The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

griddle instead of tiles

Ramona's picture

griddle instead of tiles

I am not using a starter yet.  I do want to attempt this soon.  Most of you on this site use starters from what I have read.  I am wondering if you can use a cast iron griddle instead of tile for these kind of breads? 


xma's picture

You can bake bread on any material suitable for high-temp ovens.  The baking stone (or tiles) helps with better crust formation and oven spring .  I have tried the NYT no-knead bread in a cast iron pan, and in my experience, with the prescribed temperature it was way too hot  and burned the bottom of my loaf.  I didn't try it again. 

There are entire threads here in TFL devoted to no-preheat, and in theory, baking stones won't work well there because it takes a long while to heat it up.  I would guess that the same applies to cast iron, although it heats up faster than stone.  Again, I haven't tried a cast iron using no pre-heat.  (Uh, I have a feeling I'm not being much help here, haha, sorry.)


browndog's picture

Hi, Ramona,

I sometimes grab my cast-iron griddle to bake a boule on, it doesn't take particularly long to heat up, but I do find the bottom is inclined to be thick and burn if the oven heat is high, 450 or so, or the bake is very long. So I tend to prefer sheet pans or round pizza pans,  doubled, for my lean loaves, and rarely use a stone. What has really improved crust and ovenspring for me is to pop a stainless steel bowl over my loaves for the first twenty minutes. 

subfuscpersona's picture

...because I *still* don't own a baking stone or quarry tiles (gotta get to Home Depot!).

I use it for "artisan" breads that are baked at 450 - 475F (it is preheated in the oven). It will only hold one or (at most) 2 small loaves. It looks like this...

It does tend to burn the bottom of the dough, so I put the risen dough on parchment paper - having parchment paper between the dough and the cast iron surface does help.

I do get better oven spring using the cast iron surface as opposed to a sheet pan but I honestly think a rectangular baking stone or unglazed quarry tiles would be best.

I know some expert bakers here use sheet pans in a cold start oven (no preheating of the oven) with success.

The tip of covering the bread during the first 15 minutes of baking is great. Its especially suited for baking freeform/artisan bread in a gas oven that vents moisture readily (like mine - darnnit); electric ovens tend to hold in moisture better.


hedera helix's picture
hedera helix

I have never used any tiles or griddles or anything along those lines. If not using a tin, I just chuck the dough onto a greased sheet and have done with it. Never burnt the bottom, not had any particular concerns about the bread not doing something it should be. But then, maybe I'm just displaying my ignorance again in not knowing what tiles/griddles are supposed to achieve.

I have an electric (fan) oven, if that makes any difference.

Ramona's picture

Thank you all for your tips. 

Browndog, I had read about the glass bowl and now I am glad to hear that a stainless steel bowl works too.