Monday, April 7, 2008
Don't do this at home
I bake a lot of bread. Loaves and loaves of beautiful bread, generally by hand. If my kitchen is clean and I have a day to myself, I bake bread. If I'm at loose ends, I bake bread. If I'm showing a munchkin how to multiply fractions, we bake bread. If I can't sleep, I bake bread (the case last night).
Ah, so here begins the recipe for disaster: I was up at 3am today baking whole wheat sourdough bread. I am sleep deprived. Yeah, that's it. That explains everything.
Anyway, here is my latest recipe for disaster:
Bake an artisan loaf that calls for making fast steam in the oven directly after "sliding loaves onto bread stone with gentle snapping motion" (which has never worked for me so far). Use tried and true "put pan in bottom of oven and pour water into it", a method I've even witnessed Peter Beckmann use when helping me with a wet Italian loaf one day.
But instead of using the heavy metal pans I generally use, start thinking about how much fun it would be to watch the water bubble in a glass baking dish. I have SEVERAL bread pans - use one of them. Wonder for a second or two if possibly this could end in disaster (this is called foreshadowing - it lures you into the next paragraph). Think aw, hell, I have lots of bread pans.
1. put glass bread pan in the bottom of the oven. Set the oven to 450 degrees.
2. put the loaves onto the baking stone (with great difficulty, since the stone isn't big enough for 3 loaves) when the oven is heated.
3. pour approx. 2 cups of tap water into the baking dish.
The breakage is immediate and spectacular.
To Pyrex's credit, there were no spiky shards or anything that could hurt me laying at the bottom of my oven.
These were probably be my best loaves ever. :-)