The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What happens when you forget to preheat baking stone

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caryn's picture
caryn

What happens when you forget to preheat baking stone

I thought I would share what happened today when baking my most frequently baked bread- the whole wheat levain a la Hamelman.

i did an overnight rise in the refrigerator, as I usually do (about 16 1/2 hours) and then preheated the oven this morning for an hour. I slashed and sprayed my loaves, and when I was about to slide the loaves into the oven, lo and behold I discovered that I had forgotten to put the baking stone in the oven! I didn't know what else to do, but to put the cold stone in the oven and bake the bread and cross my fingers that the loaves would rise.

Well, my unintended experiment demonstrated that the bread worked fine anyway. I did bake the bread a bit longer, but the bread seemed to do fine.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

a pale outcome - not the top.  What does the bottom look like?

caryn's picture
caryn

ElPanadero's picture
ElPanadero

This would really only affect oven spring. A baking stone will get hot pretty damn quickly in my experience (put one into an oven at full temp for 1 min and then try and touch it !). So the bottom of the loaf will cook just fine. All you are going to lose imo is that initial Ooooomph that a hot stone would immediately give to maximise your oven spring.

caryn's picture
caryn

Though I am not advocating doing what I did, my result was bread that was just like the bread that I have been making. It rose just fine. I brought it to a lunch party today, and it was really good. Surprisingly, I did not detect any difference. Maybe it is because the bread being 50% whole wheat is not a particularly high riser to begin with.

Kiseger's picture
Kiseger

The one caveat is that putting a cold stone (eg. not slowly pre-heated as the oven heats up) may cause the stone to crack.  This doesn't always happen but it is a real possibility with slate, ceramic, cement, fireclay or other compositions (incl. silica).  I have heard this from several friends who have put cold stones into a hot oven, with a crack through the whole stone in about 15-20mins.  

caryn's picture
caryn

Perhaps I was lucky then. My stone is fine. I was just surprised that the bake showed no discernible difference. I wouldn't deliberately do this, as there is no advantage, and as you said the stone could presumably crack. However,  I am not sure of the likelihood of this happening, as most glass or ceramic casseroles go into a preheated oven without incident. If you bake lasagna in a glass or ceramic pan, you almost always put it in an oven which has been preheated.

Kiseger's picture
Kiseger

You are right that the ceramic shouldn't crack and as for glass dishes, they won't crack if they have been tempered.  Untempered glass bowls/dishes will crack though.  Anyway - I have certainly seen pizza stones and slate tiles crack.  Good that yours was fine!!