So as most of you know, I’m an amateur baker. I’ve been baking for a few years and I just love it. Most of my loaves in the past have been pretty OK but not great, so I’m trying to step up my game this year. I’ve made some progress and have a clear sense of where I’d like to be in the near future, so I’m going to buy a new book and learn as much as I can from it, as it seems to be “THE BOOK” to get. I’m talking about The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread.
In addition to the book which will help me learn proper bread baking methodology, I’ve been thinking about different ways to get a nice crust on my home baked breads. Commercial bread ovens use fancy built-in steamers to achieve that sought-after crust and until now, all I’ve done was put a cookie sheet in the bottom of the oven during pre-heat, and then pour iced water on to the sheet when I put the loaves in. This helps a little, but not too much.
Steve from Breadcetera introduced a novel technique where he uses a hand held steamer to inject moisture in to an inverted chafing dish. See his post to learn more. This is a very creative solution and I think it’s brilliant, but being the cheapskate schemer that I am, I’ve been thinking about how to achieve the same effect but without having to spend $40+ on a steamer that I’d most likely only use for this purpose (and as Alton Brown says, the only uni-tasker in your kitchen should be the fire extinguisher!).
I’ve come up with a concept for using my tea kettle to achieve this same effect. I don’t know if it’ll work yet, but I have a plan and will head to the hardware store sometime in the next week to get the supplies.
See the picture below. I’d love to hear your comments if you think this is a good idea or bad one! I apologize in advance for the bad illustration…I’m no artist. The principle is this: Boil water in the kettle then use a connected hose from the nozzle down to the covered roasting tray (a cheapie from your local super market) in order to inject steam in the oven.