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Aug 23, 2010 11:52 AM

where to buy baking stone in Paris?

Yes, perfection exists in the form of Pain Voltaire at Landemaine Voltaire, and y'all must think I'm crazy to want to make bread in a city where I can easily and cheaply buy the perfet bread.

So maybe I am crazy, but I am dying to make some bread, so I must find a baking stone. Everybody I've asked looked extremely confused when I asked for "pierre a pain" and then would have a moment of revelation when I said "pierre a pizza", then would reconfirm with me "pelle a pizza?", so then I'm back where I started, nobody knows what a pierre a pain/pizza is. Mora, the store across the street, and Dehillerin all returned the same results.

Does anybody bake or know anyone that bakes? Thanks in advance.

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    1. re: Parigi

      Depending on what kind of bread you want to make, go local and use a Le Creuset, or similar cast iron casserole. They heat up and retain heat really well.

      1. re: vielleanglaise

        You beat me to it, vielleanglaise. My baking stone has languished on the shelf since this no effort / no brainer recipe was published in 2006. Follow this recipe exactly for some of the best bread you will have ever tasted. (I've had guests fight over the remains of a loaf.)

        (After you "get it", you can vary the ingredients to include whole grains and seeds.)

        1. re: mangeur

          Even though it takes more time and probably money than to pop down to the boulangerie to buy bread, it's very satisfying and works well, doesn't it? And in Paris, you can buy great fresh yeast in most boulangeries to make it even better.

        2. re: vielleanglaise

          I was thinking of the cast iron route too, but while cast iron retains heat well, it isn't porous, so it wouldn't make the crust as crisp as a thick, porous surface, would it?

          1. re: kerosundae

            Follow the baking part of the recipe that Mangeur links to above. It works a treat, better than a baking stone in my experience. I use Le Creuset. The only think you have to remember is when working with more modern pots to unscrew plastic handles and nobs.

            1. re: kerosundae

              Risking topic drift, I use a cast iron Dutch oven to make an earth shakingly fabulous boule: the kind of crust that home baker only dream of, an open crumb, fabulous flavor. Do give the recipe as linked one try.

              1. re: kerosundae

                "I was thinking of the cast iron route too, but while cast iron retains heat well, it isn't porous, so it wouldn't make the crust as crisp as a thick, porous surface, would it?"

                With absolutely no hubris, since success is in the method (linked above) rather than my expertise, I post pictures of two loaves, one classic, the other with dried seaweed added. Oh, yes, this recipe/method is amazing!

                1. re: mangeur

                  You lost me at "absolutely no hubris"

                  1. re: souphie

                    Sorry, Soup, but I'm a missionary when it comes to this subject. To get these results with no skill and little effort is, to me, worth spreading the word.

                    1. re: mangeur

                      In Paris, you can generally find good bread in most neighborhoods, but as Mangeur suggests the said technique is so easy and so good and very satisfying to make. Also if you use a Le Creuset, or a Dutch oven, you don't need the outlay on a pizza stone or a particularly good oven.

          2. Have you tried BHV's large cooking section (4th floor?), they have a better range of domestic products and gadgets than Dehillerin which is more aimed at the professional.

            1. Hope I don't get banned for this advice, but I use a 33cm x 33cm unglazed outdoor tile, the sandy color type, available in any Castorama. It permanently sits on a very bottom of my oven, always ready for action. Size of my tile corresponds to a puny dimentions of the oven, but larger ones are, of course, available.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bigos

                I was thinking the same, going to head over to Mr. Bricolage down the street this afternoon to see if I find an unglazed tile that I'm 100% sure doesn't have any material in it that's not from the earth, if not, I'd rather not risk it.

                If unsuccessful in tile-hunting, I'll see if BHV has some thing. Thanks PhilD!

              2. kerosundae,

                How about the completely impractical Rolls Royce solution. Get a new oven.
                Our oven died a few years ago, and we ended up choosing a Gaggenau oven with a baking stone accessory. The rectangular baking stone comes with its own heating element, which means it gets really hot. It's by far the best baking stone I've ever used. Makes great pizza, too.