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Getting the most from your Pizza Stone - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Getting the most from your Pizza Stone

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  • Getting the most from your Pizza Stone

    I've been thinking of adding a Forum on pizza stone baking for some time, and it seems like the time is right. The Pizza Stone Baking forum focuses on making great pizza and bread using a pizza stone and conventional oven. I think it works well on the Forno Bravo Forum for a couple of reasons. Many of the pizza making techniques and ingredients we are the same for pizza stone baking. Also, many of us still use our pizza stones when we don't fire our pizza oven. And many (most?) of us who have a pizza oven started out with a pizza stone. I alway joke about the number of stones I broke before I finally bought a good quality stone -- it was a lot.

    Topics for the forum might include two-stone baking, pizza techniques, heat and time, and creating steam for baking bread.

    Welcome. I hope this forum is valuable.
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

  • #2
    Steam

    James,

    Good idea. Can't remember where I picked up this tip, but it does help to spray the stone liberally about ten minutes before you bake. Add a few sprays during the first minute or so of baking, plus a steam pan (these as recommended by Peter Reinhart) and crispness improves.

    Jim
    "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

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    • #3
      Originally posted by james
      I alway joke about the number of stones I broke before I finally bought a good quality stone -- it was a lot.
      I just read this topic for the first time this morning and wouldn't ya know it; my stone broke. What kinda of net-fu tricks are you trying to play on me?

      Comment


      • #4
        Now, this is a PG rated forum. Still, I have to smile -- those cheap stones really do break.

        Have I written this story before? Our producer was asked by WalMart to quote a huge # of pizza stones a few years ago, so they could put a gazillion (a mathematical term) pizza stones in every store. They told the producer the price point they needed to hit, as WalMart does. It turns out that the cost of the materials in our commercial-grade pizza stones is higher than WalMart's target price. Ouch.

        Well, at least you know the Forno Bravo pizza stones are nice. Guaranteed to not break for 10 years.

        James
        Pizza Ovens
        Outdoor Fireplaces

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        • #5
          Originally posted by james
          Well, at least you know the Forno Bravo pizza stones are nice. Guaranteed to not break for 10 years.
          There is my delema -- buy another (a good one) stone, or use this as an excuse to start on the oven! Whoa is me...
          Last edited by grapeape; 07-01-2006, 11:04 AM.

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          • #6
            Oh, and I gotta add... Now I know why I was able to get the stone, New in the box, for only 12 dollars!
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Re: Getting the most from your Pizza Stone

              After breaking two "Gourmet" Pizza Stones I started using a scrap piece of marble I scavenged to cook pizza on. That worked so well I bought a 16"x16" red granite paver and added that.

              I put the stones in a 550° oven for an hour and start baking pie. Three minute pizza.

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              • #8
                Re: Getting the most from your Pizza Stone

                Pizza stone materials?

                I see granite and marble used in the last post.....What about a slate roof tile?

                ....but I thought pizza stones were fired clay....

                James, is the FB stone essentially a firebrick then?
                sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

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                • #9
                  Re: Steam

                  Hi Jim,

                  what are you spraying on your stone with just before baking ?

                  I'm going to assume water, but then, I'm thinking this could crack an el-cheapo stone, if it were preheating in the oven at 500 degrees F or so for 30 mins. I have a cracked pizza stone, which I bought several years ago, but haven't changed it, because I also use **unglazed ** quarry tiles I picked up from a place like HomeDepot for 35 cents a piece ( they are about 5"x5" ) and I have lined my kitchen oven with them... then the cracked pizza stone goes on top, and it has never cracked more over the last 3 years or so. ( it cracked right down the middle )


                  Originally posted by CanuckJim View Post
                  James,

                  Good idea. Can't remember where I picked up this tip, but it does help to spray the stone liberally about ten minutes before you bake. Add a few sprays during the first minute or so of baking, plus a steam pan (these as recommended by Peter Reinhart) and crispness improves.

                  Jim

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Getting the most from your Pizza Stone

                    For years I have been using I 16" square unglazed terra cotta tile about 1/2" thick to not only bake pizza on but also bread. I spray water not only on the stone but on the walls of the oven just before I put the pizza/bread on the stone. For bread I spray again about half way through the bake time.

                    Really improves the crispiness of the crust.

                    Now that I am building my oven, I am wondering if anyone has an opinion about spray water into the oven? Good idea? Bad idea? Not worth the effort?

                    S

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                    • #11
                      Re: Getting the most from your Pizza Stone

                      S,

                      There are posts here about steam and good baking in a WFO, so I suggest you do a search. Also, consult the bread baking eBook for a discussion of methods and benefits. Without steam, you will not get maximum oven spring for bread, because the steam keeps the surface of the dough moist long enough for it to occur. Generally speaking, steam should be vented half way through the bake time so the crust can firm up and crisp.

                      Jim
                      "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Getting the most from your Pizza Stone

                        Oh definitely spray into the oven. There are several threads on this topic if you look around. Most of us use a garden sprayer/mister and there will not be an issue with spraying water on the bricks, as the superheated air in the oven steams it immediately. The brick oven can be steamed before the loading and right at loading.
                        Best
                        Dutch
                        "Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity. " Charles Mingus
                        "Build at least two brick ovens...one to make all the mistakes on and the other to be just like you dreamed of!" Dutch

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                        • #13
                          Re: Getting the most from your Pizza Stone

                          Jim and Dutch,

                          Thanks, I will search for the posts on steam and bread baking. I've been spending so much time on the oven, I haven't really taken any time to read up on everything I can do with it once I am done. I downloaded both eCookBooks and haven't even looked at them since. So much to learn!

                          S

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                          • #14
                            Re: Getting the most from your Pizza Stone

                            Not spraying, but I tried a steam pan with my bread batch last night and it worked wonders! Fantastic crisp crust, different colour. It really made a difference.

                            W.
                            (chewing a bit of crust)
                            "Carpe diem." - Fish of the Day (The Uxbridge English Dictionary)

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                            • #15
                              Re: Getting the most from your Pizza Stone

                              When I bake bread in a home oven on a pizza stone
                              I baste the bread with water before it goes into the oven
                              and I then throw 1/2 cup of water directly onto the oven floor
                              when the bread is first loaded

                              In the wood fired mud oven there is an old cast iron pot
                              filled with nuts and bolts, nails and pieces of rebar
                              which remains in the oven during firing
                              just after the bread is loaded
                              1/2 cup water is poured into this pot
                              the water creates a steam cloud
                              (be careful)
                              and the results are similar to a steam injected oven

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