The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Getting Loaves from Rising-spot to Stone

lefty33's picture

Getting Loaves from Rising-spot to Stone

So when you preheat the stone in the oven while the bread is in its final rise after shaping, how does one go about transferring the loaf from where it is rising to the hot stone without misshaping the loaf in the process?

 I love the spring a hot stone gives, but I've only done it with rolls since these fit in one hand and are easily moved from the pan they're rising on to the preheated stone.  I'm afraid if I do this with a loaf it'll lose air and flatten out.

sphealey's picture

=== So when you preheat the stone in the oven while the bread is in its final rise after shaping, how does one go about transferring the loaf from where it is rising to the hot stone without misshaping the loaf in the process? ===

I typically do the final rising on a peel (I have both a maple and a stainless peel). Before putting the loaf on the peel I lightly sprinkle the peel with semolina. I tent a damp dishcloth over the loaf using coffee cans, inverted glasses, etc so that the cloth doesn't touch the loaf.

When the loaf is ready to bake I slide it off the peel with one of my spatulas - either a stainless or large nylon. If I have done the shaping right and used the right amount of semolina it seldom sticks to the peel (not after the first few months anyway!). Interestingly dough tends to stick more to the stainless steel than the maple. The loaf might get a bit out of shape when I slide it off (especially wet doughs), but it almost always goes back to the risen shape as it bakes - the dough seems to have a fair amount of memory for its risen shape.


pjkobulnicky's picture

 Get yourself a wooden peel or, as i have done for multiple loaves baked in the same oven, buy some 1/4 inch finished plywood and cut it into 12" by 18" sections to use as peels.  You gently turn out the loaf from the form it has risen in on to the peel dusted with some flour (cornmeal, semolina, etc), slash the top and then slip it into the oven and on the stone just like you do with a pizza.

Paul Kobulnicky

Baking in Ohio

mkelly27's picture

I use parchment to do my final rise on. I then use a peel to tranfer the dough, parchment and all, onto the hot stone. Near the end of the baking time, the parchment reaches the right temperature and releases the dough. I then slide out the parchment and finish baking directly on the stone.


Two wrongs don't make a right. Three lefts make a right

T4tigger's picture

It is so nice to find someone else who says that!  My family has been using that 3 lefts phrase for years, and people always look at us like we're crazy......well, that probably isn't the only reason......

ehanner's picture

Lefty33, Get yourself a roll of bakers parchment paper. They sell it in the grocery in the US everywhere. Do your final proof on the parchment, sprinkled with cornmeal or semolina. When you are ready to bake slide the paper off onto a sheet pan turned bottom side up and use that as a peel to slide the dough into the oven. Or make yourself a peel from thin plywood sharpened on one edge. 12"X18" will be about right. If you don't use parchment, you run the risk of gluing the dough onto the peel every time. I use a metal peel and Parchment almost every time with NO failures. If you look around a little you might find a image of one such failure when I tried something different.:>)


BROTKUNST's picture

Have a look at the Superpeel ( ), works like advertized and is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Works perfectly for very thin pizza as well.



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

or try a piece of baking parchment on a dinner plate or flat cookie sheet or a piece of strong cardboard.  The cardboard (the shabbier the better) will give your friends the idea to purchase a superpeel for you on your next birthday or sooner esp. if you tell them you've always dreamed of one and such a wonderful gift will bond friends and bread and good times forever.   :)  --Mini Oven

tattooedtonka's picture

I agree with Eric on this.  I proof everything now on parchment, on the counter.  That way I can transfer the parchment to my peel and slide from peel to stone.  And never stick anything to the peel.  I lightly spray the paper with olive oil sometimes, sometimes I use cornmeal, depends on what im baking.  Sometimes its just paper.  For bread on stone- just before I put it in oven I use a razor blade to trim the paper around the loaf so I dont have a ton of excess paper heating up for no reason. And it goes onto the stone paper and all.

Be warned though, buy baking parchment.  I bought a couple bags of "parchment paper" at a rest. supply house just to find out midbake, that it was NOT baking parchment but a simple pan liner paper.  This became obvious when my kitchen started smelling like burnt wax, and about a dozen bagels were all stuck to the paper.  Oh well live and learn.  Now I just get the 2-3 dollar roll at the grocery store.


kjknits's picture

I also use baking parchment for the final proofing of rustic hearth-baked loaves, and for pizzas. It doesn't seem to affect the browning on the bottom of the bread/pizza, and it makes things so much easier in the transfer. The brand I buy is called "If You Care" (which is such a strange, guilt-inducing brand name, but it's good parchment). It's unbleached, brown paper with a silicone coating. The only thing I don't like about it is the lack of a metal cutting edge on the box. That's the "If You Care" part, I think--the whole box is recyclable and biodegradable, since there are no metal parts.

About the burning, sticking paper--my mom baked some little cheese biscuits on some parchment recently that burned and stuck. It must have been the same stuff you had, tattooedtonka. So frustrating when you expect it to give good release.

tattooedtonka's picture

In more ways than one.  I thought "man this looks a little too shiny, kinda waxy almost.".  But then I spoke with the rest. supplies owner and he assured me the label was correct it was parchment.  No, it was a pan liner.  Oh well, I chalked it up as a learning experience. Ive been having alot of those lately. :-)


bluezebra's picture

for final proofing that I've spread some cornmeal onto. I shape on my floured drainboard but transfer to the parchment and the back of a baking pan. Then slide onto my stone.

I finally found that for me as a novice, I do better with smaller loaves and I also found with SD-G and Bill's Pagnotta loaves that I do better with boules than batards and if I make my hands wet, I have no trouble transferring from counter to parchment.

lefty33's picture

Thanks for the ideas you guys!  I use parchment paper for everything else, I don't know why I didn't think about using it for this.  And, mini oven, I think I'll do the whole sad-looking cardboard to make husband feel sorry for me and get me a proper peel.  :)

Elagins's picture

A year or so ago I saw this really interesting Julia & Friends bread baking video, wherein the baker (French-trained) simply moved the risen loaf from couche to oven by flipping it onto a thin board about 6" wide and then sliding it onto the stone.

Even though I have a couple of peels, I've ended up mostly using them for pizza. For my breads, I use a piece of 1/4" plywood, about 16" x 6". I flour the board very lightly before rolling the proofed loaf off the couche; the square edge of the board ensures that the loaf stays straight when it hits the stone.


chiaoapple's picture

How about using a small cutting board (one with a handle). That's what I use, in addition to the parchment. Works really well.

dough-re-mi's picture

Has anybody made a homemade peel with sheet aluminum? I'd like to a have a set of peels for various iszes of flatbreads/pizzas and for conventional loaves. I have a wood peel I never use anymore, and a large metal one I like a lot. They are both too big for making smaller naan breads and single loaves of regular breads.

BROTKUNST's picture

Well, I use a rather stylish Peel from Mario Batali which works for any size of bread that fits in my oven. It's made from aluminum with a wood handle. This is my 'Unlading Peel'. For loading I use exclusively the 'Superpeel' .... the greatest thing since sliced bread and a must-have for the home-oven when you ask me. Now the superpeel comes only in one size and I do see a justified need for a more narrow peel (if you want to load a few smaller loaves separately). Don't be thrown off the rather poor design of the superpeel website. I know a thing or two about (web) design and the superpeel website really does not represent itself very well ... they do have a great product though. They licensed their peel to King Arthur for some time until the superpeel owner decided to try to market it more widely.


Otherwise, if you favor aluminum and odd sizes, try to buy a cut-to-size piece from a home improvement store or a local machine shop (yellow pages). If you have an aluminum wholesaler in town you may be able to pick up a scrap piece. But the thin plywood wood  should work fine for a specialized task, doesn't it ?  Not very fancy but doable. You may try to pull carefully some nylon socks over the plywood (then add some flour before use). That should work up to a 6" width for sure.



pizzameister's picture

Very nice to hear that you have been very happy with your Super Peel.  Thank you for all the nice comments.   Also.............Grrrr!..... Thanks for the bashing on the website design.  :-)  I know (and have known for a long time) that the website needs some serious improvements.  Been planning a lot of changes, but since I do not do my own website work and have so many other expenses from product/market development things on the fire, I have kept putting off the site upgrades.

In any case, I would be VERY interested in your specific comments and/or recommendations on improvement areas for the site.  I totally agree with your general observation, and I may just have to toss some $$ (which I really don't have) at it sooner rather than later.

Please contact me off-line, if you would be so kind

Gary / Pizzameister