The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.


flournwater's picture


The Ciabatta bread recipe said spritz the top of the loaf with water when depositing it in the oven, then again within the next five minutes.  So I did.  What it didn't say is the your pizza/baking stone won't like the introduction of water.  Maybe my spritzer seeting was too dense.  All I know is my beautiful stone is now in two pieces.

I'm a novice.  I don't have any advice to offer; except, if you spritz that loaf in the oven, be very careful to avoid getting ANY water on the stone.  A $40 bread making lesson.  I'll still use the pieces to maintain a more even oven temperature and if I keep the loaves small I can still use the pieces to support the bread through the baking cycle.  Just broke my heart to hear that "snap" and see the light from the oven's interior shining through that crack.

Only redeeming factor is that the bread was fabulous.

xaipete's picture

Mine is broken into three pieces! No problem--just push them together. I've owned a lot of stones and sooner or later they break. But broken does not by any means mean it is unusable.


Paddyscake's picture

When spraying in the oven be sure to avoid the light bulb and glass in the oven door, otherwise you will have a shattered (bulb) or cracked mess (oven window).

Always cover the window with a dish towel when pouring water into a pan for steam.

Sorry about your stone, but as Pamela said you can just push them together and it will still be usable.


xaipete's picture

I 2nd what Betty says. I broke my glass door once and it was an incredible pain to fix. I'm not sure you need to mist. I don't do that anymore; now I just steam with water in a pan.


rainwater's picture

I second that emotion......I have two pizza stones in my broken, the other not......the broken one is pushed together and works just fine.....I never spritz with water, and my crust comes out fine.....I try to keep a higher level of hydration in my doughs, and I think the moisture in the dough is enough to crisp things up.

Janknitz's picture

I make ABin5 breads, which are very wet, so I don't know if it will work with conventional dough, but the latest "thing" for ABin 5 doughs is to not use water at all to steam the bread.  Instead, cover the dough on the stone with a large roasting pan so that the moisture in the dough itself will do all the work.  Make sure that the roasting pan is not bigger than the stone and that it's high enough to avoid  crushing the oven springing dough.  Remove the pan after 10 to 15 minutes and the parchment if you are using any because that gets a bit damp. 

It is amazing--the crust is crackling, crisp, carmalized and beautiful--it sings when you remove it from the oven.

I don't know if it will work with conventional doughs that are less hydrated or not, but it's worth a try.  I bought a large foil roasting pan for $3 and that's all I use now.  No risk of cracking my stone, the oven glass, or the lighbulb. 

Jw's picture

I agree that spritzing in such a hot environment is 'dangerous'. Cracks in the glass of the door or the stone are likely to happen. I use a pan as well and put in the oven when I start it (without water). By the time the temp. is ok, I add boiling water in the pan, and the dough goes into the oven.

For some breads I just put some water on the outside of the dough, before I put it in. Works just fine.

Good to read that the final result was 'redeeming'. Isn't that wonderfull about bread baking?


flournwater's picture

My thanks to all for the enlightening comments.  I worked on a Ciabatta yesterday

and used this method.

Put my "two piece" stone into the oven on the lowest rack and set a small bread pan alongside it; about two cups of water.  Preheated the 425 degree oven and allowed it to continue heating 30 minutes before introducing the bread.  By that time the pan of water was steaming nicely to I didn't have to handle boiling water from the stove top to the oven.

Gave a light spritz to both loaves BEFORE putting them in the oven.  Slid them from the peel to the stone and baked about 20 minutes to desired internal temperature.

I will try the idea of covering them up next time if I can find a disposable alumimun pan that's slightly smaller than my stone but large enough not to interfere with the loaves. 

Thanks again, gang.  You folks are a great help to those of us who are just getting our feet wet in this art form.