The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to bake with a baking stone?

kolobezka's picture

How to bake with a baking stone?

Last week we bought a new baking stone (made from crog / schamotte) and after my first test I realized that the stone has an impact on the "behaviour" of the oven. Not only the bottom of the bread gets darker but also the crust and it dries out more.

Do you adjust the baking method (temperature, convection or not, only lower heat...) when using a stone? So far I baked in a 250°C /482F  preheated oven 15min on 230°C/446F (first 10min with water) + 30-40min 190°C / 374F.

Another questions - what do you use on your wooden peel? I tried a baking paper but it really lowers the effect of the stone (out infra thermometer showed lower temperature on the baking paper than on the stone bellow). Cornmeal - wheat semolina - medium rye (I use this one for bannetons)...?



sphealey's picture

=== Another questions - what do you use on your wooden peel? ===

Semolina (coarse ground if available) on the peel seems to work best for me.  It provides the same "roller effect" as cornmeal but it doesn't scorch or smoke on the stone or in the oven - it just turns black.  I put down a thin layer; not too much.


whosinthekitchen's picture

Hey Kolo:

Do you use a steam pan?  Do you spray the walls in the beginning?  This helps set the crust and may slow the baking a bit.  

I also prefer semolina on the peel in order to slide the loaf to the stone.

I am new to using a baking stone.  I find the effects are:

1) it takes the oven longer to come totemp

2) the bread cooks more evenly

3) I get an even better crust

4) The loaves don't bake quite as long


Franko's picture

I use a baking stone as well and set my bread on a paper lined peel. Once I've slid the loaf on to the stone I let it bake for about ten minutes and then just slip the paper out from under the loaf and continue the bake. The big advantage to using this method is it keeps your stone and oven cleaner,nor is there any appreciable difference in the bake.

kmrice's picture

A mix of half rice flour and half bread flour works very well on the peel; even very wet dough slides right off. Pure rice flour might do even better, but half and half works great. I think much fo the stickyness in flour come from the gluten and I understand rice flour has less or none.

kolobezka's picture

I have read a lot about rice flour on this forum. But I have no idea what US rice flour look like. Is it from white or whole rice? And is it rather coarser or very fine? Please could you five me a link / name of a concrete product? Here in Europe I can find several kinds of rice flour, mosltly in a section for celiacs, but do not know which one to choose.



mrfrost's picture

It's really nothing so exotic, or complicated. As long as it's rice flour, any will probably do. White is most common, but there is brown(whole) also. Usually, when one suggests rice flour, they are speaking of white. Otherwise, they usually specify "brown". But it's just a matter of preference. It's all just finely ground, raw rice(non sweetened).

If you pass by, or live near an Asian grocery store, get it there. It will probably cost well less than half the cost from the "celiac section".