What Is It?
Despite looking like a mould for making sand castle waves (OK, how would you describe it?), it’s actually used in baking. Specifically, bread baking. Very specifically, baguette baking. Or, the technical term: Baguette Baking Pan (clever, right?).
How Does It Work?
Start by making dough for your French bread (or Italian or any other bread with a crispy crust). And, then shape it into a long loaf. For the rising and baking part, put the dough in the trough. When the dough rises, the baker will help it to keep its shape. The same when it’s in the oven. Also, bottom of the baker is perforated so that the steam can get at the dough—helping to create a crispy crust on the top AND the bottom.
Do I Really Need It?
If you like to make homemade bread, absolutely… you definitely need this pan. You will make so many more specialty breads if you have this one lying around. If you wish you lived in France where you can get yummy French bread on every street corner, then maybe. But only if you’re really motivated to take up baking (rather than move to France). If you think all bread is the same and are content to eat whatever crappy baguette-shaped monster you can pick up at your local 7-11, then you can take a pass.
Where Can I Buy My Very Own?
They come in several different versions—from two loaf pans to eight loaf pans. Surprisingly, they are not that expensive. Mine will make three loaves and runs between $20 and $30 at most cooking stores. (The smaller two loaf sizes can cost as little as $5, if you find them on sale.) Of course, you can get larger versions that are more like what professional bakers use. Those are usually more than $100 (sometimes close to $200).
Just make sure you get the kind with that is perforated for best performance.