I bought a new baking stone at Sur La Table last week. It is a lot heavier and thicker than your ordinary baking stone (14 x 16 x 5/8). I'm really impressed with how it is performing. My oven is definitely getting and staying hotter and my breads are cooking more quickly and getting browner. My new stone, made by Best Manufacturers in Portland, OR, is lighter in color than ordinary stones and seems to be made of a different type of material. Anyway, I highly recommend it. It was worth the $42.
Hi: As I mentioned in a post last week, it was that trip to Switzerland with my family that sent me over the edge...I am now baking several days a week.
My middle child (it figures!) is a culinary snob and would like me to replicate some of the breads we had in Switzerland. Attempts to pass off Leader's "Silesian Light Rye" as something from Basel have only been marginally successful (altho it was a delicious loaf, nonetheless).