The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help~~ Baking Stone!!

rookiejane's picture
rookiejane

Help~~ Baking Stone!!

Just like my ID showing, I am a real rookie of artisan bread baking. Recently I am getting interesed in sourdough bread and started to feed my own starter. But when I tried to prepare for my first bread, I realized I do not have a baking stone which is essential for artisan bread  based on expert advise.


Before this I have no idea about baking stone, I googled it online and found some online shop. But the thing is quite confusing out  there. Most of these baking stone's description are about pizza baking. I am wondering is it appropriate to buy one of these stone to bake artisan bread? Since it is quite fragile and easily to be broken during shipping ,is there any local store I can get one?


 


Thanks a lot for your guys help !!

swiggin's picture
swiggin

I am new to bread too, but have been fairly successful with the method I have at the moment for sourdough-type breads. Since I don't have a pizza/baking stone yet (people who know how to bake can advise better, but thicker is better to some degree when deciding a stone, and check there is some clearance on the sides to help with 'additional steam' circulation- many seem to like fibrament), but do have some thick corningware lying around, I just use that. It is good for two reasons, it is a fairly thick ceramic dish, and it has a lid, so no added steaming required - just keep the lid on for about the same time as the directions are to steam, it's almost full proof. The only downside is that I am only able to make boules, or shapes that will fit into the dish, minor sacrifice for the moment. Anyways, don't wait to make bread while waiting to order a pizza stone, I am sure there are other ways too, such as on top of cookie sheets, on top of thicker ceramic dishes, etc. I am sure other more experienced people will give better advice too. 

Kent's picture
Kent

You can do a search here on the site for opinions on a baking stone. I would recommend the one on this site.


http://www.nybakers.com


 

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Assuming you have kitchen shops in your area, I don't believe you could find one that doesn't stock pizza stones.  However, I typically purchase mine through Amazon.com; never had one arrive is less than one piece.


"Pizza" stone is a general term.  They can be used for baking anything from bisquits to artisan breads.  Your choice whether you want to use a round or square/oblong style.  Just don't spritz your loaf when it's baking atop a hot stone.  If you do, you'll find it in pieces.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

hot stones don't always come apart when cold water hits them; it depends on the material. look for materials that have high resistance to thermal shock and you won't have the breaking stone problem again, regardless of steam or cold water. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to turn out great breads.  A cookie sheet, a frying pan (remove or have a oven proof handle) wok, casserole, dutch oven, roaster, pizza pan/ stainless steel bowl, crock pot, Chinese soup pot, bread pan, and even aluminum foil wrapped on an oven rack will work.  Flat breads can be baked on the oven floor (I haven't tried that one yet.) 


Most of the equipment is not really needed.  You could spend a lot of money on things you end up not using.   I feel it is more important to get experience and find a recipe that works for you than fret about a stone.    From my experience, the only real piece of equipment needed is a oven.  


Mini

flournwater's picture
flournwater

Mini makes an excellent point, as usual, to remind us all that a baking stone isn't an essential to making good artisan bread (or any other kind) in the home kitchen.


I often use a cast iron skillet, my cast iron dutch oven or other vessel when I want to play with something other than my stone.  Good job there Mini ....

weekend_baker's picture
weekend_baker

I use a granite slab that was sold as a chopping board.  You can use it as a kneading board and then clean it, pop it in the oven, spritz it with water as much as you like...


I did manage to crack one in two, but I had done some extreme baking that day--up to 250 C for bread, down to 120 C for meringues, door open to cool them, then up to 190C to cook dinner, at which point it divided itself neatly in half.   But it still works perfectly well for baking bread.


I got mine from the supermarket, and it cost about £10 (£20).

Gunslinger's picture
Gunslinger

I use 6 X 6 unglazed quarry tiles. At 66 cents each, you can't go wrong.


Unglazed Quarry Tiles


As you can see, I have no problem.


Neapolitan Challah

SylvaniaChris's picture
SylvaniaChris

I hate to show my naivette, but I've never seen a loaf of bread with pink in it before, so how did you do that, and what is it called? 


Chris

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

I'm guessing beet juice.


Oh well, guessed wrong.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

But at first glance, I thought of neopolitan ice cream  ;-)

Gunslinger's picture
Gunslinger

That's what it is supposed to be. I make this often and serve it with honey butter.


And since you like it, here's another one.



verminiusrex's picture
verminiusrex

That looks incredible.  I did something similar with purple yam powder, which is essentially yam sugar that does nothing but turn the dough purple.  Unfortunately I couldn't find a picture of that loaf, but it looked cool wrapped with a strand of standard dough.


 

Gunslinger's picture
Gunslinger

Well, it's challah with one strand of vanilla, one with chocolate and one with strawberry. I saw it here http://foppish-baker.blogspot.com/ and adapted it to my sourdough challah recipe.

verminiusrex's picture
verminiusrex

A baking stone isn't necessary for good bread.  I usually use a sheet pan with parchment paper, it's easier than dealing with the stone.  But I do have one that I use occasionally, and I got it at Bed, Bath & Beyond for a reasonable price.  It's big enough for most home use, and cheap enough that if it breaks it costs under $20 to replace (if I remember the price correctly, it's been years since I purchased mine). The stone also sometimes comes with a basic wooden peel, useful to use with the stone.

jannrn's picture
jannrn

I too looked high and low for an affordable baking stone....I found mine at www.webstaurantstore.com and it was only $10!! I bought 2 and even with shipping, it was less for the 2 than most places charge for one!!!! I LOVE IT!!
Jannrn

Ted Rood's picture
Ted Rood

I went to a tile store and bought ceramic stone tile for $2.00 a square.  I am using an unglazed and a glazed one.  You can purchase all sizes of tile or even have a larger one cut down.  There must be good space around the tile so the heat can get up past it.  I also have a metal shop in my area and ordered a square of sheet metal around 15 inches and they work just the same as clay.  The advantage is that you can preheat them on top of the stove.  I have had some round ones cut and had them placed a handle on it for cooking pizza.  The metal can be preheated on top of the stove if you like without any worry of cracking it.  When I make pizza on a metal pizza disk--I prepare the pizza on the round metal disk and preheat it for around 2 minutes on top of the stove and place it in a hot oven.  I have pictures that I will upload some time. Enjoy.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Before using a glazed tile, I sure would want to be certain that the glazing is food safe and contains no lead or other carcinogenics.

BeesHD1's picture
BeesHD1

After looking locally and researching on the web this company sells what i think is the best stone available. Check it out great site tons of info. Have Fun!!!!!!!!FornoBravo.com


Your Brother in Bread, Bees