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Baking Steel

I used to use a pizza stone only occasionally for pizza but much more often for hearth breads and flatbreads. I had been hearing about the Baking Steel so I went looking. Ultimately I decided someone with access to a good metal shop probably wouldn't have to pay that much for a chunk of steel.

Actually I ended up with three pieces. One is 15x15 inches and is my baking steel. One is 10x20 inches and is my new tortilla griddle. The other piece is a 12-inch octagon that I use when I only need one burner under the griddle, as for pupusa or tetelas. I thought about getting a chunk of 1/2-inch steel for the oven, too, but didn't. I may still; I hear observations like "...massive oven spring..." which make my baker's ears perk up.

Anybody else using a baking steel (or a Baking Steel (tm))?

O.H.
 

Ravenonrock

I shaved the pig
I used to use a pizza stone only occasionally for pizza but much more often for hearth breads and flatbreads. I had been hearing about the Baking Steel so I went looking. Ultimately I decided someone with access to a good metal shop probably wouldn't have to pay that much for a chunk of steel.

Actually I ended up with three pieces. One is 15x15 inches and is my baking steel. One is 10x20 inches and is my new tortilla griddle. The other piece is a 12-inch octagon that I use when I only need one burner under the griddle, as for pupusa or tetelas. I thought about getting a chunk of 1/2-inch steel for the oven, too, but didn't. I may still; I hear observations like "...massive oven spring..." which make my baker's ears perk up.

Anybody else using a baking steel (or a Baking Steel (tm))?

O.H.
Back when I was baking lots of bread at home I decked out the lower 1/3 of my oven with fire bricks. It became a dedicated baking oven. Basically preheat the oven at 500F for at least an hour and the bake on the bricks. Talk about oven spring. Eventually the bricks came out as it wasn’t exactly practical, but fun while it lasted. For pizza, I grill the dough directly on the BBQ grill, finish one side, flip, put toppings and back in the BBQ to finish. Rustic, blistered and super crisp crust every time. Sorry for hijacking the thread, no info on steel..
 
Yeah heard of them we have a stone and wanted to get a steel but do not bake much but can see the benefits big time as I love carbon steel for cooking

my pans of choice for cooking are Carbon steel and choice of many chefs :)
DeBuyer or Matfer super good pans
 
The closest thing I have is a dutch oven for baking round loaves of bread. Pre-heat in the oven before turning out the dough into the pan.
 
I used it tonight for pizza - roasted fennel, pepperoni, tomato sauce and cheese. I leave it in the oven at all times - medium/low position. Occasionally I take it out and scrape it and clean it with a brush and some water - kind of like cast iron. Corn meal from the peel can get on it. You could also just vacuum the steel. You do season it. Corners are cut off and edges are not sharp - other than that it is a slab of steel. I got tried of the pizza stones cracking. Works best if it is preheated - as high as the electric oven will go for pizza. I am guessing mine is at least a 1/4 inch but less than 1/2 an inch. I called the place that sells them and they said be aware that they both are really heavy. I think they discouraged getting the thicker model. If you are interested I can try to measure mine.
 

FarmerTan

"Self appointed king of Arkoland"
Following with interest. My lovely bride werked all through high school and Kollege in Pizza joints. That woman is amazing, and we STILL want to build an outdoor kitchen someday.
 
Actually I ended up with three pieces. One is 15x15 inches and is my baking steel. One is 10x20 inches and is my new tortilla griddle. The other piece is a 12-inch octagon that I use when I only need one burner under the griddle, as for pupusa or tetelas. I thought about getting a chunk of 1/2-inch steel for the oven, too, but didn't. I may still; I hear observations like "...massive oven spring..." which make my baker's ears perk up.
Interesting. Would love to see photos!
 
I purchased a 12" carbon steel skillet made by Merten and Storck. I seasoned it carefully. Carbon steel is a lot lighter than cast iron, but is still ideal for many cooking duties.

I purchased it primarily for searing, but it would also be great for baking cornbread, flatbread, biscuits, cookies, etc. I have not tried baking yet on my new pellet grill, but it is something I would like to try. I am not into homemade pizzas as I could never get a uniform crust. Most frozen pizzas are 11-12" in diameter and should fit my carbon steel pan. This thread has inspired me to try baking on my grill.
 
Baking steel…exactly what the name implies. It can put a nice crust on a pizza or bread loaf, but the prep necessary to allow the “stone” to work as it should requires a pre heat at around 500 degrees or so for perhaps an hour. Worth owning if you can get one for a reduced price.
98A26120-EE0E-4839-9579-E6F3C70B1D2C.jpeg
 

TexLaw

Fussy Evil Genius
I've been tempted a number of times to get a baking steel. The greatest impediment has been that I've been very, very happy with the baking stone we've had for a good 20 years. I keep hearing that a steel is better than a stone, but I have a hard time justifying the cost while my stone keeps rocking along.
 

mrlandpirate

Got lucky with dead badgers
I use my stone on the bottom shelf , the steel on the middle shelf.
pre heat to 550 for 1hr
put pizza on the stone , rotate twice during 7 min cook
wonderful NY style pizza with great oven spring and crust
 
Omnibus response:

@akjel64 : Thbbbt. OK. Next time I have my phone on. Might be a few weeks. :)

@Dnallehekaj : Mine are all 1/4 inch.

@ HeavenBear : They do have some mass. I try to be careful moving them from storage to where I'll cook on them. I've whanged them into the counter a couple of times. I chip one of Mrs. Hippie's black soapstone countertops and I'll be eating that piece of steel for lunch.

One thing I really like is that the additional thermal mass really stabilizes oven temperature. Our oven has a system that is supposed to keep temps within a more precise range, but this helps a lot.

Oh, look...

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IMG_0644[1].JPG


I wanted to try a steel griddle for tortillas because I heat the front to medium-high and the back to "low-high" for the finish step to get the puff. I've used an old Lodge griddle but always worry about that temperature differential, plus the heat at the back burns all the seasoning out every time. With the steel griddle I simply wipe on some lard as soon as I'm done a batch and let the vent fan clear the smoke. Cookin' ain't cookin' if it ain't got some smoke in it...

The "stop sign" was just an idea, mainly looking ahead to a time when I may have an induction burner and want to use it on that. Getting a square piece and cutting off the corners myself meant I could grab a cheaper offcut rather than having the shop program a circle into the plasma cutter.

Today is baking day, so I'm using the large steel in the oven to act as a heat reservoir for rising the bread. Two loaves of multigrain sourdough with cinnamon-maple swirl and one loaf of regular multigrain sourdough. Normally I'd be making a monster Pullman loaf but Mrs. Hippie requested the maple-cinnamon bread. Such an easy thing to do to make someone happy!

I can easily fit two of these Lodge loaf pans on the steel, but three is too tight. I'll bake these on the rack, using the steel as a thermal flywheel.

Last night was pizza, and as I don't have a peel at the moment it was built and baked on a Lodge pizza pan on the steel preheated at 500F for an hour while I did other things. I got too much topping on it so having that big blast of heat roll up and crisp the crust was an advantage. Also the edges of the crust really rose up fast.

I think I need to find a sturdy little stainless rack I can use to space a loaf off the steel if it's browning too fast on the bottom. For that reason I'm happy I went with the 1/4 inch stock. But when I get this dialled in I may go looking for another piece in 1/2 inch.

O.H.
 
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