The Fresh Loaf

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Once again, getting a baking stone, please help me choose!

katyajini's picture
katyajini

Once again, getting a baking stone, please help me choose!

Hi! 


I know this has been discussed to death but as time passes more people with more collective experience appear so I am bringing up this topic again:)


I have scoured this site and the internet trying to determine what I want in a baking stone and which I should buy.  Somebody always has something to say that makes me unable to decide what I want to get.  (I do realize that this is my partly my personality getting in the way!)


Anyway in the next few days I will decide on a stone, hopefully with a little bit of further input from you.


 


I have sort listed myself to the following (not necessarily in any order):


1)      Cordierite, http://www.sheffield-pottery.com/Square-Cordierite-Kiln-Shelves-s/320.htm


2)      Fibrament, http://www.bakingstone.com/order.php


3)      Something from fantes.com http://fantes.com/pizza.html which is actually this one from Dacor http://www.dacor.com/Our-Products/Accessories/In-the-Oven/Baking-Stone.aspx  (I have some misgivings about the lip at the back, maybe this won’t matter? Otherwise I like this one quite a bit)  


4)      There is also these two from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Old-Stone-Oven-Pizza-Rectangular/dp/B000QJDBRY/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1257962485&sr=1-4 and  http://www.amazon.com/Old-Stone-Oven-14-Inch-16-Inch/dp/B0000E1FDA/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1257962485&sr=1-5


5)      And this from William Sonoma http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/sku1242981/?pkey=x|4|1||4|baking%20stone||0&cm_src=SCH


Money is always an issue but if it lasts and gives me years of convenience and joy then it’s always worth it. 


Then the thickness issue….thicker retains a lot of heat a lot longer but takes a lot of energy consumption to get hot (I am thinking green here).  Since I will probably baking only one or two pizza or ciabatta etc or few naan at a time what is the best thickness for me,  ½ inch?


 


I greatly appreciate any comments!


 


Thank you so much.


 


K.


 

dstroy's picture
dstroy

This is the one that Floyd uses most of the time.


We've had it for several years now without any problems.

breadbakingbassplayer's picture
breadbakingbass...

I have the Williams and Sonoma one...  I've had one for about 10 years, and the other for maybe 2 years.  They have served me very well, and have not cracked yet...  I bake bread directly on them once or twice a week at temperatures between 450F to 550F...

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I've also had that stone for a couple of years.  Mine's no longer as clean as the photo, but it still works just fine.


My only suggestion is that once you move it into your oven, leave it there.  I've put a couple of nicks in the finish of my new stove by foolishly moving the stone in and out.  No more.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

Lindy, i find that running my stones through the self-clean cycle works beautifully. All the burned-on gunk vaporizes, leaving a residue of very fine gray ash that literally floats off the stone when I blow on it. Of course, my smoke alarm goes haywire during the self-cleaning cycle ...

Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

LindyD's picture
LindyD

I've heard that the stone cleans up nicely during the oven cleaning cycle, Stan, but so far I haven't had to use that feature of my stove....which is rather amazing in a way, since the stove will be two years old in January.


I have to credit Alton Brown for getting me to wipe down the oven after I use it.  During one of his shows he mentioned that a dirty oven will cause uneven heating.  That, and having a nice, new, shiny and clean appliance gave me the impetus to keep it clean and shiny!


Too bad I can't say the same for the stone, though.  

Elagins's picture
Elagins

but the stones .... especially when I make pizza ....

Elagins's picture
Elagins

i've used 5/8" cordierite, which is the material used in commercial deck ovwens, for years and love it.

one of the best treatments i've seen of the relative virtues of each is on this link:

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?topic=5645.0

also really interesting how little some of the folks who sell baking stones understand about them. Williams-Sonoma and someone else who recently posted here talked about how the porosity of the stone absorbs moisture from the dough, which is technically incorrect. in fact, what happens is that when the moist dough hits a stone that's heated to 400-plus degrees F, the water in the dough vaporizes almost instantly and creates a microscopic layer of superheated steam that actually keeps the dough off the surface of the stone until the bottom has hardened. at that point, the dough makes contact with the hot stone, which then cooks the dough almost immediately, forming the hard bottoms surface that doesn't stick to the stone.

Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

tananaBrian's picture
tananaBrian

Based on the info in the link that Stan posted, I think I would vote for the cordierite if for no other reason than the fact that it is a lot tougher when it comes to thermal shock.  And that's coming from someone who's very happy with his Fibrament!  Partially for me, I was constrained by who would and would not ship to Alaska since I could not locate anybody here (including kilning guilds) that could provide kiln shelves nor anybody that would ship one to Alaska without exceeding the cost of a new Mercedes to do it...


 


Brian


 

katyajini's picture
katyajini

Thanks everyone!  This is really good.  I am down to cordierite or WS.  I will just mull it a little longer.  Being more resilint towards thermal shocks is definitely attractive.  On the other hand WS has such great customer service.  And its right here.  


 


Stan, you are so right, so many commercial settings will say something just to sound appealingly authoratative.


 


K.