Freeform sourdough baked on cordierite.
During the summer lockdown, my circular pizza stone cracked. I'd had it for a long time and knew that ceramic was never going to last a lifetime.
Looking around for a replacement, I realised that pizza stones or 'baking stones' as they're often referred to, are made from a wide range of materials: ceramic, stone, cast iron, clay and cordierite.
I decided to buy a rectangular stone made from cordierite which is magnesium iron aluminium cyclosilicate. They're about the same price as the ceramic stones but are less prone to thermal shock....and subsequent cracking.
At the same time I treated myself to a beechwood peel. I've been using a metal one for years, but it's become increasingly difficult to stop the dough sticking on it and it makes more mess than it's worth.
I've been trying to keep the stone scrupulously clean inbetween bakes....it's all novelty, it won't last. Eventually, it'll look as 'lived in' as the rest of my equipment.
So today, I'm baking sourdough and trying it freeform using a banneton, peel and baking stone.
Last night I took 100 gms of 'starter' out of the fridge and added 100 gms of strong white flour and 100 mls of tepid water. Gave it a quick stir and left it covered over with a sheet of kitchen roll.
(if you're unsure about 'starters' see shorturl.at/hES79 )
400 gm strong white flour
230 ml of cool water
160 gm of starter
5 gms of sea salt
Combine together and work into a soft dough.
Place into a lightly-oiled bowl and leave for 3 hours
At the end of the three hours, your dough should look like this..