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Old 01-29-2014, 02:31 PM   #1
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Another bread making question

i watched one youtube video, putting egg white on the bread before baking to get a nice brown crust, then another video, placing a pan of water under the load allowing steam to rise...I am so confused...

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Old 01-29-2014, 05:00 PM   #2
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Brushing egg white or olive oil on the top of the dough will give the top crust a softer finish. The steam will keep the bread from being too dry. When I bake bread I keep a small cast iron pan under the bread, that is on a lower rack in the oven. I then throw ice cubes in the pan to produce steam.
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:27 PM   #3
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An egg wash is used to make the crust shiney, which is good for some types of bread but not others.

Steam from a pan of water or a spritzer will help make your bread light and airy and will crisp up the crust.
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:35 PM   #4
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here is how creating steam in your oven makes a crisp crust, even though it seems strange. When you release steam in the oven or spray the bread with water before baking, this creates a gummy layer on the outside of the bread. As the bread bakes, that gummy layer becomes a crust.

Placing a bowl hot water in an enclosed space while rising is done to increase the temperature and keep the outside of the dough from drying out.

Egg wash is great for a shiny crust like on a challah bread or brioche but not good on a loaf where you want a nice, thick crunchy crust.
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callmaker60 View Post
i watched one youtube video, putting egg white on the bread before baking to get a nice brown crust, then another video, placing a pan of water under the load allowing steam to rise...I am so confused...
The water isn't essential if you have a (natural) gas oven as the burning gas creates quite a lot of water vapour but my friends recommend it for electric ovens which have a drier heat. I couldn't speak for bottled gas, solid fuel or oil fired ovens as I haven't cooked with them.

I don't usually bother with painting anything on when I just want an ordinary type tin loaf or a cob-type tinless loaf
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:39 PM   #6
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Here's my tip for adding steam to an electric oven during bread baking - weird but effective: Place a small metal pan (I use a flat bottomed 6 inch stainless pan with low sides sort of like a cake pan) directly on the floor of you oven being sure to avoid touching any elements.

Preheat oven to bake bread and place loaves in oven to bake. Quickly add several ice cubes to the small pan and close the door. The melt fast and create steam. The ice is easier than liquid water and if you accidentally drop on in the bottom of the oven no real harm is done. You can add more ice if needed during the baking process, but really only the first few minutes seems to be needed.

Weird but it works and is easy...
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