If you already own a Baking Steel product, we are going to help take your baking bread technique to the next level. You may be familiar with dutch oven bread baking. Dutch oven basically is a lidded pot which is an amazing vessel for making artisan breads at home. Steam or condensation is created or trapped inside the dutch oven while the bread bakes creating a chewier, firmer crust...It's quite remarkable.
We have "hacked our oven" with a Baking Steel inside to create a steam effect with this artisan bread recipe. It works beautifully, but not so simple to create. To make this happen we recommend lava rocks and steam towels. Not exactly tools weekend bread warriors have at their disposal.
But then we read an article from the New York Times, Kenji Lopez Alt. In this beautiful article, Kenji recommends using an inverted aluminum mixing bowl. Brilliant...and we had to try. We used this bowl.
We took this a step further and baked on our our Baking Steel Plus. This way we are getting the thermal mass of the Baking Steel coupled with a vessel to trap in the moisture. The result, blistering bread bliss.
We used our Baking Steel Bracelets to elevate the bread to prevent the bottom from getting to dark. No bands, grab some metal tongs or grab something metal from your kitchen to elevate the bread for the last half of the bake. Trust us, once you bake bread with this dutch oven hack your breads will reach new levels at home...
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Baking Steel Dutch Oven Hack Technique:
- Preheat the Oven & Baking Steel to 500F, use convection if available.
- Launch the unbaked loaf (on parchment paper) onto the Steel, place 2 ice cubes on the steel next to the bread, and quickly cover the bread with the bowl.
- Reduce oven temperature to 475F and bake, covered, for 25 minutes.
- After 25 min, uncover the bread, remove the parchment paper and elevate the bread on 2 or 3 Baking Steel Bracelets.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 450F and bake for 15 more minutes.
- Remove your finished loaf from the oven and let it cool completely on a drying rack before cutting into it. (if you can wait that long 😉)