There are a lot of baking myths out there. One of them is that you need a dutch oven to make perfect sourdough crusty bread. This simply isn't true!
- Ally @ cravethegood.com
Steam (moist air) carries heat better than dry air, and although it seems counter-intuitive, steam actually slows down the cooking process improving oven spring and crust formation.
A consistent high temperature forces the bread to increase rapidly in volume, ensuring a good oven spring!
A heavy cast iron dutch oven provides the perfect high temperature and steamy environment. Its weight acts as a heat sink, negating temperature swings and radiating consistent heat, while the heavy lid clamps the pot closed and retains steam.
There are workarounds that will help create the steamy, high-heat environment your sourdough deserves! We just need to control the baking environment on a larger scale.
Use baking stones or baking steels strategically placed to ensure steady consistent heat in the oven.
Next is the harder part. Have you ever opened an oven while roasting a high moisture vegetable and felt the blast of hot, moist air rushing out at you?