The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Stones

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bakerbrooks's picture
bakerbrooks

Stones

I know many people have asked questions and posted on the topic of pizza stones but I did not find so far an answer to my question. I recently broke my pampered chef pizza stone(I need to post pictures) and I am looking for a replacement. I need a cheap solution. Has anyone every tried travertine tile? At the house my family is building we have travertine flooring and I was thinking something like that mabye could work. I recently went to the Home Depot and they did not have anything there. So does anyone know what would be best to use?

neoncoyote's picture
neoncoyote

I would definitely not purchase a pizza stone, but some type of tiles instead, that would cover nearly the entire surface of my oven rack. I usually bake directly on my stone, and its size limits the length of my baguettes. Amazon.com has a number of moderately priced pizza stones.


BTW, my Pampered Chef stone broke years ago, as well -- I don't think I had used it even a dozen times. I bought it because it had a lifetime warranty, which the company apparently rescinded months after I bought it. No more PC merchandise for me.

bakerbrooks's picture
bakerbrooks

Thank you for helping me. :) I was thinking about stones lining my oven but I could get the travertine tiles for free. My mom has a ton of PC products and she has been relatively happy with them. She had had her pizza stone for over 10 years but it could not hold up to bread baking as I figured out.


Happy Baking!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

This is one of those subjects where opinions vary widely. I am using the same stone I purchased from King Arthur 10 years ago. In the meantime I have baked for a year on unglazed quarry tiles with no trouble whatsoever..  I am of the opinion that it matters little how thick and massive the stone is. The tiles work as well as the one inch thick stone for giving a nice crust on the bottom.


Then there is the argument about tiles being made from an unknown material that might leach an unknown toxin because the manufacturer isn't intending these to be used with food. Personally I ignore this line of thinking but I am known to be an "Anti-Chicken Little" kind of guy. No evidence, no fret.


The best deal I know of for a quality product is at The NY Bakers. Stan sells a nice Corderite stone for just under $30. for a 16x14. He has a bunch of sizes. You can't beat the price and he is one of us.


Eric

wdlolies's picture
wdlolies

Hi,


If you were happy with your pizza stone and it isn't in thousand pieces, you can still use it.  Just place it tightly together and stick your bread on top of it.  I haven't done it myself, but I've read it a lot of times.  Some people even reckon that it works better than as if it was in one piece.


I agree that these pizza stones are extremely limiting when it comes to size.  Mine is round, something like 20odd cm by 20odd cm - no good for baguettes or even a couple of lb loaves.


All the best from Ireland.


Wolfgang

bakerbrooks's picture
bakerbrooks

Thank you all for your help! I baked my last batch of bread on my broken stone and it worked fine. The only thing I worry about is it shattering more. Thank you for sharing the New York Bakers website it looks awsome! If my experiment with travertine does not work out I will have to look into that. My only concern is if the travertine explodes or emmits a toxic fume. I would like to get a stone that fits something other than loaves shapped like pizza.


Thanks and happy baking!

saraugie's picture
saraugie

Here are the people who manufacture it and their fact page: http://www.bakingstone.com/why_fibrament.php


I bought it together in a wonderful kit from here http://www.steambreadmaker.com/  I like that I have total control over the steaming and safety part of NOT throwing water into the oven or splash back on me :)

008cats's picture
008cats

I wonder if I could ask you a bit more about your steam bread maker. I have been thinking about getting one, as my oven doesn't hold steam and my loaves are outgrowing the cloche-like inverted flower pot I've been using. I've tried an inverted stainless steel bowl, but don't get the same steamed results as with the flower pot (I spray them both).


My question  is, do you use the (roughly) 4 inch high or 6 inch high model? My oven is tiny, and I am concerned the 6 incher would be too close to the oven top and encourage burning. On the otherhand, I want room to grow into taller loaves.


Let me know what you have and whether you've had to adjust heat from previous method used...

saraugie's picture
saraugie

How many shelves does your oven have ?  I think to be 100& safe, measure the space from the lowest rack, remember to add for the stone that will sit upon the rack, because that will be where you do 99% of your bread baking, to the top.  See how much clearance is there.  I pull out the lowest rack, when putting on a removing the lid.

008cats's picture
008cats

Here is part of the problem: I can't use my stone (or Dutch Oven, etc.) on the lowest rack because the bottom of my bread burns. I bought an oven thermometre, and no, it reads correctly, so I've always baked with my stone on the second lowest rack position, using a roaster pan on the bottom rack to further deflect heat (without it, bottom crust is still slightly overdone). It takes me about 20 mins @ 475 plus 10 mins @ 450 plus 5 mins heat off to bake a loaf to done (approx 205 degrees C). This is successful as long as I preheat no more than 30 mins @ 475; this is for baking fairly wet dough (78-80% hydration).


Anyway, this leaves me with just barely enough room to get the 6-inch cover-and-handle of the bread steamer in the oven and slide it back in under the thermometre, which protrudes about 3/4 inch from the ceiling of the oven. Since I've had trouble with the bottom burning on the lowest rack, I am concerned that such a tight fit up top - where heat rises - is not a good idea.


Any thoughts?