Steam setup and baking stone temp
I've been baking for a while now and have a nice routine. Using a what I believe is the Old Stone Oven 14.5x16.5 stone in a 30" GE electric oven. My steam setup is a half sheet tray sitting on the oven floor with a 10" iron skillet. I have the stone on a rack as low as it can go, just clearing the skillet.
Steam procedure is :
- place 4 ice cubes in the skillet while getting the loaves scored and ready.
- quickly pour 1 cup of hot water in to the sheet pan to generate a blast of steam
- load loaves onto stone
For a full bake of my 1.5 lb sourdough boules, I typically will start at 460 and let the oven cool to 420 by the end (45 mins or so). Any hotter and the upper crust is overbaked. (my temps have been checked btw)
My bottom crusts however are always a fair bit lighter in color and a bit thinner. Raising the stone higher up results in more of an imbalance with the top darkening too soon.
Is my steam setup cooling off the stone too much? or shielding the stone from the heating element underneath by using the full sheet pan?
Is this stone just too low heat capacity? I was thinking of getting a Cordierite stone (Pizzacraft) which is a little bigger anyway. Any experience or comparisons?
What about baking at a higher temperature for shorter time? My attempts at 460 deg in my oven has the crust burning by 35 minutes with slightly underdone centers.
Helpful suggestions are very welcome!