How to Make Crusty Bread
To make your bread crusty, the temperature of your oven should be in the highest temperature possible because if not, you will bake soft bread instead. If you think that the heat of your oven is not enough, you can use a baking stone.
Place the baking stone in the oven while you preheat for 20 minutes. When you put the dough over it, the heat is quickly transferred which helps in producing crusty bread. That is if you don’t have a hearth. Some expert bakers custom-make their own hearths, but if you are just starting, it is advisable to start with a baking stone.
Using a steam oven to bake bread
Another important and easy thing you can do is to have steam in the oven. Steam does two things: It prevents the surface of the dough from drying until it has reached full rise and it improves the color and texture of the crust.
Like those professional bakers that have their own hearth, they also have ovens that inject steam during the baking process. But there are actually a lot of other alternatives to infuse steam inside your oven.
You can use a baking pan to put at the bottom of the oven while you are preheating along with the baking stone which is a level above the pan. Right after you put in your dough over the baking stone, pour in some hot water on the pan and quickly close the oven to trap in the steam. As soon as you pour in the hot water, it immediately boils that sends steam over your dough.
There are also other ways of having steam in the oven. You can spray the walls of the oven or simply rubbing the surface of the loaf with water. But bakers agree that the best method used is the hot water in a pan.
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