The Baparoma Steam Pan and my first baguette with it

I recently learned of a pan called a Baparoma steam pan. The company is out of business and the pans can only be found for sale used. I scored one recently on Ebay, pricey. It was $80, but I've been pursuing crusty baguettes for too long not to get it. It's a historical artifact to me.

It's a simple idea.  Two tablespoons of water in the bottom (far left pan, 15 ml center, 7 mL on either side), the middle pan goes on top of that, the baguette sits in the middle of the second pan and the lid goes on while the loaf proofs.  Uncover, dock the loaf, cover and place the assembly into a 425F oven for 20 minutes, then take off the cap and let it cook another 10-12 minutes, remove and crackly, shiny goodness.  A near flawless baguette.  Superior volume, crackly razor-sharp crust, lovely taste.

Nice ears from the oven spring

Frickin' perfect
So, why am I pissed?  It's a crutch.  A (low output) link from a pro steam deck oven to a home oven that I haven't been able to duplicate in any of my attempts.  I'm frustrated.  Look at the damn perfect loaf.  Just frigging awesome.  So. Angry.

PS I learned of this at The Fresh Loaf, one of the best bread baking forums I've ever read. I think mostly home bakers, but pretty darn skilled bakers and nice people.

Was it worth the $80? To me? Knowing the result, I'd have paid 10X that. Now I need to crack it and figure out a home oven workaround.


TheKate said...

After hearing of just a few of your experiments, I understand how frustrating this must be. I hope that you can drown your pain (the disappointment) in incredible pain (the bread kind) that you created with your own hands and a pan.

Dave said...

Thanks Kate. I feel whipped.
There is one difference I adopted over the years, which is the addition of 1-3% shortening (baker's perdentage) to get a bigger volume. After a lot of testing and playing around, this became dogma but sometimes these rules (like the ratio) need to be revisited as I move around and adopt new a home oven every once in a while.

This loaf used the basic yeast, flour, salt, water (still 1.67 flour to water). So, my next attempt without the crutch will be this lean formula.

To bed with me. Argh.

Diana said...

Your home must smell amazing with all of that bread baking going on. I'll take the crutch.

Dave said...

Hi Diana, Oh, I'm not angry about this, I'm just angry in general. It's the drama that keeps my readership so darn high.

I am enjoying the bread though.

Yager19 said...

I was ultra lucky.  I found a Baparoma pan with all the shelves for just $5 dollars at a garage sale.

Mudsharkbytes said...

I must be extra lucky, just came home from the thrift store with a new one still shrink wrapped in the box. They wanted $4.99 for it but it was a 25% off day so I got it for $3.75!

It's so nice like this I'm reluctant to unwrap it. Can you imagine somebody sat on this for 14 years never using it then donated it?

I'm a little confused though 'cause the instructions have you going straight from proofing to baking, covered the whole time.

Dave said...

Do what the instructions say. It's a well designed product, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Sherry Davidson said...

Wow so glad to see this information. I have that pan and I'm a bread Baker. I didn't know how or what to use it for. It's been in my cupboard for over 10 years. I probably got it at a thrift store or yard sale. I'm gonna be experimenting. Thanks for the post!!!!

Unknown said...

I just found one also. Does any one have some recipes that they have baked in the Bap that they can share. Mine came w/o instructions but I've seen the 16 page on Google. Cindy

Anonymous said...

I found a basic recipe when I downloaded the online manual.