The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking stones

David Z's picture

Are baking stones a must have?

March 20, 2011 - 8:33pm -- David Z

Currently, I bake on a round pizza pan, I have a small aluminum roasting pan filled with river rocks for steaming purposes. I only bake sourdoughs and my general method is to preheat the oven at 500º with pizza pan and river rocks inside for about 45 minutes. The oven is nothing special, it's a basic gas oven that came with the house, it doesn't even have a timer.

bobdrob's picture

Once again, Baking Stones...

November 17, 2010 - 5:00pm -- bobdrob

Greetings to all in this pre-Holiday time! Before the Seasonal baking orgy gets into full swing, I need opinions on the following:  Soapstone &/or Granite as an oven stone? 

 The details: As I finish my home Kitchen renovation, I will have sizable remnants of Soapstone ( 1.25" new, countertop, deluxe!)   and polished granite (.75", old, polished countertop.) I understand that the soapstone is the preferable ovenstone which will go into the primary oven, but can I use the smaller, older polished granite counter pieces as baking stones as well in the other oven?

mido_mijo's picture

Baking Stones - Glaze in tiles

June 24, 2010 - 12:50pm -- mido_mijo

I bought some tiles at Lowes, and the employee there showed me some unglazed tiles that he would recommend for baking. But since he didn't have any experience or people asking him, I searched online for some info on the tiles.


So far I found out an answer to my question.


Do I need to seal the Rialto, Botticino, Positano or Murano series tiles carried at Lowe's?
No. During production process there is glaze incorporated in the mixture to help prevent stains.

sergio83's picture

Hi All,

I tried again with the baguettes.  This time I used 1.25 cups of flour and .5 cup of water, 1/4 teaspoon of active dry yeast (i bought the glass jar in spite of some of ya'll's advice so i'll be using it for a while.) and 1/4 teaspoon of salt (i should've used more salt)...

So, does it count as an autolyzing if I've already added the yeast and the salt? Since i've got the active dry stuff i have to soak it first and since i'm using so little water i don't have enough to divide it.

Anyway, the dough was a lot firmer than I'm used to and I'm thinking I might try an extra .25 cup of water to see what happens.  I transferred the shaped baguette onto a hot cookie sheet and that seems to have helped with oven spring.  This time the shaping was a lot better-- I took occidental's advice and dusted the flour with a sifter and that combined with how the dough was a lot more dry than what I've been using so I managed to shape a pretty pretty loaf.

My knife obviously isn't cutting it ;) when it comes to scoring.  I went to the local wal-mart to look for straight razors (is that what they're called... oops, double edged razors) well, the saleslady looked at me like i was crazy.  I also went to the hardware store to find drop canvas-- more on that in a bit-- and some quarry stones.  All the tiles they had were glazed.  There's this place down the road that has a lot of rocks and stuff so maybe they'll have some.

The bread came out a bit darker than I like and i'm not too crazy about the taste of it.  Also it's missing some salt... actually, i've got some more dough in the fridge, let me go add salt to that now...

I'll let you all know what happens when you add salt 10 hours into a cold fermentation/rising.

Here's the crumb

The bread came out sort of dry but that may have been because i tried baking at 500 for the first 10 minutes-- i won't try that again...

I don't reckon I'll count this as a victory-- except for the shaping; it's the best shaping i've been able to manage so far...

I think i put too much salt in the dough for next time... it'll be a half teaspoon for ~1.25 cups of flour.

anyway, regarding couches-- i went to the hardware store and got canvas drop cloth.  It says it's heavy-duty tight cotton weave, absorbent, washable and reusable, 8.oz. 4'x5' finished size

sorry about it being sideways... and here's as good a closeup of the weave as i could get with my camera

It's still in the plastic in case i've made a terrible mistake I can return it.

Does anyone know whether it'll work or not?  By the way, I need to wash it (with bleach as well as detergent?) then once it's dry rub flour into the weave?  is that how one turns it into a couche?

nancys's picture

Making baking tiles

January 28, 2010 - 4:54am -- nancys

Has anyone made baking stones from clay?  I have a convection oven and am thinking of making tiles from stoneware clay.  There would be 4 tiles that would fit my oven rack, leaving 1" of space all around for air flow.  I am thinking of adding some minor designs into the tile so the bottom crust of my breads would pick up the design elements.

Any thoughts?


DennyONeal's picture

Pre-Heating Baking Stones

July 29, 2009 - 11:57am -- DennyONeal

I would like to let my breads rise on a baking stone and place this in a pre-heated oven when the loaves are ready to bake.

Would this work OK? I only wonder because I usually read that baking stones should be pre-heated too.

What happens to me rather often is if I let loaves rise on a peel (on top of parchment paper) and then  as gently as possible slide the loaves from the peel to the pre-heated baking stone, they often fall 20-40%, even though they pass the proofing tests. This happens with many recipes.

So I'm trying to find a way to get around this.

xaipete's picture

My New Baking Stone

March 26, 2009 - 12:32pm -- xaipete

I bought a new baking stone at Sur La Table last week. It is a lot heavier and thicker than your ordinary baking stone (14 x 16 x 5/8). I'm really impressed with how it is performing. My oven is definitely getting and staying hotter and my breads are cooking more quickly and getting browner. My new stone, made by Best Manufacturers in Portland, OR, is lighter in color than ordinary stones and seems to be made of a different type of material. Anyway, I highly recommend it. It was worth the $42.


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