In an earlier tip, I wrote about the heat factor of getting consistency in the baking result. This one is in the same topic area, only more focused towards the importance of steam during the bake.
Perhaps a lot of you already bake, or have baked, inside a clay pot or cast iron/enameled casserole (or the genius combo cooker). If you’re struggling in getting wanted results, and have deviated from this way of baking bread, you should return to it. Basically you’re eliminating the important steam factor as a source to the irregularities, should your vessel hold it well. The water being released from the dough gets trapped inside, creating a great environment for the dough to rise and the crust to develop. After about 20-25 minutes the lid is removed, steam vented and you put I back in for another 10-20 minutes, or until you’re happy with the crust.
And also, try different styles of these so called “Dutch Ovens” to find the one that gives you the result you’re looking for – and the stick to it, cause it’s likely to keep delivering.
It’s hard to add just the right amount of steam whilst baking on a stone or steel, and that’s why using this method fits the top 10.
Oh, and another tip while at it – if you’re experiencing the bottom getting too thick or burnt (or both), you can safely remove the half baked loaf from the DO using a peel at the lid removal part. And then just place it on the oven rack, removing the DO from the oven.
The videos in this post shows a 50% whole wheat loaf (rather over proofed) being scored inside a combo cooker and then the release of the steam at around 25 minutes.