The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Stoneware

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Crazy Eddie's picture
Crazy Eddie

Stoneware

I was recently given a stoneware bread pan.  It's wonderful in that the bread doesn't even THINK about sticking to it.

Do I need to do things differently while using it?  I know I need to treat it differently (no dishwasher for example) but is there anything I need to do perhaps to take into account that it might take longer to warm or whatnot?  So far it's worked OK, but I have been having trouble with oven spring.

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Crazy Eddie, I saw your other post about yeast. Do you still have problems with oven spring when you make the same recipe using other pans? If so, then your oven spring problems probably have to do with fermentation issues and not stoneware you are using. 

Crazy Eddie's picture
Crazy Eddie

I'll have to keep trying.  Another factor that I just thought of may be that I've just left my stone in the oven and put my loaf pans on top.  I give plenty of preheat time, but maybe it's still a factor.  It's really a very recent issue though so I've not been able to experiment more than notice some of my breads are simply not coming out right lately.

jmotzkin's picture
jmotzkin

Crazy Eddie,

Does your stoneware baker have a lid? Have you tried preheating your pot to 450 or 500 before you put the dough in? 

In the interest of full disclosure, I make the BreadPot. Here is how I use it:  It acts like a brick oven inside the oven. I recommend that you put it in the cold oven and heat to 500F, empty. Then lift off the lid, place the dough in, slit it with a knife, cover. Bake at 450 for 1/2 hour with the lid on and 15 minutes with the lid off. My breads from this method are crusty and golden. I use a no knead, slow rise, method. Other people who use my pots do all sorts of experiments. 

My BreadPots are unglazed stoneware clay. They do not stick as long as the dough is coated with flour. They do develop a patina of use from touching while they are hot. Dishwasher is fine. I think that should be so with any stoneware baker.Just protect it from rapid extreme heat changes, such as fridge to hot oven or oven to sink. Let it heat and cool slowly.  Clay objects will change and sometimes break with use. They are worth it. Use it with love.

 

rayel's picture
rayel

Hi CrazyEddie, is your pan or pans unglazed stoneware? If unglazed, I would agree that the dishwasher is less than ideal for washing. The dishwasher does a better job of washing than rinsing. I would think an unglazed pan would absorb detergent that could not rinse out adequately. That would leave residue within the pan that might migrate out to flavor your bread, durring the bake. Perhaps the pan is unglazed and not porous, even then I would hesitate using detergent when washing it. What does the manufacturer suggest for washing?

One thought about your oven spring, is that the loaf might need a shorter proof, if the pan is taking longer to heat, I am wondering if the bread is still proofing rather than baking. Could you try a metal pan along with your stoneware pan, and treat them to the same proof times? Would that be a valid experiment? Your post said pans, I am assuming you are doing more than one loaf per bake. It might be difficult to find a metal pan with the same volume/dimensions.  I'll be interested to see how this is resolved.

Ray