The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bought my first baking stone, now what do I do with it?

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butterflygrooves's picture
butterflygrooves

Bought my first baking stone, now what do I do with it?

Ok so yeah, baking on it is an obvious answer but I am wondering if I need to do anything to it before baking on it for the first time?  It's a cheap ceramic stone that I expect to crack eventually but it's something to use for now.

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

and I don't remember doing anything to prep it, except for perhaps dusting it off with a slighly damp cloth to get rid of any dust created by the manufacturing process.  Let it dry thoroughly before heating it. 

It will get messy looking as you bake with it--stained black spots.  Don't try to clean them off, particularly with soap as it will soak into the stone (but you should scrape off any solid matter like burnt cheese!).  Embrace the appearance of a well-used stone. 

Here's wishing you many years of happy baking with it. 

richkaimd's picture
richkaimd

I've owned and broken two.  Here's what I learned:  do nothing that will put the stone in a drastically different temperature from whatever its temperature is at the time.  For example, if it's at room temperature, never put it in a hot oven.  Once it's hot in the oven never take it out until the oven and it have cooled completely.    Oh, and never drop it or drop anything hard on it. 

I now use 6" X 6" unglazed refractory tiles.  They're very cheap, easy to use, and work the same as a single stone.

butterflygrooves's picture
butterflygrooves

We have a small grill and can't find a stone that will fit in it, I would like to get some tiles but am not sure where to look for them.

Chuck's picture
Chuck

Most but not all baking stones don't require any "breakin" ("Fibrament" stones for example want to be heated once in an otherwise empty oven). The printed material that came with your stone should tell you.

After that, just put it on a low rack in your oven and leave it there. Bake your bread on it. For other oven uses, just put whatever right on the stone as though the stone were a shelf. Do not try to clean stains off your baking stone. Taking it out and washing it in water (that soaks in no matter what you do) will shorten your stone's life  ...perhaps significantly. (And trying to use "soapy" water may wind up with your next loaf tasting of soap:-) Scrape off spilled cheese etc. working dry with something like a dough scraper or a table knife   ...but leave the stain.

Do be aware that baking stones "fool" many ovens, which will say they're up to the desired temperature before the baking stone is really fully heated up. You'll need to allow a little extra time (up to "double" for freestanding loaves and for pizzas).

butterflygrooves's picture
butterflygrooves

I appreciate your help. :o)

boliodogs's picture
boliodogs

I went to Home Depot and got some 6 x 6 porcelain stones. They are fired at 2000 degrees so they dont break from heat. I cant get anything to work here though. I have a countertop convection oven and cant get it over 425 and it drops even more when I have to open it to put bread in. My oven is a Farberware. The best luck I ever had was using ceramic bakers in a gas oven. Without those, the bread always looks insipid (pale). Baquettes are driving me crazy. I have made some really nice breads, but not these. Im glad for this forum, maybe this mystery will clear itself up.I tried that steam injector and I cant tell if that works or not. I used a ss pan with a hole drilled in it to put the steam in and the whole thing on a stone.  I think I need more time or new flour or something.

homesteadma's picture
homesteadma

I read somewhere that I should "oil" my baking stone before using. Is that incorrect then? What keeps the bread dough from sticking to the stone?

Kitchen Barbarian's picture
Kitchen Barbarian

No.  It will just make it burn and belch black smoke and set off your fire alarm.  Unless it's a cast iron or carbon steel plate you are using?  HEAT keeps the dough from sticking to the stone.  You preheat the stone - I preheat for 45 mins to an hour, depends somewhat on the stone and your oven.  The I transfer the pizza into the oven using a paddle.

I use super parchment or pan pal pan liners (available from thewebstaurantstore.com) - build the pizza on that, slide the paddle under the whole thing then slide it into the oven, I pull the liner out from under the pizza after a couple of minutes.  That's to keep the pizza from sticking to the PADDLE, not the stone.  I don't care what people say, cornmeal does not act like tiny little ball bearings in my house, LOL!