The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Problem with Baking Stone

Mis2ko's picture

Problem with Baking Stone

I made some bread over the weekend and used a baking stone.  I heated it up (425) and put the bread on Parchment paper and then put it on the stone.  Later I noticed steam coming from the bread.  When it was golden, I tried to remove the bread with the paper, but the paper wwas stuck to the stone.  When I removed the paper I saw that it was covered in something that looked like honey.  It took a spoon to taste it, but by the time I got it to my mouth it turned solid, and wasn't honey.

Does anyone know what happened?  I cannot remove it from the stone - it is solid and has some bumps from where I pulled away the paper.

fancypantalons's picture

This is a really silly question, but...

Are you sure it was parchment paper and not waxed paper? :)  (As an aside, I've used parchment on my stone for a long time, and I've never had this problem with it, baking all the way up to 550F).


Oh, and assuming it's something that'll melt down again, to clean it, you could always try heating the stone up in the oven and then gently scraping whatever it is off.

Mis2ko's picture

Yes I am certain I used Parchment paper.  What was left over was not wax.  I want to say it is plastic...It won't come off. 

fancypantalons's picture

Yeah, in that case you might try either heating the stone in the oven, or spot heating the "substance" with a heat gun, then scraping it off gentle with a heat-resistent, hard plastic utensil of some kind.

Dillbert's picture

when everything else has been eliminated, whatever remains must be the truth.

three items are in play here -

parchment paper.

the goop had to come from one of those three sources, and the stone is a rather unlikely candidate.

likewise, very few bread recipes call for plastic - what was in the recipe?  flour water and . . .  stuff like sugar or fruits could exude from a bread -  sugars/sugar syrups bake on pretty hard and I can imagine it would look a bit like plastic. 

I would not immediate suspect it would "soak through" parchment paper.

but it could, I suppose.  clue:  was the bread stuck to the paper and the paper stuck to the stone? 

if the bread was not stuck to the paper, there's only one source of goop left, and that's the paper.

there's 'freezer paper' that looks a bit like parchment but has a plastic coating.  doubt that there's enough wax in 'wax paper' to have this effect - hot wax would most likely be absorbed completely into the stone.

tear off a chunk of the parchment paper and put a match to it.  if you have anything other than ash left, there's something not right with that "parchment paper"

the stone you can clean easily - one hopes - stick it in the oven and run the self-clean cycle if you stove has that feature.  that'll turn pretty much anything organic into white ash.



Mis2ko's picture

Thanks for all of the ideas, however after it happened I put in hot water with soap...and i read you should never do this, so I guess I have to buy another one.

As for the was just regulare - no sugar or fruits

And I know I used  parchment paper.



Janice Boger's picture
Janice Boger

I think there are different grades of parchment paper.  I ran out of paper recently and bought some at my local market, kind of cheap.  It totally stuck to the first loaf of bread I cooked.  I mean totally adhered to the bread and would not peel off.  I had to cut the bottom crust from the bread in order to eat it.

Then I went to our local cooking store and bought some decent parchment and it works just fine.  I think your problem is in the parchment.  I would suggest you buy new parchment for bread baking.  You would hate to ruin the stone.

Just a thought.




kygin's picture

Is it possible there was something, say plastic, accidentally stuck to the bottom side of the parchment paper when you put it on the stone?  I'm thinking maybe a something like Saran Wrap.

Mis2ko's picture

Hmmm I pulled it off the roll and put it on the paper.  I would think I would know if there was Saran under it because I had my hand under the paper holding the bread.

It's a real mistery!


mrfrost's picture

I would like to add the question of: was this the first time you used either the stone, or the paper? It really sounds like this was your first use of both paper and/or the stone.

Anyway, I vote for KyGins answer above. Some extraneous substance got between the paper and stone, however that may have happened, and whatever it was.

Janknitz's picture

Something else you baked at some other time might have dripped onto the stone??? 

In any case, if you used true baking parchment, and it was rated for the oven temperature you are using (as marked on the box), it was not the parchment which caused this problem. 

Since you've washed your stone, give it a good long time to dry out.  If any of the moisture has "soaked" into the stone and you heat it, the moisture can expand and cause the stone to crack. 

In the future, if you decide to leave the stone in the oven, make sure you cover it if you are baking something that may drip onto the stone, or put the stone on a higher rack where nothing can drip on it. 


klmeat's picture

it couldn't be wax paper ,wax paper catches fire at about 350 & really smoke up the place . don't ask me how I know that. did you rinse the stone before use

Mis2ko's picture

I read the the soap would stay in the stone and make things taste like soap.

No it wasn't the 1st time I used parchment paper on the stone, The bread came off fine but the paper stuck.  I haven't cooked in the oven for a long time, other than bread.  There is nothing on the top of the oven that could have dripped down there.

The one weird thing was when I opened the oven after it had been on for about 35 minutes, there was steam coming from what I thought was the bread, but probably it was whatever was on it.

I never leave it in the oven, always take it out and store it.

alabubba's picture

Was this at the Beginning of the roll, or end of the roll?

The reason I ask is there is a small piece of tape at the start and end of the roll.

Mis2ko's picture

Nope there was no tape on there is so much of it I would say it covers about 60& of the stone.

Does anyone know if I can recycle the stone?

BabyBlue's picture

Even if you have washed your stone with soap, you should still be able to reuse it.  I am using baking stones from Pampered Chef- just because that's what I have access to- and they do say not to use soap on them.  I have had to on occasion, or someone has dripped something soapy into my stones while they are soaking.  I have stones of all shapes- loaf pans and flat stones, so some can't stay in the oven forever!!  Scrub your stone with baking soda if ever you get something on it.  It will remove the glazing that you have developed, but it isn't harmful to the stone.  You can remove any soap residue with the baking soda too, and then rinse the stone in very hot water to clean it off.  Let it dry completely before putting it back in the oven.  You might have to grease the stone to recreate the glazing- but only if you aren't using parchment.

On a side note- I finally figured out how you get your proofed bread onto the preheated stones!!  I was trying to lift them off the counter, and by the time we were in the oven, they didn't quite look like loaves anymore!! 

I have had some bizarre parchment paper in the past that has smoked and stuck like you described.  I have not bought parchment since then, because I didn't quite know how I went wrong.  What brand parchment did you use?

Elagins's picture

Soap and detergents leave fatty/chemical residues that get absorbed into the pores of the stone and can actually bond with the stone material, creating a compound that won't wash out. baking soda simply adds yet another chemical salt to the mix, further complicating things.

Better just to run your stone through your oven's self clean cycle, or if that's not practical, heat it to 500-550F for a couple of hours until the residues burn off. And if all else fails, better yet to take a blowtorch to the offending stains. 

Soap? Never!!!

Stan Ginsberg

kygin's picture

What about putting it on a gas grill outside to burn the stuff off instead of doing it in the oven?  That way the fumes from whatever it is wouldn't be in the house.

Mis2ko's picture

I don't know the maker of the paper...I am at work and that is at home.  I have used the same paper from that roll several times for baking bread so I am sure it isn't the paper.  As I saidf the stone is about 60% covered with the plastic.

I think what is on it is plastic, because when i run a knife across it, the knife picks up small white pieces.  I cannot use it because I don't want the bread to get plastic on it.

Real mystery!

BabyBlue's picture

That is really bizarre.  When I had that "bad batch" of paper, I felt like it behaved like wax paper, but that the wax was what was smoking off... it left a residue also, but it was on a steel baking sheet, so I scrubbed it with steel wool.

Have you tried scraping the stone with a metal scraper, like the kind you would use to plaster walls? 

I would test bake something else using the same paper, but perhaps a different stone, or a baking sheet to see what happens.  Try to eliminate the cause that way.  To me, it does sound like it comes from the paper, but it is a real mystery as to why it only happened now, and not the first time or any other time you have used it. 

Also, I would try just placing the stone in the oven and baking it, to see what happens to the stuff that is on it?  Does it melt?  Would it seep through parchment?

katzinchen's picture

I'm curious; what is your baking stone made of? I'm not suggesting there is necessarily a problem with the stone. I use a cement stone, have always used parchment paper with ease.

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Maybe there was a big glob of silicone that wasn't spread thinly on the parchment paper and it melted out when it got to high heat.

I'd try the self-cleaning oven idea. I did that to my grill pans on my electric grill when they got gummed up after I (never again) used spray oil on them. Lost the nice patina which I will have to work to get back but at least the gumminess was gone and they were clean.

Mis2ko's picture

hhmm...I guess I will try to scrape it off when it gets really hot.  Like I said earlier - I thought it was honey and took a spoon to taste it BUT by the time it got up to my face it was solid!

I think I would rather buy another but I sure wish I could re-cylce this one.

alabubba's picture

Try a self cleaning cycle on your oven, If you dont have one, maybe you know someone that does?

LindyD's picture

I concur that you shouldn't just toss the stone, Mis2ko.  Try using a razor blade or paint scraper to get any gunk residue off and as suggested above, run it through the oven cleaning cycle or in a hot oven.

Once the gunk is gone, I'd rinse it well in water a few times then allow it to dry a couple of days.  Since you are keeping parchment between your bread and the stone, that would act as a barrier.

Have you determined the brand of the parchment you used?  I think that is important because if it is defective, you should let the manufacturer know.  Something is very, very wrong if you can scrape a substance from the paper with a knife.  That's a characteristic of waxed paper, not parchment.

They may wish to receive the balance of the paper to analyze it and hopefully even offer to replace your stone if indeed it is defective, or if the product in the box was not actually parchment.

I hope you will let us know what it says on the container and who made it.

Mis2ko's picture

It is Reynolds Parchment Paper

mrfrost's picture

Certainly used by millions. Only kind I have ever used(not that I use a lot).

Again. Extraneous substance.

Mis2ko's picture

I just went to there website and sent an email about it and told them they should pay me for a new stone.

BerniePiel's picture

I agree w/ Elagins that you should just put the stone through an oven cleaning cycle.  Afterwards, just wipe it down with a damp dishcloth several times until you no longer pick up a residue on the cloth.  My oven will clean at 600-650 which is plenty high to incinerate a soap residue to ash.  Then, bake a loaf of white bread and see if you detect an odor to the bottom side of the loaf.  You might want to run this test when it's both fresh and hot from the oven and when the loaf has cooled to determine any aberrant fumes or odors to the bread.  I'm pretty comfortable your stone will be fine.  Also, rethink how you cleaned the stone.  Some add a drop or two of detergent to a cellulose pad that's soaking in water, I don't think this is going to cause major absorption into the stone, but for certain the high heat of cleaning cycle should change its composition to ash. 



Oh one last thing, did you contact the store where you bought what you believe may be the offensive parchment paper?  Have you asked if anyone else has complained about the parchment paper being defective?  It is extremely remote that you suffered this defect by yourself, mass production methods simply make that an untenable proposition. That's why we have public recalls of things like chili, aspirin, etc..  Was the stone wrapped in plastic and did you get it off before use.  Last week I had two of them delivered and they were wrapped in plastic but it was pretty easy to get it off and was pretty noticeable.  I don't know about other stones, but this manufacturer required that the stones be cured by starting at 100 degrees for an hour and then bumping the temp by 100 degrees each hour until the stones had been in the over and the oven had cycled through 500 degrees for an hour.  So insistent were they about this step that they provided a separate sheet of paper to record the times and temps of when this was done.  I also noticed a rather strong odor that came off the stone after about it's third hour of "curing".  After 15 minutes into the 500 degree cycle the odor disappeared.  I've used it now about 5 times since then and I leave it in the oven and the stone no longer produces the odor.

Finally, if you are dead set on tossing the stone, that's your choice, but I would consider going to your hand Home Depot or Lowes or wherever you can purchase ceramic tiles, or marble tiles, etc. and use one of those.  I've heard others comment on this site that they have used those with much success.  Something to consider before shelling out 25 to 65 for another stone.  Once again,

Good Luck.

mredwood's picture

If it were my stone I would probably try all the ideas presented here and as an insurance from any off flavors   Turn The Stone Over. My stone is the same material through out. It is not layered. Give it a try. What's to lose?









Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Is it possible that at one time or another a plastic dish was set into the slightly warm or cold oven to "get it out of the way" and forgotten? (or maybe the lid?)  Then when the oven was preheated, it melted on the stone?   Many containers would melt to look like honey, translucent etc. and in no way look like the original dish both in color and transparency. 

If that is the case, scraping using a heat gun would be first choice.  You could also contact the manufacturer and ask their opinion.  If your baking stone is of the ceramic oven shelf variety, it could be heated up in a ceramic kiln and cleaned off totally with high heat.