2008 February 24
Just something I want to point out or make a comment. Although I work in a bakery, I do bake at home because the bakery that I work for doesn't make the bread that I like to eat. Anyway, I bake my breads on a stone...on a hearth kit to be exact. Since my oven is bit wider, the hearth kit stone can easily accommodate 3 small loaves (boules) or 2 big loaves (boules). I just recently purchased a laser thermometer. The laser thermometer can only read the surface temperature of an object, and I used the laser thermometer to read the surface temperature of my baking stone. I do preheat the stone for 1 hour as recommended.
Out of curiousity and fun, I found out the surface temperature of my baking stone in the back is hotter than the surface temperature in the front. I placed my loaves of bread on the back of the baking stone to take advantage of the high surface temperature and to get the oven spring. After I took out my baked breads from the back of the stone, I read the surface temperature of the baking stone again, and I noticed the surface temperature of the front was higher than in the back...infact the front area of the stone was about the same surface temperature as the back before I loaded my breads in the first time. When I loaded my second batch of bread, I placed them on the front of the stone and not the back area of the stone. The surface temperature difference between the front and back was about 40 F.
A laser thermometer can be a useful tool to find the hot spots on a baking stone..even if you have a large baking stone to accommodate several breads. I can certainly see this gadget becoming more useful if you have a brick oven, and you want to find out where the hot spots are on the surface of your baking area.