The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread stone on bottom , middle, or top shelve for max heat?

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Sencha's picture
Sencha

Bread stone on bottom , middle, or top shelve for max heat?

Hey guys got a bread stone and its working great. But I'd like it to get a little hotter as the base crust is a little soft, the stone is currently on the middle shelf. I have a gas oven so would top or bottom be hotter. I know heat rises but does having the bread stone nearer the heat element make a difference?

 

I could of course do a couple of trial tuns but just wanted to see if anyone could tell me.

 

Many thanks

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Depends on your oven. 

If you have a gas oven, probably be hotter at the bottom, but this may vary oven to oven. You have to see when you oven is on "Bake" which element is heating? On my gas oven, "Preheat" activates both elements, while "Bake" is only the bottom element. 

Also, how hot are you preheating? And for how long? You may want to preheat hotter and longer, say, 500F for 1 hour. Stones take a long time to preheat. 

cranbo's picture
cranbo

Link to a test comparing preheat temps with steel sheet vs. baking stone in another TFL thread.

Make a note of the times...stone took 1 hour to hit a good temp!

noonesperfect's picture
noonesperfect

The stone itself will hold the same temperature regardless of where it is in the oven - that's one of the benefits of using the stone.  I use the middle or higher rack position so that the top of the loaf gets heat reflected from the top wall of my gas oven as well as the benefit of the rising heat.

Another option would be to use the stone on lower rack, but to have a second stone on a rack at the top of the oven.  That way you get the blast of bottom heat when the dough hits the stone, but also the benefit of constant heat from the stone above.

 

brad

cranbo's picture
cranbo

The stone itself will hold the same temperature regardless of where it is in the oven

Totally agreed, but location is important for how long it takes the stone to heat, especially because it takes a long time. A stone placed closer to the heat source should heat up more quickly.

I do use Brad's dual-stone approach myself: I will bake on a stone and set my steel sheet a couple of rack spaces above, to expose the baking dough to more direct radiant heat. 

Sencha's picture
Sencha

Thanks for the help guys. I guess some sort of trail and error is necessary

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

If you have a fan oven the placement of stone and breads will affect the airflow.

I have got a fan-only oven, and in my oven I found an arrangement most useful where the air outlets are just below the stone.

 

Sencha's picture
Sencha

Thanks. Its just basic gas oven. No fan.

loydb's picture
loydb

I use two stones in my oven - a Fibrament stone as the bottom cooking surface, and a much cheaper grocery store pizza stone on the top rack as a heat sink and contributor to the thermal mass of the oven. Since I almost never use my broiler, they stay in most of the time.