Love and Olive Oil

The Baguette Incident.

Story time!

So we’ve got the No-Knead Bread down to an art. And we were feeling pretty good about our bread-baking abilities (mistake #1). Hey, Taylor, why not try to make baguettes? (mistake #2).

The dough was way too wet (mistake #3) and the dough flattened out into long tubular blobs rather than nice thick ropes. That’s ok, we said, we’ll still have baguettes… they’ll just be mishapen. So we preheated the oven…

And that’s when the disaster happened.

You see, the recipe calls for steam. Steam makes the outer layer of the bread nice and crispy. Easy enough, right? Well, we don’t have a metal broiler pan like the recipe mentioned. So I popped a glass casserole dish into the oven with the baking sheet to preheat (mistake #4). Didn’t think that maybe a hot glass pan + not so hot water would equal such a mess…

But it did. That pan practically exploded the second I poured in the water. I screamed, and probably said a few words I shouldn’t have… but hey, you would do if a glass pan blew up in your oven.

So we put on some shoes, let the oven cool down, and then picked out the glass pieces one by one. Re-heated the oven (forgoing any mention of steam-anything in the recipe), and baked our even-flatter-by-that-time baguettes.

Decent bread. Definitely not a baguette in taste, texture, or appearance, but it was edible.

And I will never pour water into a hot glass pan again.

The end.

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  1. I’ve had good results, meaning more traditional chewy baguette like exterior, from throwing some ice cube in the bottom of the oven right after placing the loaves. Sorry about your Pyrex dish, it is disappointing to lose such a durable piece of equipment.

  2. I did this exact same thing in an attempt to make steam in my oven for bread … then I started using a cast iron skillet, which made my skillet all rusty. Now I use a small sheet pan that has edges so the ice doesn’t escape- that seems to be the best solution!

  3. this has happened to me twice…I have had 2 different roommates explode 2 different pyrex!

  4. I poured hot coffee into a glass pitcher once, and I still remember that feeling. It must have been that much worse inside the oven! To this day, what boggles me about what I did was that I know you can’t pour hot things into cool glass or cool things into hot glass, but never once did it occur to me I shouldn’t put the coffee in there. I still have no idea why not. It was like my brain was on vacation.

  5. I poured apple cider on a roast in a glass pan…oh crap!!!!

  6. James Beard ( I believe) suggested a water filled spray bottle and spritzing inside the oven (onto the coils)every few min for the first 15 min the loaves are in.

  7. I’m so glad you are okay!!

  8. Oh no! I’ve always been terrified of glass breaking in the oven. The bread looks good though!
    Honestly, I’ve never had very good luck steaming bread with water in a pan. Now I either bake breads in a cast iron pot with the lid on or I put a terracotta flower pot on top of the bread stone. Sounds ridiculous, but it totally works! :)

  9. oh no! i hate kitchen accidents :) the bread looks tasty, though!!

  10. Eek!! I didn’t know glass dishes were so prone to breaking. You must have jumped out of your skin! Glad you weren’t hurt at all. Man. Thanks so much for sharing this anecdote!

  11. Except for the baking bread part, that sounds like something I would do. I’ve decided to leave bread baking to the experts. And pasta-making as well.

  12. Oh god, so scary! I’m glad you were ok!

  13. Scary! That is totally something I would have done but this time I’ll learn from your mistake instead. I’m glad you were still able to eat your bread and laugh about it! Exploding glass really never would have even occurred to me.

  14. OMG… I’ve got goosebumps. I literally just finished baking my test-run for MB’s no knead bread (like 15 minutes ago) and at the VERY last minute I decided not to use the pyrex for the “steam” vessel and swapped it out for a metal one. I even asked my roommate and she thought it would have been fine – I am sending her the link to your post.
    At least you’ve got bread now… it’s sooo good with nutella, too!

  15. Oh wow, sorry about your glass pan! I would freak out if that happened to me. Thanks for letting us all learn from your mistakes. I think the shape of your baguettes looks right!

  16. new reader!

    i just love incidents like these in the kitchen. its not fun at the time, but later its fun to tell people about.

    once my mom left me at home, i was sick, only half awake, and bored. so…i got a marshmallow peep and decided to see what would happen if i microwaved it for 6 minutes.

    needless to say, my mom wont leave me alone in such circumstances any longer. especially when her favorite plates are within my reach… :O

    anyways, cool blog, and happy eating!

  17. Oh my!

    I had a similar incident this summer. My friend and I thought it was a good idea to pour hot water into an antique glass pitcher. Needless to say, the bottom gave out and chai tea exploded everywhere.

    It was terrible, but HILARIOUS.

  18. I did that when I was trying to make a second pot of coffee once. Cold water + hot coffee pot=shattered coffee pot. Yay physics.

    I read in a cookbook once that you can just throw a cup of water on the bottom of your oven for the steam. (I think it was in Pam Anderson’s “Perfect Recipe”, but I’m not 100% sure.)

  19. Oh no! What a mess!

  20. Oh no! I’m so glad you’re ok though! I had a similar incident happen, except I had a homemade macaroni and cheese concoction in the oven when it exploded. That was fun to clean. I had total hissy fit ;)

    I’m very weary of my glass dishes now. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before another one explodes again. Eek!

  21. Making the zuni-cafe style roast chicken, i pre-heated a pie plate in the oven at 450 degrees. Then I put the cold chicken on it, as per directions… too bad most normal people have metal pie plates and mine is(WAS!) pyrex.

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