Bread burning on bottom :(

Hey guys,

Recently I received a new piece of raw granite countertop that I am now using as a baking stone. The stone is 21x17 and 1 inch thick and it covers the entire floor of my gas oven. My oven heats from the bottom elements. I was using 4 bricks to hold up the stone to prevent the vents on the bottom from being blocked. I was also cooking on the glossy side of the stone, not the rough side.

The recipe i was using called to bake at 440F for 45 mins. Both loaves were delicious, but both were either very brown or black on the bottom.

Is it possible the stone was hotter than the temp of the oven? Was it too close to the bottom elements? What could have caused this? I finally get a good stone and now I got this going on :(

halp!

7 comments

Good Morning Chef,

It could be that the stone is interfering with the circulation in the oven and somehow shielding the thermostat from registering the true temperature of the oven.  An oven thermometer from your local kitchen shop could confirm this.

If the thermostat is relying on radiant heat from the stone rather than convection to raise its temperature then it is very likely that the stone is significantly hotter than the thermostat will indicate.  This would definitely give the uneven baking that you are referring to.

One option would be to get a bit trimmed off the stone to allow better convection to occur.

Hope this helps.

Farinam

You could try heating the oven up hotter than you need, then turning off the elements and allowing the oven to heat to 'even out' for about 20 mins before the dough is placed on the stone. This will hopefully result in the stone and air temperatures being similar, at least at the start of the bake.

A combination of this and getting better temperature data (as per Fairnam's reply) will make a difference. Ideally you would bake on a falling oven so that the elements were not heating up as frequently. Graham

These are amazing suggestions that I overlooked.

 

Thanks for replying! I will definitely be using my oven thermo in there to test to see what the registered temp is. I wonder if placing the stone higher in the oven will assist with convection if the issue is circulation. It was only set about 3 inches or so from the base.

 

I will get back to you all soon and let you know!

I prefer to bake on the rough side of the stone as the shiny side has been treated with you know not what!  Also, you could try reducing the temperature by 20F after the first 15 minutes.

I don't know if you have solved your problem yet, but I would suggest raising you stone to about the middle of your oven and as suggested by Farinam, you may need to trim the stone if air movement is not happening. Below is an image of my coking stone. it allows air movement in the oven and works great at this level or even at the next shelf level.

 

Good luck with your stone, I hope you get it figured out.

 

I also find that if the stone is getting too hot, you can "deflect" heat by placing a crappy cheap baking tray on a rack below the stone. I found gas harder to get a decent crust on, and prefer elec oven.

 

BTW people say that elec stays moist as the air doesn't flow through like in a gas oven, but in fact I found that the water vapour from combustion of the natural gas (CH4 + 2O2 ---> CO2 + 2H2O) made it a moist environment and harder to get a good even crust - the evenness of heat is difficult because the distribution of heat is affected by the necessary flow-through of combustion gases, which is hard to make even.

 

The moisture in a gas oven is why the oven brochures usually suggest gas is better for roasting (moister roasted meat joints) and elec better for baking (drier heat), at least in domestic ovens - no doubt in purpose-built commercial ovens these factors can be catered for a bit better.

 

If all else fails, while I am one for heating the stone very hot for a very long time (an hour usually), maybe you pre-heat the oven to say 180, and only on placing the bread in crank it to 240 (or whatever you start the bake at). This way the stone is hot (ish) so the loaf will spring, but is still working up through the temp profile as the bake is happening, so delaying the early darkening of the bottom crust....

Inserting a sheet of parchment paper under your dough will provide minimal insulation; sometimes it’s enough to prevent burning. You can also fold the sheet in two for added insulation.