The Fresh Loaf

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sourdough bread sticking to oven stone

Rempejek's picture

sourdough bread sticking to oven stone

I'm trying to find out why.

I'm using 2 quarry tiles in my gasoven for baking. This has been fine, but my last bread suddenly stuck to them. Thoroughly stuck.

The bread was done, tastes good, nicely risen, but has no bottom (eventually tore the bread off)

I've been thinking about what I've done differently, but I can't really think of something.

Anyway, how can I prevent this?

Parchment paper is not an option. I can't get it and also think it would be quite dangerous in a gas oven. Plus I like the way the bottom crust (normally) comes out on the stone.

More flour/semolina?

Not covering the dough during final proof, so it dries out a bit?

Anything else?

Bread has 65-67 % hydration as that seems to work best with my oven. Preheating with stone inside for 20 minutes or so (been doing that all along). Baking at high heat approx 230 oC

idaveindy's picture

If the output changed, then some input or procedure changed. So let's look at every little thing that changed, whether you think it makes a difference or not.  

One possibility is that the stone started out too cold and then got too hot. Or started out too hot.

Here are some possible factors.

  • How was the bottom stuck?  Do you mean burned or not burned?
  • Did the recipe ingredients or procedures change?  Is the dough bigger/smaller, wetter/drier, oilier/less-oily, or colder/warmer than before? 
  • New or different oven?  How is it different? 
  • Did you modify the air vent of the oven? That can change air flow and cause the built in thermostat to be off.
  • Changed rack position up or down? Moving the rack downwards makes the stone hotter even though the air temp stays the same. 
  • Changed the duration of pre-heat?  Maybe the stone wasn't up to temp. Stones/tiles take longer to come up to temp than the air. 
  • Changed steaming method?  Adding a steam pan under the stone cools the stone.  Adding more water cools the whole oven.  Adding cooler (not boiling) water also cools the stone/oven. 
  • Adding something between the stone/tiles and the heating element/flame also makes the stone/tiles take longer to come up to temp.
  • Could some of the gas jets in the burner have clogged?   If this happened, the oven could still heat up, but it would take longer to pre-heat.  If so, you might notice that the burner is on more frequently than before to maintain temp.  Is inspecting and unclogging the gas jets something that you can do, or does it require a professional technician?
  • Could the built-in thermostat have become degraded, damaged, or just not reading exactly any more? If some food spattered and stuck to it, that might cause it to read wrong, and might be a source of a higher or lower temp of the stone.


Rempejek's picture

Good points,

Recipe is the same. Same hydration. It could be new flour. New bag of AP & bread flour (same brand though). Slightly higher percentage of sieved brown flour than the previous loaf.

Temperature always differs a bit as I got no heating and no AC, but to my idea not much different from the previous loaves

Same oven, same position in oven, same stone, same pre-heat time, same steaming method and timing (sprayer when loading the oven and again 8-10 minutes in)

Gas bottle is still pretty full, heating seems normal.

Starter was more mature than normal, banneton was not floured as much as normal, but that shouldn't affect the bottom.

I did however turned the bread onto my hand and then put it on the stone and I may have done the shaping a little different

Starting to lean towards the way I put the loaf on the stone and/or the maturity of the starter....


MTloaf's picture

If it was over proofed the loaf will sweat and get sticky so maybe that caused it to stick. Did it stick to the peel or tear when it was loaded? I would say more semolina needed. 

Rempejek's picture

It didn't look overproofed or overly sticky.

But I didn't load by peel but just by inverting the banneton on my hand and putting it on the stones.

So no semolina (actually mielie meal, but similar) and that may just have caused the problem.


I knew something had to be different.

Next loaf will be loaded by peel again


WatertownNewbie's picture

You wrote "But I didn't load by peel but just by inverting the banneton on my hand and putting it on the stones."

Dough that has been slid onto the stone will not adhere on its own, but dough that has been dropped (even very lightly) onto the stone (or any other surface) will have a tendency to adhere in places.  Think about what happens when dough is shaped, or given a series of folds, and then put back into the bulk fermentation container.  Whatever hits the bottom of the container first will likely have stuck a bit in that spot.

My guess is that when you put the dough onto the stone by hand it had just enough vertical speed to create some adhesion to the stone before the crust became hot enough to form a surface that would slide when fully baked.

Let us know if the peel makes a difference the next time.

Happy baking.


Rempejek's picture

Will do, for sure.

Just fed sourdough and new bread should go in the oven tomorrow or the day after.

I'll be loading with peel and making sure there is enough semolina to prevent sticking

Rempejek's picture

Just taken my bread out of the oven and it didn't stick to the stones :)

A slight catch at the front but really minor.

Main differences:

I let the dough proof in a banneton covered with baker's linnen. Not in a plastic bag.

I loaded with a wooden peel, with more mieliemeal than I used to use.

Got to work on my shaping though as the seam at the bottom burst open a bit, but that's a total different story.

Waiting for my dough to cool down a bit before tasting.

Again, thanks all, for helping me understand and finding the cause of the sticking