The minute just prior to loading a scorching 500 degree oven with delicate shaped baguettes is a case study in coordination and multitasking. You need to move quickly in a controlled manner — proofed baguettes can easily deflate if handled roughly and should be baked immediately to maintain its cylindrical shape. Several things should also be ready once the loaves are removed from the linen couche. To wit:
- parchment paper on a baking sheet
- a lamé for scoring
- oven mitts, because explaining forearm burn marks can be awkward
- boiling water for steaming the loaded oven
- a camera, because certain subcultures are obsessed with taking pictures in the kitchen (optional)
In the middle of all this, you also need the presence of mind to keep yourself from leaning too low when opening the oven doors. The sensation of eyelashes curling away from the backdraft and into an eyeball is decidedly unpleasant.