidly as the gases trapped onside from the yeast expand due to the introduction of heat.
It all boils down to science.
As the loaf expands steaming will help keep the crusts soft thus allowing for more stretching on the crust without the crust giving way to cracks.
The steam that settles on the crust also dissolves the sugars in the dough.As this steam evaporates and leaves the sugars behind,this sugar caramelize on the crust of the bread giving it that shiny glossy look.
So,how exactly to we safely introduce steam into the oven without disrupting the baking process?
It’s much simpler as I came to find out actually.I tried my hand on this technique first on my baguettes.
This baguettes came out much better looking and tasting than my previous bake on the link below.
Rustic French Baguette
Introducing steam into your even is simpler than you thought.
How I do it is by setting a metal pan on the floor of the oven during preheating.
When the time comes,slide in your loaves and quickly pour a cup of hot water in the pan.
Steaming is really only useful during the first 5-10 minutes of baking while the yeast is still active and the internal structure hasn’t set. After this time, the crust needs its own time to set and dry out.