The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Is steaming and baking stone still necessary

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jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

Is steaming and baking stone still necessary

when baking in a cast iron pot, given that the dough is covered and the steam is unlikely to get to the dough?  I use the the baking stone and a silpat for a batard since the cast iron pot is not the right shape for this.  I also noticed that the oven takes much longer time to heat up when the baking stone (actually a pizza stone) / DO is pre-heated.  Is this normal?Thank you.

 

Judy

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

If using a covered pot to bake your breads in steaming and a baking stone are not necessary as the steam is caught inside the pot with your loaf.

Yes, the oven will take longer to heat up with the stone/DO in it.  More mass for it to heat.  I generally allow 45 minutes for my oven to reach temp though the air in it reaches temp. in about 15 minutes....

Janet

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

Gotcha...I think I may leave the stone in the oven and bake longer  in a cold DO at a higer temp.  I try to avoid handling a very hot DO and and I can proof the dough in the cast iron pot.   

Judy

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Judy,

There are posts here (use the search box) that I think David S posted years ago where he found that a cold DO works just as well as a hot DO.    If you experiment I would love to know what you find out :- )

Take Care,

Janet

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

Thanks Janet, I have seen and read  DSnyder's experiment with a hot and cold DO and that's why I decided to give this a try for my last couple of bakes.  My oven can just about go up to 250C in 45 mins but drops when I open to load the DO.  The heated pizza stone helps to curb the temp drop and I just bake for a longer time covered  before removing the lid to brown.  I like baking in a DO as I love the surprise it gives  me  when I remove the lid every time.

Judy

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

I often proof my breads in a bowl lined with parchment paper.  About 30 minutes before the proofing's done, I start my oven with the closed DO in it.  When I'm satisfied that the proofing's done to my satisfaction, I remove the DO from the oven (closing the door immediately), remove the cover of the DO, and then lift the proofed dough out of the bowl using the parchment paper.  I then drop the dough, parchment paper and all into the heated DO, replace the lid, and place the DO back into the oven.  I used to get burned by the heated DO when I didn't use the parchment paper cradle.  That's not happened since I've begun using the parchment.

The reason the heated DO works, as I understand it, is that, once sealed with its cover, the high heat causes the dough to release steam which then, because it's trapped inside the DO by its cover, works its wonders to make a great crust.  I generally remove the cover at around 30 minutes, and let the loaf complete its baking uncovered. 

This technique makes a baking stone and extra steam from other sources unnecessary.

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

on stone temperature.  They found that the stone lagged the temperature of the oven by 20 minutes.  So what I do is when the oven beeps that it is at temperature, I set the timer for 20 minutes to know when the bread should hit the properly heated stone,  I also like to wet the inside lid of the hot or cold DO to supply extra steam or spritz the top of the bread before the lid goes on. 

I also like to put a metal trivet on the bottom of the DO so that I can put a tablespoon of water on the bottom to supply extra steam without the water touching the dough.

I do not have as good a luck using a cold DO as I do a hot one when the bread goes in.  When the dough is proofed in a cold DO and load it in a hot oven, I add 10 minutes to the lidded steaming time - 30 minutes.   When using a hot DO I usually bake it lidded for 20 minutes.  Since the breads tend to be smaller in size when in a DO, they only bake for 30-35  minutes in a hot DO and 40-45  minutes in a cold one to hit 205 F in teh middle if baking at 450 F.

You can also bake in a cold DO loaded into a cold oven too.  When I do this, I wait for the oven to beep it is at the set baking temperature and then set the timer for 10 minutes more before the lid comes off,  This substantially cuts the total on time for the oven and cost of baking with it,

Happy baking

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

Do you mean like this?  The idea is great but my concern is that the lid may get in the way with the raised bottom.Wouldn't this leave uneven ridges on the bottom of your loaf even with the support of the parchment paper?  I'll certainly give this a try next time.  

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

My trivet is just the right size for my DO and dough.  Should I be using a smaller trivet or a larger DO so that there is space for the steam to move aound the dough within the pot?  If I use this size, the dough will just about fill out the entire trivet/DO  and I may end up with a soggy bottom if there is nowhere for the steam to circulate.  Do I need to put parchement paper above the trivet to prevent the dough from oozing between the gaps? ( I  2nd proof the dough in the DO  if I'm not using a banneton) .

I've found that the 30-mins covered bake with 15+mins uncovered in a cold DO does make a difference to the crust.  My last bake def. looked better.  Thank you all for the advice.

Judy