Baking stones?

Hi
I'm shopping around for a good baking stone for making bread. I'v found
several types, made from ceramics, marble, limestone, granite; someone
even suggested cast iron
What's your experience from these types?
Reply to
Peter
On 6 Jan 2005 15:07:13 -0800, "Peter" wrote:
Howdy,
The heavier the better.
Don't get one from a cooking place. Go to a brickyard or other seller of stone. They will know, and they will be cheap for the size you need.
HTH,
Reply to
Kenneth
On 6 Jan 2005 15:07:13 -0800
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sells what is supposed to be the elite stone. I don't have one yet. More of a concrete than any of the above.
Reply to
Eric Jorgensen
Hello again,
"Supposed" by whom...?
At only 3/4" thick they can't possibly have sufficient mass to really do the job.
For years, I used a piece of soapstone that fit the bottom of my oven. The stone was 2" thick, and weighed about 80 pounds. It took more than an hour to bring it up to baking temperature.
The whole idea of a baking stone is to increase the heated mass. Then, when the (relatively) cool dough is put in the oven, the mass of heated material radiates its heat to the dough. That makes for better pizza, bread crusts, etc.
Home ovens are (typically) little more than heated sheet metal boxes. When the dough goes in, the ovens cool significantly.
That's the reason that commercial bakers' ovens are so massive. When we designed our newly built home about five years ago, I decided to put in a Bongard M2FE. (It's a French deck oven.) It weighs about 1200 pounds...
To get a result with the FibraMent similar to my soapstone, one would have to use 'em two at a time, stacked.
Of course, the manufacturers know more about this than I, but they are constrained by the desire to market these things. They know that if they made them heavy enough to do the job well, customers would be complaining "that it took over an hour to get my oven hot enough to bake."
Also, the FibraMent stones are rather costly. My slab of soapstone cost me only a few bucks...
All the best,
Reply to
Kenneth
I agree with Kenneth. I went to a stone supplier and bought a bunch of firebricks (I was building a metalworking coal forge at the time). Four of those in the oven makes a great baking stone, and you can actually cut the firebrick pretty easily if you wanted to use half height bricks instead. I doubt I paid more than a buck or two per brick.
Reply to
cswingle
I don't think I have the FibraMent stone, but I'm using one (abt 14x14x3/4") that I've had for probably 18 years. But I always (well - almost always!) heat it for an hour, sometimes 45 minutes, and sometimes over and hour if I'm late on bread rising.
You say, "The whole idea of a baking stone is to increase the heated
Regarding the above sentence, do you think that it is a waste of electricity to heat a stone (even a FibraMent stone) for an hour?
Thanks, Dee
Reply to
Dee Randall
Hi Dee,
Yes... Probably...
But there is an easy (and inexpensive) way to know.
You could use a "contact" thermometer of the sort that is sold to measure the temperature of woodstoves. This is just a flat disk with a bi-metallic strip coiled in the center.
I had one of those sitting on the corner of my baking stone for years. When it came up to the desired temperature, I was ready to bake.
HTH,
Reply to
Kenneth
Geez, Kenneth, thanks for the great, great tip. We used to have a woodstove years ago and we did use this type of thermometer to check the outside of our stove heat.
My husband just bought a infra-red temperature sensor at Costco $69.99 that I will use this afternoon because I'm baking a couple of loaves today! I was wondering what that new tool could be used for to great advantage.
So, if it says to bake my loaves at 450, I should wait until my stone gets 450, right? And of course, when the recipe says to lower the temperature of the oven to 350 if the bread is getting too dark too quickly (Reinhart), lowering the temperature of the oven is surely not going to lower the stone temperature immediately. But, this is the way it would be ANYWAY cooking on a stone. I guess you could take it off the stone, but would one want to do that. Dee
Reply to
Dee Randall
On Fri, 7 Jan 2005 11:46:11 -0500
Keep in mind that if you point this thing at the oven window, it will probably tell you what temperature the glass is.
Reply to
Eric Jorgensen
Thank you. I didn't think of that, but I was thinking of pointing it at the stone. My sob story: I won't be doing it this afternoon as I was wont to do. I had a bread-dough failure. I thought I'd take a shortcut and not cut the pate fermentee into 10 pieces because the kitchenaid does such a thorough job of mixing. But to my dismay the dough when kneaded had multitudes of pieces of hard-flour/dough throughout. I thought I'd try to save it and knead it awhile because the dough wasn't up to the 77 degrees, so I decided to use my Silipat that I hadn't been using for a couple of years, actually probably not ever, because when I brought it home from far away, I thought I saw a puncture in it, but when I looked thoroughly it didn't; but while kneading, I felt that I was getting a piece of fibre-glass in my hand, as someone had suggested fibreglass is the reason not to use one with a puncture, so I dumped the dough AND Silipat and all into the wastecan! I never trusted it anyway, so I was glad to get rid of it. Phew! end of story! Dee
Reply to
Dee Randall

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