The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

ideal oven stone size and bread placement

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Pablo's picture
Pablo

ideal oven stone size and bread placement

My oven stone is darn near as big as my whole baking rack in the oven.  I worry about enough heat getting around it to balance the heat in the oven properly.  Does anyone have any sort of magic formula or scientific calculation regarding this?  The ideal ratio of baking stone area to oven shelf area.

Also can anyone talk a little about the pros and cons of placing bread higher or lower in the (non convection) oven?

thanks for any help.

Pablo

CarlSF's picture
CarlSF

Hi Pablo,

 

My baking stone takes up the whole baking rack. Another thing to consider is the thickness of your baking stone. Mines is over 1 inch in thinkness. I usually preheat the stone at least 1 hour. I usually place (or position) the stone near the lowest part of the oven, but I do not place it at the lowest part of the oven because I put another rack underneath the baking stone for the water pan to help me create the steam effect. Another tool that might help you in determining if your stone is getting enough heat is an infared thermometer. After preheating the stone for 1 hour, I use my infared thermometer to get the read out of the different areas of my baking stone.

 

Carl

Pablo's picture
Pablo

Thanks Carl.  I depend on my internal probe for deterining when the bread is done.  It's really fun to watch the temperature inch up.  An IR thermometer sounds quite intriguing.

Why put the stone near the bottom as opposed to near the top, by the way?

CarlSF's picture
CarlSF

Hi Pablo,

 

The reason I put the stone near the bottom is the heating element is working from the top instead of the bottom. I don't want my bread to burn that soon. I used to bake with a hearth kit, and of course the hearth kit has the stone base and the sides, and the sides prevented me from placing the stone near the top. Now, I just bake with a stone base (with no sides), and I get good results with the stone placed near the bottom of the oven, and the crust color of my breads are turning out great.

moreisee's picture
moreisee

My stone had a built in thermometer that wound up breaking after a couple of years but I did find out that if I doubled the time it took for the oven to pre-heat the stone would be up to temperature. The stone takes up the entire rack is is at least an inch thick.