Baking Bread


Sure, too much carbs is bad for you, but I love bread.

It is getting harder and harder to find a decent loaf, let alone baguette (ok there is a good French baker at the local Farmer's market - but that only covers the weekend).

So I finally had a go at baking my own, and was pretty pleased with the result.

I used Richard Bertinet's basic recipe and method (easily found on YouTube) with some ideas from others to help get steam to hang around for a few minutes.

Richard Bertinet's method for handling wet dough is great, very helpful.

The actual baking is where I diverged - every oven is different. But spritzing with a water mist and covering with an aluminium pan for about 8 minutes followed by about 15 minutes on fan, resulted in a nicely baked result.


The crust was a bit thin though.

More research suggested that ice cubes in a pan pre-heated with the oven would do a good job. I tried that and the suggested baking regime which worked very well:

Pre-heat        240C 464F
15 minutes      220C 428F
30 minutes      190C 374F

actually for the last bit I did fan 400 which gives 375F

I still spritzed the bread before putting in the oven as a safety net, and threw in a dozen ice cubes.

The crust was thick, crisp and the overall result was excellent. If anything the crust was now a little too thick and crunchy ;-)


After much experimentation, my current bake is:

Pre-heat        240C 464F       with a pan of water
12 minutes      220C 428F
remove steam
22 minutes      190C 374F (400 Fan - 375F)
10 minutes      off

the crust is nice and crisp, crunchy even, but not too hard.

After a few weeks of excellent results I've simplified things. I now just put a roasting pan with about 1cm of water in while pre-heating the oven. This makes pre-heat take a little longer, but produces lots of steam.

After the first 12 minutes I take that pan out to stop the steam.

Very happy with the results. /* imagine something very witty here */