The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pizza Stone & wet doughs

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timtune's picture
timtune

Pizza Stone & wet doughs

Hi,

Has anyone ever baked a, let's say, wet naan dough on a pizza stone?

Will the moisture from the dough cause it to stick to the stone or worse, crack it?
I'm afraid to try that.

Thx

pizzameister's picture
pizzameister

Have no fear, unless maybe you are using a very cheap thin stone. I had one as a back up and lost it to a leaky calzone a few weeks ago.

Typically anything that does not have free liquid coming off should be fine on any stone, and a better quality stone can even take that. My very bottom line reccomendation for a baking stone is 5/8" thick and firebrick, rather than ceramic.

Pizzameister

mrpeabody's picture
mrpeabody

I've made naan only a handful of time (I just love this bread and at Indian restaurants, I eat way too much). I made them on an outdoor gas grill and in the oven inside. I think the oven version works well. I had no problem slapping the dough onto preheated unglazed quarry tiles. Just remember to really crank up the heat.

Here's a nice article on how to make some Indian-style flatbreads:

http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/pages/c00144.asp

Mr. Peabody

luc's picture
luc

On naan breads...

If they are cooked in an oven as opposed to a tandoor style oven then they won't taste nearly the same. They don't cook the same either. I have both a tandoor and a commercial pizza oven with a stone - I've tried both recently using the same dough for each and the tandoor oven ones beat the pizza ovens ones every time. Something to do with the heat sourece and the way they stick to the side of the tandoor when cooked. The texture is different as well.

Now granted most people aren't going to have access to a tandoori style oven. Nor will they be bothered to make one out of a 55 gallon drum and firebrick - just to make a few naan's every once in a while.

So you will have to settle for naan's in an oven. LOL! :D

There are worse fates you could suffer. So in short - no most naan dough's are not wet enough to worry about cracking a hot stone. You should be fine slapping them on the oven stone. It will take some practice to find the right timing and dough - but it can be done.

If you do ever get a chance to compare the oven cooked naan to a tandoor cooked naan - you'll be shocked at the difference. It's night and day.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out. :D

mrpeabody's picture
mrpeabody

Yow! Having a tandoor must be be great! I know that a home oven can't get to the near 800-900F temperatures of a real tandoor. Perhaps, that is part of the difference. Although, lacking a tandoor, the home oven turned up as high as you can go makes a pretty tasty naan (but perhaps not nearly as ethereal as one done properly in a tandoor). I really love tandoori chicken too and have made pretty good tasting versions on the BBQ grill, but I bet a tandoor would just be great. One of the things we are missing here in the suburbs are Indian restaurants (although there are several restaurants in Philly near here).

How do you heat up a tandoor? How long does it take?

Mr. Peabody

luc's picture
luc

I should clarify a bit on the tandoor. :D

I have a small restaurant (Chinese/Italian/Indian cuisine) in Hong Kong where I have a tandoor. The only way it's possible (and legal)to use it is with the ventilation hood in the kitchen. Since it's a proper industrial kitchen the smoke hood covers 3 ranges, one Chinese wok range and a Salva pizza oven.

The tandoor is literally a modified 55 gallon drum. It's been lined with fire brick and has an ash-removal door built into it. The opening at the top narrows so that a standard home use Wok can cover the opening when baking tandoori style chicken or naan.

It burns way to hot to use in a home without some serious modification. Not to mention that it takes four grown men to move the thing. It weighs a ton! Well... not quite... but you get the idea.

We order wood charcoal (not BBQ briquettes) in massive bags that sit in our back alley until we need to restoke it. The tandoor basically never turns off - even at night there are still hot coals in it. So to get it up to cooking heat when we open the next day is no big deal.

We use a covex form covered with a towel to place our naan in the oven. It takes a while to get the hang of it. It's a bit nerve racking to stick your hand down into the tandoor while it's at top temperature to place a naan on the tadoor wall. A bit like sticking you hand into hell. LOL! And it's inevitable that you from time to time misjudge and burn your arm on the way out on the rim of the tandoor. OUCH!!! Not fun that mistake. :(

At any rate - it'd be impossible to use without and industrial smoke hood/heat vent. Not to mention it'd be massively impractical for most home use anyhow - unless you had a family of 20 that ate naan for breakfast lunch and dinner.

There are smaller tandoors that exist. The trick is finding people who build them and then finding a way to use them. I'd be willing to bet that in a backyard patio area they'd work just like a BBQ would. I've seen shots of guys who build wood fire pizza ovens in their backyards so a tandoor has got to be easier. Though I doubt it would ever work in an apartment.

I'll try to dig up some pictures of it and some of the naan and other things cooking in it. It's pretty interesting stuff and the flavor is brilliant.

timtune's picture
timtune

Thx for the info peeps! Just kinda doubtful about pizza stones coz it's new to me. That's y i'm afraid it'll stick too.
Wish could own a tandoor.. :( But i don't think it'll fit in my narrow 2 room apartment. Even misting the oven causes the smoke alarm to go nuts sometimes. :P