The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

baking stone-I need help

codruta's picture

baking stone-I need help

I have and use this stone for more then a year. It has 1.5cm width and it's granite. One face is glazed, the opposite is unglazed. You can see I used the glazed side. Can anyone tell if I should of used the unglazed side? (I've read recently about transfer of humidity between bread and stone). I always put a baking paper between bread and stone.

And one more thing... is there a risk for my health if I use granite? I never thought of it, but I read recently somewhere (I don't remember where and I don't know if the article was well documented, or it was just someone's opinion).

Thank you in advance.


klarence's picture

I started using granite (untreated) about a year ago, afer seeing a program by a chef from England.  He always uses granite and/or marble.  Always unglazed or treated.

I have the granite in our oven.  I measured and had 1 piece cut so that I have a complete row in my oven.


I also use the granite in my "Weber" grill when baking bread or pizza, calzones etc.

As far as the health issue.  I hear pros and cons , but never have seen any hard health study papers.  My theory is they have been using glaze brick/tile in outdoor ovens for generations and does not seem to have made any difference.  :)




prairiepatch's picture

Hi Klarence,

I was intrigued with your comment about using a granite stone on your BBQ.  I used my regular baking stone on my BBQ last year and it broke into several pieces.  I haven’t replaced my stone yet so I am curious about your granite stone.  Do you have to protect it from the direct heat of the BBQ or is it able to withstand it?  Do you have any special technique of using your stone on the BBQ?  Where did you purchase your stone from?  Thanks for answering my questions.  If I am going to replace my stone I like the idea of getting something that will take the abuse I plan to give it.

thomaschacon75's picture

...but mine started disintegrating last year after only two years of limited usage. The baking side has peeled off, revealing the concrete underneath. It looks like a road full of potholes.

I contacted the manufacturer and it was rather clear he had no intention of honoring the warranty or sending me a replacement. His "advice" was to just flip it over and use the untreated side. ;\

I still use it, but only with parchment; funny, considering the reason I bought it was so I didn't have to use parchment.

thomaschacon75's picture
thomaschacon75 is a lot of other stuff. 

Here's an article on granite countertops and their potential radioactivity.

I'm typing this 7 feet away from a kitchen full of the stuff; but, I like it so much, I'm willing to take the risk.

Everything causes cancer, so I might as well have something that looks nice while it's slowly killing me, right?

Besides, we all know the cancer-fighting properties of a properly made Pain au Levain. [*tongue in cheek*]


“It’s not that all granite is dangerous,” said Stanley Liebert, the quality assurance director at CMT Laboratories in Clifton Park, N.Y., who took radiation measurements at Dr. Sugarman’s house. “But I’ve seen a few that might heat up your Cheerios a little.”

G-man's picture

This article never really makes the dangers absolutely clear except in that little part where it says "The average person is subjected to radiation from natural and manmade sources at an annual level of 360 millirem" and "A “hot” granite countertop like Dr. Sugarman’s might add a fraction of a millirem per hour and that is if you were a few inches from it or touching it the entire time."


I wouldn't worry about it.

flournwater's picture

+1  .....  Just because something can be detected or "measured" doesn't make it inherently hazardous.

Relax, enjoy your kitchen and its accessories, and accept the fact that you can find "radiation" in just about anything on this earth.

P.S.  Use the smooth side for processing dough for baked goods.  I would not use it in an oven or on a BBQ.

quickquiche's picture

It was ALWAYS my understanding that you should only use an unglazed stone to cook on. I'd be very wary of putting any food in direct contact with the glazed surface of a stone.

When I first started looking into buying a stone for my oven, I asked around with various friends and baking related websites. The general consensus was "don't use a glazed stone!!" and this came from about 8 or 9 people telling me this.

It was just as well because it turned out to be easier to obtain an unglazed stone anyway.

If you were just using the glazed stone as a work space countertop, the glaze might not be an issue. But if you're using that glazed stone inside a hot oven, then I'd err on the side of caution and used unglazed.

gary.turner's picture

I'd be aware of the difference between glazed and polished. Clay stones are glazed, granite and marble are polished.  Glazing is about melting a layer of glass onto the clay, polishing is about grinding the surface glassy smooth.

Treatment of granite and marble to render them impervious to water and oil is a different kettle of fish.



codruta's picture

your answers are much appreciated. I was so scared thinking that this stone might be a danger for my health!

And I also think Gary is right. My stone is polished, not glazed. I'll ask the manufactorer just to be sure. Thank you all for taking the time to answer! codruta