“Atelier Du gout” Baking DemoNovember 25th, 2009 | Posted by in Classes & Demo
The baking demo at the excellent L’atelier du Gout, was a great success and I can understand the so many questions from the passionate bakers attending the class. One of the question was about the stone to be used in a home oven.
Using a stone in home baking makes a big difference to your end product, whether you bake a pizza or a loaf of bread.
The stone can be the same nature as heat resistant “engineered” brick (used to build wood fire oven), or another common natural stone used is the cordierite. Granite and slate are also fine; of course any stone used to bake should not be glazed.
A thickness of about half an inch will be appropriate. The thicker the stone, the more time it will take to heat up. If you use a gas oven, it should take a total of about 45 minutes to bring the stone to even heat. And if you are using an electrical oven, it will take about 60 minutes. In a oven with bottom and top heat control, the stone can be directly on the bottom of the oven, but if the heat is too strong from the bottom, you might need to keep your stone on a grid at the lower level in your oven to avoid a too intense heat.
Every stone, either man made or natural have a certain degree of moisture in them and you will need to “dry” them or else the stone will crack or break at the first usage. So before baking with your stone, you have to warm it up gradually to “temper” it. For example 1 hour at 50C degrees followed by 1 hour at 100C degrees, followed by one hour at 150C degrees and finally half hour at 200C.
There is no need to get an expensive stone with brand name, visit a local stone shop and ask them to cut a slab of your desired stone for the size of your oven.