The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Silicon pads

nicodvb's picture

Silicon pads


yesterday night I fell asleep forgetting to give the bread the final shape, so the dough prooved on a silicon pad that was slightly oiled. Since it was too late to do a second proofing I decided to bake the bread in my gas oven directly on this pad, that is supposed to withstand 230°C.

Well, the bread came out great, but ... it was as if I had baked it on a pizza stone preheated to 500°C! the bottom was completely burnt and the crumb  was much dryer than usual. Generally I bake at 230° from cold oven for 50 minutes on a baking sheet and there's no burning whatsoever, so this deterioration was surely due to the silicon pad. The pad itself had several burns that I couldn't wash away.

What are the characteristics of that silicon? I considered it a  very bad conductor, but evidently it conducts heat *very* well, too well. Is it different from ordinary silicon?

I thought I could try to see the effects of a  (new, the old one is now gone) silicon pad on the bottom of bread baked in a convection oven (where there's no lower heater).

jcking's picture

The silicon pads are really meant for baking cookies. I wouldn't trust it above 200°C. Try parchment paper, no need to oil or flour, on a baking sheet or baking stone. I use it all the time up to 230°C. If I'm doing pizza at 285°C I'll pull it out from under the pizza after 90 seconds.


dwfender's picture

If you had a genuine silpat, they are rated to 486F or 252C. It shouldn't have burnt. I would guess either your oven is miscalibrated or there was something weird with whatever sheet you baked on. Silicon is a natural insulator as well so it shouldn't slow ddown the conduction of the heat instead of heat it up. If you were baking on tin foil or some other thin metal, that would be a different story. Or if you were baking on the floor of a bottom-gas heated oven that could be another reason as well. 


nicodvb's picture

is reliable. Uhm, I knew I shouldn't have trusted that cheap material.

Doc.Dough's picture

Silicon is a semiconductor.

Silicone is a (usually) rubbery polymer and the material you are discussing.

When I bake on a Silpat I have to accomodate the low thermal conductivity and usually get a very light bottom crust as a result. Works well to keep some types of cookies from scorching.  Not so good for bread.  If you have a tile countertop, a large Silpat or the (slightly) lower cost alternatives make a good surface for kneading and shaping and they clean up easily.

nicodvb's picture

to fold the dough. It was my first attempt at baking on it.

Thanks for correcting. I had many doubts about the nature of the material of this pad.