The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking stone or Baguette tray

adrianjm's picture
adrianjm

Baking stone or Baguette tray

Working on my baguette making skills and presently have just a small round pizza stone. With it being too small to make nice long baguettes, I went looking on Amazon for a rectangular stone. I found one that would fit my oven well.

Then I saw a 'Baguette baking tray' - one of those curved metal sheets in the shape of a baguette with perforated holes throughout. Lots of positive reviews about great baguette results.

Should I get one of these instead? Kind of seems like cheating! :-) I am trying to make authentic baguettes, so perhaps I should steer clear and just get the stone?

what's everyone's thoughts on these trays? I've never seen these in the inside of a French bakery before?

WatertownNewbie's picture
WatertownNewbie

My hope would be that Alfanso provides his thoughts, since he posts photos of some wonderful baguettes from time to time.  In the interim, you might search his posts and see whether he mentions his baking method.

adrianjm's picture
adrianjm

Thanks for the blog link! Alfanso has some great information.

alfanso's picture
alfanso

there are a lot of participants who use the metal trays and seem quite happy with them.  And then folks like kendalm and myself who are baking stone "snobs".  There is no one size fits all.  I bought my granite baking deck, which is custom sized to my oven for $20 US.  A countertop business cut it from a piece of scrap.  I believe that the trays, individually, are more expensive - and you don't get the deck.

kendalm was given a tray when he started baking baguettes and he quickly abandoned it for a baking deck.  Now it is a kitchen (or kitchen closet) ornament.   And his baguettes are out of this world.  And when it comes to tradition, he is much closer to the real thing, classic French baguettes, than I am.  

In summary, what it really comes down to is practiced skills, attention to detail and a lot of not-so-good early bakes.  With the exception of the gifted few, which excludes me, baguettes are a challenge.  But well worth it if you have the stick-to-it attitude.  Others who occasionally post fabulous baguettes on TFL are jimbtv and bikeprof if you are looking for inspiration.

For "authentic" baguettes, look for something simple, with hydrations in the 65-68% range, and almost all or all AP white flour.  These are also made with commercial yeast.  However, if you love working with levains, look to substitute in the levain and sub out the commercial yeast.  Look for a simple pain au levain formula with similar characteristics and hydration to the "classic".  Beyond a boost in non-traditional taste, you'll have a bread that lasts as fresh for more than just a day.

adrianjm's picture
adrianjm

Thanks Alfanso. I have ordered a stone from Amazon, luckily I found a cheapy (25 bucks) that will fit my oven perfectly, 38x30. After my last attempt on a small pizza stone, I have decided to remain with the stone. 

Also, thank you for your great youtube video on your tools of the trade. I bought some lava rocks and other bits and pieces to attempt to replicate some of your awesome creations!