Baking your sourdough

Baking is the last and one of the most important steps in the bread baking process. It’s often undervalued. It’s why I invented the Challenger Bread Pan. It’s a unique pan that’s designed to take the guesswork out of baking.

Breads (well non enriched breads) need steam. Steam is an important factor in giving you a beautiful loaf with a thin and crispy crust. You need the right amount of steam--not too much and not too little, and you have to get rid of any steam partway through the baking cycle. One of the reasons that professionals consistently turn out great bread is that they bake in a deck oven that gives them precise control of how much steam they use and the ability to vent the steam out of the oven and away from their loaves of bread when needed.

Consistently generating and controlling steam in a home oven is difficult and sets the home baker up for injuries like burns and scalds. You need to generate enough steam for a good crusty loaf, and you need to be able to keep it inside the oven for the right amount of time. The door of a home oven is so big that even when you create enough steam, so much of it escapes from the oven before you can even get the door closed. If you want to create consistent loaves of bread, you need to give your dough consistent amounts of steam.

This is where the Challenger Bread Pan excels. You don’t have add steam at the start of baking because the dough itself produces its own steam as it bakes. We created the perfect seal between the deep cover and the shallow base, so that steam can’t escape during the important first half of your bread baking cycle.

One of the reasons that many bakers were determined to find ways of generating and controlling steam in a home oven is that the old school covered cookers could not fit all shapes and sizes of bread that home bakers wanted to bake. We’ve solved that problem too with the Challenger Bread Pan. It’s size and shape was designed by bread bakers so that you can bake all shapes and sizes of bread that you want. Depending on the size of your oven, you can fit one, two, and often four Challenger Bread Pans in a single oven.