The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

lava rocks

  • Pin It
breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

Hey All,


A quick question for those of you using lava rocks to create steam...


I have been creating steam using a stainless steel pan filled with lava rocks on the floor of my oven...  I washed the lava rocks and sterilized them by boiling them in water for about 30 minutes, and then placing them in my oven to dry.  Also, the bottom of my steam pan is slightly rusted.  Not sure if this is a problem...


The results have been great, however, I have had this mineral taste in my mouth for the past week...  Has anyone noticed this when using lava rocks?  Could this be caused the the rust in the bottom of the pan?  None of my friends who have had the breads have noticed...  Also, my diet is the same, and have not eaten anything that I usually don't eat...


Anybody else have this experience?  Please let me know.  Thanks.


Tim

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

So you want that thin crust that shatters when you cut/bite into it...  You also want your loaf to spring fully.  You've tried all of those other steaming methods, spray bottle, cast iron steam pan, crazy contraptions to get and keep steam in the oven...  I suggest you take a trip down to your hardware or home store and get a bag of lava rocks.  I got mine in Brooklyn for $5.34 including tax.  People in Manhattan don't know what they are...


 


Take the lava rocks, empty them into whatever pan you have just to get the amount correct.  I have a pan that is about 9"x13"x2".  Wash the rocks and put them into a pot of water and boil them for a while, 30 minutes to sterilize them.  Preheat your oven to 500F while you are boiling them.  After you are done boiling them, place them into your pan and put them into the oven and let them dry out.  You can turn your oven off and just leave them there over night...


 


So when you are ready to bake, place the pan with the lava rocks on your oven floor, if you ahve a gas oven, or on a lower rack if you have an electric oven and have it stick out a few inches from below your baking stone on the side.  This allows you to take a small cup, preferable with a spout, and just pour the water in with out moving things around...


 


So when you are ready to bake, your oven is preheated to the correct temp, before you load the oven, put 1 cup of water in the lava rock pan, and close the oven.  Prepare your loaves to be peeled into the oven, directly onto the stone...  Open the oven, put your loaves in, add 1 more cup of water to the lava rock pan, and close...  1/2 way through your bake, open the oven, let all the steam out, rotate your loaves, and finish your bake...


 


Also, having a convection oven helps too, especially if you are baking on 2 levels...

Subscribe to RSS - lava rocks