The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking Stones and Circulation

jpolchowski's picture
jpolchowski

Baking Stones and Circulation

Hey all. Unfortunately I recently accidentally broke my 16" square baking stone that has served me well for a while. It was already in two pieces and I think now it's a little too broken up to be usable.


I went to the hardware store to replace it, unfortunately they had no 16" tiles suitable for a baking stone. They did however have an 18" one so I got that. 


I am just a little concerned however that there will be enough circulation in the oven. I have read that you should have at least 1" all around the stone. Due to the size of this stone, there is almost no space in the front or back, maybe 1/2". However, there is plenty of space on the sides, at least 3" on either side. Since there is good space on the sides, will that make up for the tight front and back, or is it really necessary to have good space all around? I haven't tried baking on it yet and won't for a week or so probably as I just baked a loaf which ended in my breaking my current stone as it cooled. So I don't know yet how it'll affect baking. Is there a way to test that? I have one hanging thermometer in the oven, I guess I can try moving that around to various spots and seeing the results, but I don't know if the variation would be significant enough to register or not. Hopefully the circulation is good though, It is nice having such a large stone, although it'll make heating up take even longer which could be another issue.


So is it probably too big, should I scale down some? Since I won't be baking for a bit I can keep checking in till they get a 14" or 16" in, or would this one do fine? Thanks!

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Looking out the window, I noticed my neighbor had one of those saws that can cut tile (diamond wheel, constant water flow, etc.). So I penciled on my baking stone what size it "should" be, put a $10 bill in my pocket, and went to see my neighbor when I knew he wasn't busy. A few minutes later Voila! the $10 bill was his and my baking stone fit in my oven exactly right.

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

if it comes out ok and save $10  ;)


 


 

jpolchowski's picture
jpolchowski

Heh well I wouldn't get one cut, I'd just wait till smaller stones are available, the 18" one cost $1.25. But yea that's what'll likely end up happening, just don't wanna end up with a bad loaf :P 


Thanks

Chuck's picture
Chuck

I know baking stones are much cheaper than they used to be  ...but $1.25 for a whole stone? Where? How?


Please be a hero and tell us all the source of such cheap stones...

jpolchowski's picture
jpolchowski

It isn't a commercial oven stone, it is just a piece of granite tile. There is a store near me that sells used building materials and stuff, everything is really cheap. I'm sure places like Home Depot aren't that much more though.

longhorn's picture
longhorn

You shouldn't have any real problem. It could be that the crust will be slightly lighter on the "tight" sides of the stone but rotating the loaf 90 degrees halfway through the bake ought to solve the problem. And if you do find it a problem or inconvenient you can always cut it later. So I would try it first.


Good Luck!


Jay