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My knowledge of how to make bread is almost entirely from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, which cannot be praised too highly.

To make a crackling crisp bread crust, preheat your oven to as high as it will go with a pizza stone inside and a heat resistant pan capable of holding 8 fl. oz. of water elsewhere on the rack or on another rack (I do mine on the rack below). Shape your baguette on a pizza peel or cookie sheet (not a jelly roll pan with sides) on top of lots of cornmeal. As your oven is close to being done preheating, boil 8 fl. oz. of water (doing this in a tea kettle works well.)

When the oven has preheated slide the baguette or baguettes off of your pizza peel/cookie sheet directly onto your pizza stone. Pour the 8 fl. oz. of boiling water into the pan. Using a spray bottle, mist the sides of your oven with steam. Do all this as quickly as possible to avoid loosing heat.

After 30 seconds, mist the sides again. Repeat once more. Then turn the temperature down to whatever is appropriate.

Not only will this technique promote a great crust, it will also promote oven spring which improves both taste and texture in your bread.

Cool your bread completely (recipes usually call for 30 minutes but up to 2 hours) on a wire rack. This will remove any sensation of doughiness as the cooking process completes. It also keeps the bread from sweating, which is what it was doing in plastic bags. Store in a cool dry place, preferably a brown paper bag.

My knowledge of how to make bread is almost entirely from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, which cannot be praised too highly.

To make a crackling crisp bread crust, preheat your oven to as high as it will go with a pizza stone inside and a heat resistant pan capable of holding 8 fl. oz. of water elsewhere on the rack or on another rack (I do mine on the rack below). Shape your baguette on a pizza peel or cookie sheet (not a jelly roll pan with sides) on top of lots of cornmeal. As your oven is close to being done preheating, boil 8 fl. oz. of water (doing this in a tea kettle works well.

When the oven has preheated slide the baguette or baguettes off of your pizza peel/cookie sheet directly onto your pizza stone. Pour the 8 fl. oz. of boiling water into the pan. Using a spray bottle, mist the sides of your oven with steam. Do all this as quickly as possible to avoid loosing heat.

After 30 seconds, mist the sides again. Repeat once more. Then turn the temperature down to whatever is appropriate.

Not only will this technique promote a great crust, it will also promote oven spring which improves both taste and texture in your bread.

Cool your bread completely (recipes usually call for 30 minutes but up to 2 hours) on a wire rack. This will remove any sensation of doughiness as the cooking process completes. It also keeps the bread from sweating, which is what it was doing in plastic bags. Store in a cool dry place, preferably a brown paper bag.

My knowledge of how to make bread is almost entirely from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, which cannot be praised too highly.

To make a crackling crisp bread crust, preheat your oven to as high as it will go with a pizza stone inside and a heat resistant pan capable of holding 8 fl. oz. of water elsewhere on the rack or on another rack (I do mine on the rack below). Shape your baguette on a pizza peel or cookie sheet (not a jelly roll pan with sides) on top of lots of cornmeal. As your oven is close to being done preheating, boil 8 fl. oz. of water (doing this in a tea kettle works well.)

When the oven has preheated slide the baguette or baguettes off of your pizza peel/cookie sheet directly onto your pizza stone. Pour the 8 fl. oz. of boiling water into the pan. Using a spray bottle, mist the sides of your oven with steam. Do all this as quickly as possible to avoid loosing heat.

After 30 seconds, mist the sides again. Repeat once more. Then turn the temperature down to whatever is appropriate.

Not only will this technique promote a great crust, it will also promote oven spring which improves both taste and texture in your bread.

Cool your bread completely (recipes usually call for 30 minutes but up to 2 hours) on a wire rack. This will remove any sensation of doughiness as the cooking process completes. It also keeps the bread from sweating, which is what it was doing in plastic bags. Store in a cool dry place, preferably a brown paper bag.

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My knowledge of how to make bread is almost entirely from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, which cannot be praised too highly.

To make a crackling crisp bread crust, preheat your oven to as high as it will go with a pizza stone inside and a heat resistant pan capable of holding 8 fl. oz. of water elsewhere on the rack or on another rack (I do mine on the rack below). Shape your baguette on a pizza peel or cookie sheet (not a jelly roll pan with sides) on top of lots of cornmeal. As your oven is close to being done preheating, boil 8 fl. oz. of water (doing this in a tea kettle works well.

When the oven has preheated slide the baguette or baguettes off of your pizza peel/cookie sheet directly onto your pizza stone. Pour the 8 fl. oz. of boiling water into the pan. Using a spray bottle, mist the sides of your oven with steam. Do all this as quickly as possible to avoid loosing heat.

After 30 seconds, mist the sides again. Repeat once more. Then turn the temperature down to whatever is appropriate.

Not only will this technique promote a great crust, it will also promote oven spring which improves both taste and texture in your bread.

Cool your bread completely (recipes usually call for 30 minutes but up to 2 hours) on a wire rack. This will remove any sensation of doughiness as the cooking process completes. It also keeps the bread from sweating, which is what it was doing in plastic bags. Store in a cool dry place, preferably a brown paper bag.