The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Domestic Gas Oven - Doubts

junocarrano's picture

Domestic Gas Oven - Doubts


I'm trying to improve my baking so came to ask for some tips.

Do you think a baking stone is a good idea? And what material should I look for, can I just buy a piece of marble or granite? I'm using clay and iron pots/pans (can't figure the difference btw this two words), but as my oven is small and I wanted to bake more breads, I thought about it.

About the steam, what could I do? Can I put a bowl with water inside, heat an object and throw it there during all baking process, or do I take it out sometime? Or it's better to just open the oven 3x in the first 15 minutes to spray some water?

And temperature, when I use pots/pans I heat the oven to max. (around 255 ºC) and during the process I leave it at 230 ºC. I just increase it again if needed for some colour. This is working for me, but with multiple doughs and no pots/pans I don't know what's the better option. 

Last one, I promise, hahahahah, does anyone has any experience with solar ovens?



Thank you!

Juno Carrano

barryvabeach's picture

I don't think there is universal agreement on this topic.  If you want to create a more humid environment, and you have an electric oven, there are various methods to add steam -  Slyvia's steaming towel method is pretty popular.

If you have a gas oven ( which usually vents steam so quickly, it is hard to add enough)  many try baking in an enclosed container -  dutch oven, or a combo cooker -  which is easier to load than a dutch oven.   

Another option is to go with a baking stone, and have a pot, or metal bowl that is put upside down over the bread during the initial phase.  In each of these methods, you are keeping the moisture that escapes from the baking as the steam for the environment.

As to stones, there are many opinions as to which is the best - an inexpensive option, if you can find a pottery supply house, is cordierite stone  - also sold as kiln shelving.  



Bread1965's picture

But in my personal option, and from my personal experience, I can't create a better bread than within a dutch oven or combo cooker.. I've tried stones and adding steam, but by far (!) the best breads I bake are in a pot. Recently I bought a Lodge combo cooker and it's my preferred choice. Mind you, I only bake one or two loaves at a time, so if you're looking to bake many more, then this may not be the best solution for you.... good luck!


MonkeyDaddy's picture

Marble is typically a composite of various carbonate compounds, i.e. limestone.  Therefore, it will react with acid - might not happen immediately or very noticeably at first.  But eventually you'll have some breakdown.  

Granite or commercial baking stones are likely going to be more stable in the long run.