The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking stone sucking up the heat?

  • Pin It
bacjac's picture
bacjac

Baking stone sucking up the heat?

Is it me and my wife is right that my full size pizza stone is aborbing enough heat to affect other baking? I just made my yummy black and white cookies and noticed they took up to 5 minutes or more to bake. I thought when I got it for Xmas I could leave it in there and forget it. Bummer!


Yummy B&Ws

rainwater's picture
rainwater

I'm not an expert, but I keep two pizza stones in my oven.  If I'm cooking loaves in a pan, then I move the top stone, and place it on the bottom stone out of convenience...same goes for cookies, cakes, etc.....I cook directly on the stone when I'm baking pizzas or any bread without a form.....boules, french loaf, etc...


on the other hand, I also pre-heat my oven longer than usual with the stones in there....I'm guessing, but I think the stones have to "soak up" the heat before they start to become effective as heat sources in the oven.  I hope this is helpful, and sometimes it takes a little longer, and sometimes not....haven't figured it out perfectly yet, but I like the even heating in the oven with the stones placed within.

ivy b's picture
ivy b

I read an article about that in my Cooking Illustrated magazine from today's mail, that said, essentially, yes.  If anyone wants me to dig it out and type the specs, let me know (it is downstairs and I am too lazy to go there just now...>g<).


Peace,


Ivy - who has been setting up levains for the breads that go up to Boston this week-end!


 

rryan's picture
rryan

My baking stone has lived in my oven for several years.  It's been in there so long my oven wouldn't look right without it!


I haven't really noticed a difference in baking time for any of the many dishes I make in my oven, and I use it regularly.  The only diference has been the pre-heat time.  It does take a few more minutes to get the oven up to temp than it did without the stone, but once the desired temperature is reached, cooking times have remained the same.  I have even placed bakewear directly on the stone with no problems.


One positive thing I have noted is the fact that my gas burners do not have to ignite as often with the stone in the oven to maintain the correct temperature.  The stone holds heat for a long time once it is hot.


Bob


 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

There are several threads here that talk about the time it takes to pre-heat the stone and if it is really worth it in the end. I still use a stone when I want a perfect artisan loaf with a crusty bottom. That said, most people couldn't tell the difference between the loaf I baked on a sheet pan and the one baked on a stone. For that matter I frequently start with a cold oven and bake on a pan without a stone. When I do that, the bottoms are softer but not much considering how much energy I save. The oven is on for maybe 40 minutes total. So, keep that in mind as you ponder how even the heat is.


 


Eric

bacjac's picture
bacjac

The stone I have is as wide as the rack itself and seems that maybe the heat is not effectively circulating around it. (just a theory). I used a small round stone prior and didn't have this issue.


It does do a great job on the crusty bottom especially with the KA European Artisan Style flour.


 

newgirlbaker's picture
newgirlbaker

I have baked other things in the oven with my stone on the bottom with no problem, but I recently got a new sheet pan exactly the same size as the oven rack.  My stuff started burning on the sides within minutes, I took my oven apart thinking something was wrong, nope it was fine, I soon realized that the size of the pan was not allowing the heat to circulate, I quit using the pan and all is well.

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

Last night, I was baking up the 5 grain Levain (0vernight cold rise) from Hamelman, and I started worrying about the selection of grains I had put in it. I didn't have the sunflowers and the rye groats called for in the recipe, so I'd used some Coach's Oats, quinoa, hazelnuts, and pecans.


After I got nervous, I did a search and found out on this site that quinoa won't soften up with an overnight soak, so I was fairly disheartened. Also, I had forgotten to rinse the quinoa to start with, and the bread had that distinctive acrid smell that unwashed quinoa can have.


By the time I had preheated the oven for an hour to 460, I was about ready to write the bread off completely. I had divided it into 4 loaves, not the 3 called for, and they were looking good and well risen, so I went ahead and put them in the oven. I checked on them about 20 minutes through the cooking, and they were starting to firm up and brown, but the smell was more intense than ever. At that point, I decided not to invest any more energy in them, so I turned off the oven. I would deal with throwing them away in the morning.


In the morning, I opened the door to some beautiful loaves. I decided to taste one, and it was wonderful! I didn't notice the quinoa at all, and the flavor was rich and delicious. It was cooked all the way through, and the crust was crunchy and delicious--perfectly even and browned.


Who wudda thunk?

mredwood's picture
mredwood

I never noticed an off smell of quinoa. I usually soak it overnight. I have noticed a slight crunch but since I like that I never thought that was anything but delicious. Your bread sounds yummy. I love those odd grains when we are improvising. The bread is always good.


Mariah

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

Thanks for your comment, Mariah.


In its natural state, quinoa has a bitter coating of saponins, which is why many recipes say to rinse the quinoa well before cooking. With its rising popularity and mainstream marketing, these days quinoa comes pre-rinsed. The stuff I used was from the bulk bin and I thought it had retained some of the bitter quality...but it did taste great. I love it!


 


 

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

My oven came with 2 thick stones that sit in an oven rack made for them...so the stones extend the length and width of the oven...The directions that came with my oven said to remove them when not in use. 


Sylvia 

mredwood's picture
mredwood

I haven't seen an oven that comes with stones. What kind is it and where did you get  it?  Removing stones when not in use. Does that mean when the  oven is off or when the oven is on and you are not baking on them? Many of us leave our stones in the oven to help retain an even level of heat when baking other items. When roasing a pig or something like that it may not be crucial to have even heat but making a cake or baking custard even heat is important.


Mariah

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

My oven is a built-in double ovens GE Profile Performance...the top oven is a convection oven that has the shelf and stones...Im assuming that by the instructions saying to remove the stones heating the oven and not using them would help the oven to perform more efficiently.  I have left the stones in and baked on one of the two other included shelves...there seemed to be no difference in the way meats, casseroles ect.  with the shelf/stones placed on the lowest level...so Im thinking maybe the reason to remove the stone is for better circulation and also maybe the stones could be absorbing to much heat/energy from the oven and also could cause uneven heating by causing to much heat radiating up from the stone!!  Because the oven is convection it probably affects the overall circulation of heat! The directions do not tell me why I should remove the stones!  GE could probably anwer your question!


Sylvia

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I have noticed that when I have left the stone in when baking things that might burn quickly on the bottom like cookies, cakes or even lasagna, the heat transfer is so much better from the stone to the pan the things do get hotter on the bottom more quickly. So, if I think of it, I'll use a shelf on the next higher level and leave the stone in.


Eric

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Hi Eric,


I have found that baking anything directly on the stones will heat the bottom up much faster and hotter than when placed on a shelf above the stones...


If Iam baking delicate things like cookies, scones...ect...that I want barely browned and yet cooked through...I would place them on a rack above the stones..  Yet if say I want something cooked a little crispier...that might could have a undercooked bottom...I place that directly on the stone to absorb the heat and make a better crust...say like a pie crust bottom...but with convection cooking I have also found ... it's not necessary to do this!!  Plus you don't want pie juice running all over your stones...I place my pies on a cookie sheet  I get a great pie crust browned top and bottom!  So either way works... Without convection cooking I would be very tempted if making a pie to place the cookie sheet with the pie on it directly on the hot pre-heated stone...and compare crusts as to one baked non-convection on a cookie sheet placed on a regular oven rack!!  I love baking with convection setting and use it all the time!  If Im using my oven most of the day and baking dinner I will leave the stones in because it helps to pre-heat them for bread baking that is to follow after say baking a chicken...  Hope I haven't confused you...I tend to ramble!!


Sylvia