Loading the Oven


Just flicked a couple of loaves onto the stone. One landed resting against the back wall, while the other didn't quite all make it onto the stone and now has a nice curved shape from being co-erced onto the stone. That'll teach me to try and flick them both at once without a lot of flicking under my belt recently.

There has been quite a lot of comments about the art of slashing, I'd like to add flicking to the list of things that requires quickness, commitment to the task and practice!


259 users have voted.


Bill44's picture
Bill44 2006 August 12

I don't even bother to try, I slide my stone out a bit and turn my loaves straight onto the stone.
I think people are frightened their stone will go cold if they do that, I mean lets face it the bloody things are 200C+ and they are going to cool down in 30 seconds? Yeah sure.

matthew 2006 August 12

I'm not frightened it'll go cold, more concerned that I'll damage myself. There's something about having most of the length of the peel between myself and anything really hot

Croc 2006 August 12

I don't even bother to try, I slide my stone out a bit and turn my loaves straight onto the stone.
I think people are frightened their stone will go cold if they do that, I mean lets face it the bloody things are 200C+ and they are going to cool down in 30 seconds? Yeah sure.

lol sounds like me

i have this thing about opening a owen
you should see me trying to spray water on bread in owen
i open door only 1/3 way than put my hand in and spray fast like crazy
50% time i burn myself while doing this

speaking of stones i could only find round pizza stone and i checked all those 2$ shops after someone mentioned that they got some good ones but i can't find it, where could i get one

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 August 12

My oven is at an awkward position; loading directly on the stone (in my case, a tile...cracked) is difficult. I've tried a couple of times, but I don't like the idea of messing up my tile (it's not that easy to find the right kind) coz some of my breads have fats in them. So, I have a baking tray heating up whilst the oven is preheating. Or sometimes I don't bother. One has to work at quite a frenzied pace to:

1. get the tray out
2. throw some semolina on it
3. pop the bread on the tray
4. spritz the bread
5. slash
6. pop the bread on tray into the oven

All within 1 minute (preferably less). Pant! pant!.

I think my breads heat up quite nicely at the bottom regardless.

Croc...you can't keep getting burns like that...though you may have a thick hide. Change your technique.

Croc 2006 August 13

i don't mind getting burnt, is all part of fun
right now i got 3 burn marks on my right hand 1 on left and one on my leg (don't ask)

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 August 13

Oooowwwwww! I think it's best you keep [url=http://www.itmonline.org/jintu/chingwan.htm]this[/url] in the house, the best burn ointment I know.

Burnt Marks => Bread-baking experience??? I hope not.

Croc 2006 August 13

i don't mind bit of pain [img]http://www.skankyflat.net/forums/images/smilies/ns/13.gif[/img]

SourDom 2006 August 13


I agree - deftly flicking the dough into the oven so that
a. it lands on the stone/tray properly
b. you don't lose all the precious heat accumulated in your oven
c. you don't give yourself third degree burns...

is one of the trickiest parts of the whole process.

It has taken me a while to get the hang of this, and I still don't always get it right.

I think that it is harder with smaller stones (so I have looked with envy at Bill's new oven and huge ceramic tile) because of the phenomenon that you have described. Similarly circular pizza stones can be trickier to ensure that the loaf lands neatly in the middle.

I have tried taking the stone out of the oven and putting the dough on it, or sliding the oven shelf (with stone on it) out to slide the dough on to it.
The problem with this is that it inevitably means that the oven door is open for longer, and in my fan oven that means that quite a lot of heat is lost.

So I prefer to use a peel and slide dough onto preheated stone in the oven.

My peel is a piece of thick cardboard that lurks on top of my fridge. I sprinkle it with semolina before unloading the dough on to it, which usually (but not always) prevents sticking. If the dough feels sticky to touch before I invert it on to the peel I will usually sprinkle the surface of the dough with a little extra flour to try to prevent it from sticking.

If the dough ends up crooked on the stone it is possible to straighten it out a little if you are quick, and I have some heatproof oven gloves that make this a little less dangerous. On the whole however I try to slam the oven door shut as soon as the dough is in the oven (again to avoid losing heat).

Sometimes the shape of the dough or the texture of the dough mean that the transfer is particularly parlous. (I have particular problems with long loaves like baguettes because my square stone is not quite big enough. Altenatively with [i]very[/i] moist doughs the likelihood of disaster during transfer is high).
The second best alternative is to load the dough on to a thin metal tray outside the oven, and then to put this tray directly on top of the oven stone. The hope is that the radiant heat from the stone will be conducted through the metal tray and still provide for a good spring. Then when the dough has set (but before the loaf is completely baked) you can slide the dough off the tray onto the stone. (There is less chance of disaster once the loaf is mostly baked).

I am not a big fan of spraying the dough with water. It has never worked well for me. On the other hand having steam in the oven at the start of baking does improve the crust.
After the dough is in the oven I close the door.
I then fill a cup with water, open the oven door quickly and empty the water onto the metal grill tray lurking at the bottom of the oven. This causes the oven to rapidly fill with steam, and I would try to close the oven door quickly and not open it again for at least 20 minutes so that the steam isn't lost.
(On the other hand opening the door and letting any residual steam out before the end of baking is supposed to improve the crust.)

hope this helps


TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 August 13

Just to add...I've also got a tray filled with around 3 mm of water to time it to steam off within 10 - 15 minutes of popping in the bread. Although I've done it before, throwing ice cubes or water on a hot hot tray as well as spraying the sides of the oven are way too scary for me.

TP the Timid

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