Sourdough (rec.food.sourdough) Discussing the hobby or craft of baking with sourdough. We are not just a recipe group, Our charter is to discuss the care, feeding, and breeding of yeasts and lactobacilli that make up sourdough cultures.

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Old 13-02-2005, 02:37 AM
HUTCHNDI
 
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Default Unglazed Quarry Tiles

I know, I am being a pest.

I just picked up some unglazed quarry tiles at Lowes. 8"x8"x1/2"....Does
anybody have any experience using them or a link that may be helpful? I am
wondering things like do I need a space for air circulation between the
walls, do I bake directly on them or use parchment, do they need to be
seasoned, can I leave them in place all the time, ....

Thanks, Hutchndi



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Old 13-02-2005, 03:13 AM
Kenneth
 
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On Sat, 12 Feb 2005 21:37:27 -0500, "HUTCHNDI"
wrote:

I know, I am being a pest.

I just picked up some unglazed quarry tiles at Lowes. 8"x8"x1/2"....Does
anybody have any experience using them or a link that may be helpful? I am
wondering things like do I need a space for air circulation between the
walls, do I bake directly on them or use parchment, do they need to be
seasoned, can I leave them in place all the time, ....

Thanks, Hutchndi


Howdy,

You are not being a pest at all...

You need not worry about "space" because no matter how you
align them, there will certainly be spaces.

They don't need any preparation other than washing them off
before you bake on 'em.

You can use things like parchment paper, or you can bake
right on the tiles if you are using an intermediary surface
such as a peel.

All that said, the tiles will not do anything magical:

The issue is mass, and the tiles you describe are just not
very heavy.

Most home ovens are (essentially) sheet metal boxes with a
heat source and some insulation. They have very little mass.
As a result, even if the oven is pre-heated, it cools
significantly when the cool dough is put in for the bake.
Ideally, we would like to have an oven massive enough that
its temperature hardly drops when the dough goes in. That is
the reason that breads made in huge massive ovens usually
have better crust and color than can be done with the
standard home gear.

For years, I had in the bottom of my oven (and it was a
Garland commercial beast that was quite a bit heavier than
what one ordinarily finds in a home) a very thick (about 2")
slab of stone that I got from a local brickyard. The thing
weighed 80 pounds or so. It took well over an hour to bring
it to baking temperature, but once heated, it took a long
while to cool. Said another way, it "stored" lots of heat
energy and it liberated that energy to the bread when the
bake started. It worked extremely well.

When we built our new home about four years ago, we put in a
Bongard deck oven. It weighs on the order of 1400 pounds
and, as a result, doesn't seem to "notice" when I put in
four 2 pound boules.

If you feel that the structure of you oven can take it, you
might consider something heavier than the tiles (or, by the
way, more tiles simply stacked.)

One final thought:

If they come from a supplier that offers them expressly for
baking, they will cost many times the amount one would have
to pay were they offered by a construction oriented stone
supplier.

All the best,

--
Kenneth

If you email... Please remove the "SPAMLESS."
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Old 13-02-2005, 03:27 AM
Ellen
 
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Default



"HUTCHNDI" wrote in message
news:[email protected]
I know, I am being a pest.

I just picked up some unglazed quarry tiles at Lowes. 8"x8"x1/2"....Does
anybody have any experience using them or a link that may be helpful? I am
wondering things like do I need a space for air circulation between the
walls, do I bake directly on them or use parchment, do they need to be
seasoned, can I leave them in place all the time, ....

You can bake directly on them or put the bread on parchment and then put it
on the tiles. I do one or the other depending on the bread. Doesn't seem to
make any difference in the end result. You can remove the paper half way
thru the bake or not.

I butt them together and then leave about an inch or so around the outside
edges for circulation.

They don't need to be seasoned and when you self-clean the oven just leave
them in. As to leaving them in the oven all the time, that's OK also. I take
mine out sometimes and leave them in sometimes when I am not baking bread
but not for any reasons having to do with them interfering with baking
anything else.

Ellen


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Old 13-02-2005, 04:45 AM
Samartha Deva
 
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HUTCHNDI wrote:
I know, I am being a pest.


pffft - pest spray, you are clean now ;-)
no problem.

I just picked up some unglazed quarry tiles at Lowes. 8"x8"x1/2"....Does
anybody have any experience using them or a link that may be helpful? I am
wondering things like do I need a space for air circulation between the
walls,


That was an issue for me. My heater elements are at the bottom and I
leave maybe 1" on sides and 2 1/2" front and back. I had tiles cut to
that size and use two layers (now broken into many fragments).

If I would not leave space between the tiles and the wall, the upper
part of the oven, where the bread bakes would not get enough heat. I did
this once - covering the whole oven with tiles and it did not turn out well.

Also - contrary opinion to Kenneth, I don't use parchment. My thinking
is that a bakery which bakes hundreds of loafs in one run using
parchment on stones - can't imagine that. Maybe for cookies but for
bread on stone tiles...??

You can look there, where it shows pictures of the tiles and my
improvised loaf shooter:

http://samartha.net/SD/images/BYDATE/03-07-12/

The board of the loaf shooter has the same size as my tiles, so I can
place the loafs as they should end up on the tile and shoot them in.

What I do to prevent sticking is just to put a lot of flour on the
transport cloth and the bottom of the loafs (when they are in the
baskets). This works fine except with moist 100 % rye which is too sticky.

I only got cotton cloth at the time - no flax available, but it works.
In the meantime, there is a layer of flour accumulated on the cloth;
doing it's job.

do I bake directly on them or use parchment, do they need to be
seasoned, can I leave them in place all the time, ....


I don't get the seasoning question. Doesn't that depend on your recipe?
Spiced breads - onions, olives, seeds of various kinds are great but
that's dependent on recipe.

If you mean putting gloss on a loaf - there are several methods - I use
boiled corn starch and brush it on about 15 minutes before baking end.


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Old 13-02-2005, 06:12 AM
HUTCHNDI
 
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Samartha wrote:
I don't get the seasoning question. Doesn't that depend on your recipe?



No no, I had read something about seasoning buy heating incrementaly, a bit
at a time, to get the tiles used to the heat or something or else they would
crack upon reaching 500 degrees. Isnt the process that makes these tiles
hotter than that? Is this something I should consider?

Hutchndi





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Old 13-02-2005, 07:06 AM
Samartha Deva
 
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HUTCHNDI wrote:
Samartha wrote:

I don't get the seasoning question. Doesn't that depend on your recipe?




No no, I had read something about seasoning buy heating incrementaly, a bit
at a time, to get the tiles used to the heat or something or else they would
crack upon reaching 500 degrees. Isnt the process that makes these tiles
hotter than that? Is this something I should consider?


Ok, got it. But I sure don't know anything about it, nor did I do
anything in this direction. I sometimes wash the tiles and they soak up
a lot of water which makes more steam in the oven than usual.

Maybe this seasoning applies to the more expensive baking tiles ($ 30)so
they don't break. Maybe it releases steam from humidity somehow
accumulated since they were fired and to prevent the loss of ($30), this
procedure is recommended - my cheapo tiles are expected to break and my
thinking is that the expensive one's will break at one point anyway, so...

The cheapo tiles are intended to be put on floors and sure would not
need any seasoning there, so strictly seen - it's illegal use depriving
the oven tile companies of their rightful profit - right;-)

Have fun!

Samartha


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Old 13-02-2005, 12:21 PM
Kenneth
 
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On Sat, 12 Feb 2005 21:45:14 -0700, Samartha Deva
wrote:

Also - contrary opinion to Kenneth, I don't use parchment. My thinking
is that a bakery which bakes hundreds of loafs in one run using
parchment on stones - can't imagine that. Maybe for cookies but for
bread on stone tiles...??


Yup...

I use parchment (actually Silpats) for my leaf fougasse.

These are savory flat breads that are cut to a rather
elaborate (leaf-like) shape before they rise. Once they have
risen, I have found no other way to get 'em into the oven
without the shape distorting completely.

I suspect that there is another way, but I have never found
it.

All the best,

--
Kenneth

If you email... Please remove the "SPAMLESS."
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Old 13-02-2005, 12:23 PM
Kenneth
 
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On Sun, 13 Feb 2005 01:12:07 -0500, "HUTCHNDI"
wrote:

Samartha wrote:
I don't get the seasoning question. Doesn't that depend on your recipe?



No no, I had read something about seasoning buy heating incrementaly, a bit
at a time, to get the tiles used to the heat or something or else they would
crack upon reaching 500 degrees. Isnt the process that makes these tiles
hotter than that? Is this something I should consider?

Hutchndi



Howdy,

You have considered seasoning them, now reject that idea
g.

Of course you are correct. They were made at temperatures
far higher than anything you might expose them to.

All the best,

--
Kenneth

If you email... Please remove the "SPAMLESS."
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Old 13-02-2005, 04:01 PM
Ernie
 
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Samartha,
Your bread shooter is cleaver, do you let wet bread rise on the shooter?
Parchment isn't practical for a bakery, but is a necessity for me, since I
only have the use of one hand, so need something for the bread to rise on.
Ernie.

"Samartha Deva" wrote in message
Also - contrary opinion to Kenneth, I don't use parchment. My thinking is
that a bakery which bakes hundreds of loafs in one run using parchment on
stones - can't imagine that. Maybe for cookies but for bread on stone
tiles...??

You can look there, where it shows pictures of the tiles and my improvised
loaf shooter:



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Old 13-02-2005, 04:30 PM
Samartha Deva
 
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Ernie wrote:
Samartha,
Your bread shooter is cleaver, do you let wet bread rise on the shooter?


No - that would open the possibility of the loafs getting stuck on the
cloth and then... chaos with arms half in the hot oven trying to rescue
what's possible. They go on the shooter right before they go in the oven
to avoid this. I rise them in my "aquariums" in those plastic baskets.

Parchment isn't practical for a bakery, but is a necessity for me, since I
only have the use of one hand, so need something for the bread to rise on.
Ernie.

"Samartha Deva" wrote in message

Also - contrary opinion to Kenneth, I don't use parchment. My thinking is
that a bakery which bakes hundreds of loafs in one run using parchment on
stones - can't imagine that. Maybe for cookies but for bread on stone
tiles...??

You can look there, where it shows pictures of the tiles and my improvised
loaf shooter:




_______________________________________________
Rec.food.sourdough mailing list

http://www.mountainbitwarrior.com/ma...food.sourdough





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Old 13-02-2005, 05:24 PM
Will
 
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Kenneth wrote:
On Sun, 13 Feb 2005 01:12:07 -0500, "HUTCHNDI"
wrote:

Howdy,

You have considered seasoning them, now reject that idea
g.

Of course you are correct. They were made at temperatures
far higher than anything you might expose them to.

All the best,

--
Kenneth



Sometimes seasoning is called for. Usually this falls into two cases:

1) The stone or tiles are refractory cement or a refractory cement and
clay mixture.

These tend to outgas residual filler from the construction process. The
filler is added to engineer pore space so the stone has the appropriate
thermo-elastic properties...ie: can expand and contract without
cracking. Sometimes the fluxing agents outgass as well. These are the
materials, typically feldspars for low temperature bonding (called
sintering by ceramicists). Really high temp stuff, 2200 F or more,
achieves a glassine state and is, as you might expect, brittle. Quarry
stone is not high temp stuff but is often enginnered for a bit of
porousity. You can usually smell these agents.


2) The stone's post firing tension needs to be released.

Often low temperature ceramic ware needs to be refired, "cured", to
release the initial firing stress. This means the specific angles of
molecular alignment achieved at high manufacturing temperature might
not be appropriate for lower temperature use. You have seen many things
warp in ovens, flat steel sheet pans (a special case) and you have
probably seen new pizza stones develop hairline cracks or warp during
early stages of use.


Will

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Old 13-02-2005, 06:06 PM
Mike Avery
 
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Kenneth wrote:

All that said, the tiles will not do anything magical:

The issue is mass, and the tiles you describe are just not
very heavy.



Cooks Illustrated was curious how much good a hearthkit would do. And
they were about to really pan the product, because in their high-end
ovens, it made no difference.

Someone had an inspiration and sent a hearthkit home with a staffer to
see what happened in a regular oven. And... in the regular oven, they
made a lot of difference.

I am reluctant to assume that because the tiles made no difference in a
bongard, they will make no difference in a GE.

I've been using unglazed quarry tiles for years, and like them a lot.
The next step up, fibrament stones, are also very good.

Yes, the mass is less than that of a bongard, but they WILL help.
Samartha has given good advice on air flow. Make sure you let the tiles
warm up completely - let the oven heat for 30 to 45 minutes.

Also, while you can put the dough directly on the tiles, it is easier to
use parchment paper. If you put the dough in the wrong place, you can
move it if it's on parchment paper.

And despite comments to the contrary, I used a LOT of parchment paper in
my commercial bakery, and so do almost all the bakers I talk to.

Mike

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Old 13-02-2005, 06:10 PM
Kenneth
 
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On Sun, 13 Feb 2005 11:06:41 -0700, Mike Avery
wrote:

Kenneth wrote:

All that said, the tiles will not do anything magical:

The issue is mass, and the tiles you describe are just not
very heavy.



Cooks Illustrated was curious how much good a hearthkit would do. And
they were about to really pan the product, because in their high-end
ovens, it made no difference.

Someone had an inspiration and sent a hearthkit home with a staffer to
see what happened in a regular oven. And... in the regular oven, they
made a lot of difference.

I am reluctant to assume that because the tiles made no difference in a
bongard, they will make no difference in a GE.

I've been using unglazed quarry tiles for years, and like them a lot.
The next step up, fibrament stones, are also very good.

Yes, the mass is less than that of a bongard, but they WILL help.
Samartha has given good advice on air flow. Make sure you let the tiles
warm up completely - let the oven heat for 30 to 45 minutes.

Also, while you can put the dough directly on the tiles, it is easier to
use parchment paper. If you put the dough in the wrong place, you can
move it if it's on parchment paper.

And despite comments to the contrary, I used a LOT of parchment paper in
my commercial bakery, and so do almost all the bakers I talk to.

Mike


Hi Mike,

It is not an issue of the oven, it is an issue of the
physics.

I never have used anything in the Bongard because there is
not need. 'Sorry if something I wrote confused matters.

But, if the tiles heat in a few minutes (as they do) they
will not store as much heat as something that takes many
times as long to heat.

I agree that they help, but know that there are very cheap
alternatives (such as fire bricks at about 25 cents each)
that work far better.

All the best,

--
Kenneth

If you email... Please remove the "SPAMLESS."
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Old 13-02-2005, 06:26 PM
Dick Adams
 
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In message =20
"Kenneth" said to "HUTCHNDI"

You are not being a pest at all ...


Kenneth, you jump to conclusions. Have you considered all of the
evidence?

[ ... ]


All that said, the tiles will not do anything magical: The issue is=20
mass, and the tiles you describe are just not very heavy.


That goes for all tiles. Bricks and kiln shelves may be better.
=20
... breads made in huge massive ovens usually have better=20
crust and color than can be done with the standard home gear.


Well, if they don't always, I guess there's still some hope for us
kitchen-range-oven, amateur bakers.
=20
When we built our new home about four years ago, we put in a
Bongard deck oven. It weighs on the order of 1400 pounds
and, as a result, doesn't seem to "notice" when I put in
four 2 pound boules.


Kenneth, why don't you post some photos in web space
somewhere so we can see what we are missing by not having
1400-LB ovens?

If you feel that the structure of you oven can take it, you
might consider something heavier than the tiles (or, by the
way, more tiles simply stacked.)


I don't see why rocks could not be used. One poster suggested
that, years back.

--
DickA

P.S. I make pretty good loaves without any tiles, slabs, rocks,
Bongards, or "steam" either, for that matter. But that's just my
opinion, I should admit. Also without fancy baskets and
french-named implements ...



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