I’ve been advised by many bread books that attempting good baguettes at home is nigh on impossible. However I wasn’t going to let that stop me, despite not having a steam oven or just a decent home oven, our crappy gas oven never seems to get that hot. So along with a baking stone, a water spray bottle, a bakers lame and a cloche (in this case an upturned deep baking tin), I set about creating my best baguettes to date.
Having shaped and proven the loafs, I put two of them on a baking try while heating the tin on the hob. I slashed the bread at the correct angle for achieving a good ear, then sprayed liberally with water, I also spray the cloche and quickly placed over the loaves. The idea of this is to produce steam and trap it around the loaves while the crust forms. I baked for 12 mins then removed the tin and baked for another 5-8 mins until it was done. Other methods of this like putting a tin of water in the oven below the bread don’t really work, as home ovens quickly vent the the steam. This method, due to the baking tin fitting the tray nicely, works quite well.
These loaves weren’t as good as a proper baker but they are ok, and look quite good. Unfortunately the crust softened quite a bit after baking, thus didn’t quite have the correct crispy/crunchiness. Next up I’m gong to try a long autolyes, and maybe this method for generating steam, I’ll post any successful results.