The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Elagins, et al: Baking Stone question?

  • Pin It
mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Elagins, et al: Baking Stone question?

I am in need of a new baking stone as my old 15 x 3/8" round stone has finally bit the dust. It served me well, perfectly, for 4 years limited use for baking only an occasional pizza. As soon as I started baking breads,etc, 2, 3, 4 times a week and more, it has gradually turned into a 5 piece jigsaw puzzle.


Now, I am ready to purchase a real stone. I would like to get the 16 x 16, but may have to settle for the 16 x 14 because of my oven size. It measures out, wall to wall, 19" x rear wall to door of 18.5".


This pic looks like a good example of how the 16x16 would fit my rig. The rear to door depth looks kind of tight to me:



Do you think that allows for adequate heat circulation, or should I just order the 16 x 14?


Thanks.

rainwater's picture
rainwater

Speaking as a non-professiona....I would think the tighter the fitt the better.  With a stone, you are wanting to use the heat generated by the stone and the heat that the stone circulates....that's why (I think) a longer oven pre-heat is suggested when using a stone. 

Elagins's picture
Elagins

Dwight, everything i've seen says to leave 1" to 2" on all sides of the stone to allow for heat circulation, which makes sense ligically also, since a tighter fit would focus all the heat onto the bottom of the stone, which in turn would then have to radiate heat into the rest of the oven space -- after it undergoes its own preheat. also, i don't think the thermal conduction of the ceramic materials used in most stones is sufficient to deliver and maintain enough heat to keep the upper surfaces at an appropriate baking temp without room for the heat to circulate. finally, i would also be concerned about the disproportionate buildup of heat under the stone, especially if your thermostat, like most ovens, is near the top, which could lead to hazardous temps that the oven -- and insulation -- were never designed to handle.


so in this case, everything i can think of suggests that smaller is better.


for what it's worth, i have a GE Profile electric oven that has similar dimensions to yours, and have used two 16x14 stones -- one above, one beneath -- for years, and i'm very happy with everything about them (never mind that i want a bigger oven).


hope this helps.


Stan Ginsberg

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Ok. Appreciate your response.