The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Preheating and other miscellaneous questions

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sadears's picture
sadears

Preheating and other miscellaneous questions

I'm about begin, yet again, to make my sourdough bread.  I feel an aura of peace around me ;-D that I will have great success!  I've read in many places to preheat the oven for about 30-40 minutes (again contrary to what S John says) with the bread stone in the oven.  So what is the easiest way to get the bread on to the stone when it's time?  I've read I could put it on the back of a cookie sheet.  Should the sheet have cornstarch on it or something else?  Is there another, easier, method?  Can I just use my hands?  Gently, of course.  Oh, and should I put the cornstarch on the bread stone before I preheat it?  Think that's it for now.

 

Steph

Darkstar's picture
Darkstar

Sadears,

 

When I bake directly on my stone I do one of two things.

 

  1. I shape my loaves and place them on parchment paper on a solid cutting-board (my fake peel)
  2. I cover my fake peel with corn meal, place the shaped loaves on the meal, and tip the peel to remove the excess corn meal.

 

When I use the parchment I will wait about half the baking time so the bread has set up. That's when I remove the parchment and turn the loaves, often swapping places to insure they bake evenly.

 

When I use the corn meal I just turn and swap the loaves placement in the oven.

 

Speaking to how I get them off my fake peel I use a snap of the wrist. Both the parchment and the corm meal should allow the loaf to slide right off the peel and into the oven. Alternatively you could place your "peel" into the oven then tip it at a downward angle. Using gravity and maybe a little wiggle of the peel or two the loaf should slide off and deposit right on your stone.

 

Good luck!!!

sadears's picture
sadears

Thanks, Darkstar,

I'll try that.  I might drop the cutting board in the process but as long as the bread ends up on the stone before I drop it, I can live ;-D

Steph

roger6brock's picture
roger6brock

Just the question I was tring to find the answer to.

Thanks

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

I also use parchment. I couldn't live without it! I don't slide mine, however. My baking stone has a rack with handles so I just lift it out of the oven after I preheat and then I pick up the loaves using the extended ends of the parchment paper and lift them onto the stone. It works for me. Do whatever you feel most comfortable with.

sadears's picture
sadears

I don't have parchment paper.  Can I use wax paper and put the loaves and it on my stone to bake?

 

Steph

sphealey's picture
sphealey

> I don't have parchment paper. Can I use wax

> paper and put the loaves and it on my stone to

> bake?

 

In a word, NO. Parchament paper is (nowadays) treated with silicone to give it great temperature resistance. It is effectively a disposable Silpat and can handle high temperatures.

 

The wax in wax paper would simply melt, causing a huge mess.

 

sPh

 

sadears's picture
sadears

Thanks.  Kind of thought it wouldn't be the same.

 

Steph

grepstar's picture
grepstar

I wouldn't use wax paper. I don't think it holds up well to the heat of the oven. You can always use cornmeal or semolina flour to get them off the peel, but I've stopped doing that because the grains always burn and create a great stink throughout the house.

grepstar's picture
grepstar

Steph,

 I just saw in your first post that you were thinking of using cornstarch. Make sure you're using cornMEAL and not starch. I'm pretty sure the starch would just get absorbed right up into the dough and make a not so nice flavor there. Hope it turns out well!

sadears's picture
sadears

I mean cornmeal.  My fingers sometimes do their own thing.  I only use cornmeal with I bake bread, so my fingers type starch all by themselves.  I continually have to watch myself ;-D

 

Thanks for the reminder.

 

Steph

sphealey's picture
sphealey

> You can always use cornmeal or semolina flour to get

> them off the peel, but I've stopped doing that because

> the grains always burn

 

Really? I haven't managed to get semolina to burn unless I leave it on the stone while preheating at 550 deg.F for the next round. Even then it just gradually turns deep brown and doesn't smell (which I why I started using semolina per the King Arthur video).

 

sPh

grepstar's picture
grepstar

sPh,

My original post was misleading (unintentionally so). The buring problem that I was having was with cornmeal and not semolina. I've since switched to using parchment and haven't used grains since. I made some English muffins with the semolina, but those were on a pan and the oven was only at 400.

If you've not experienced the semolina burning in a 500+ degree oven, then I think I'll have to give that a shot.

 Thanks!