Friday, September 24, 2010

These Are Some Serious Stones

I'm a bread-snob. I know that.

Lately, however, I've realized that every time a piping hot loaf comes off of my baking stones, I'm doing something more important than getting a wild-yeast fix. I'm saving money: cold, hard cash that can be used for such frivolities as gas for the car, or the electric bill. The little things.

What you see here are the stones I cook those cheap-but-oh-so-tasty loaves on. Simple, unglazed quarry tiles I bought six years ago at the Home Depot for fifty-cents each. They are a bit scorched....Okay, they are a lot scorched, but they are actually very clean and are so well tempered that they make bread that can only be described as having "awesome character".

[Here is some simple math: I usually buy my flour in 5-pound bags. (9 times out of 10, it's King Aurthur flour.) Depending on what is on sale at that moment, they cost anywhere $4 to $5.50 per bag. On average I get six to eight loaves out of each bag, including the extra flour needed to feed my starter. That means I'm paying anywhere from $0.50 to $0.91 per loaf, which kicks the average local grocery store's price of $3 per loaf in the butt.]

I'm going to buy a new set of tiles soon. Not because these aren't doing their job, but because I need pretty tiles to use as backgrounds for the bread book.

Still, these rough and tumble stones can sure turn out some beautiful bread. Like this:

No comments: