The Fresh Loaf

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Another baking stone question

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dwfender's picture
dwfender

Another baking stone question

So, just minutes ago I cracked my third baking stone. It didn't touch water or anything but i was lightly brushing burnt semolina off of it with a dry rag and pop went the weezle.

Anyways, I have read numerous posts on baking stones but haven't really seen what I'm looking for.

Mainly I'm looking for an actual website to buy a decent stone. Unglazed quarry stones are totally acceptable. I would prefer a stone that is at least an inch thick and one that can be left in the oven constantly. I'm tired of these pampered chef clay stones that cracknif you breath on it the wrong way. Thanks for the help guys!

noonesperfect's picture
noonesperfect

I live near this store, and I use kiln shelves purchased from them.  They can be cut to custom sizes, and come in various thicknesses.  So far (knock on wood), I have not had any problems with the stones other than needing to take extra time to heat them up since they are thicker than the "normal" stones.  I would guess that shipping would be painful, but you probably have a similar store in your area that you could go to in person.

 

http://shop.clay-planet.com/rectanglular-kiln-shelves.aspx

 

brad

dwfender's picture
dwfender

Awesome thanks.

Does anyone have any experience with the Forno Bravo pizza stones?

RonRay's picture
RonRay

They sell Vermont marble slabs, 12" x 16" 3/4" in  pachages of 1, 2, or 3 slabs. I have used the two slab package for a couple of years now and have had no problems.  They will ship anywhere, but the "marble" has lots of small surface openings, and looks more like volcanic foam rock than any 'marble' I ever saw.

Ron

quickquiche's picture
quickquiche

I've also heard that NY Bakers make good stones for relatively inexpensive (compared to places like KAF). I got a stone from cooking.com a couple years ago and have not had any problems with it. It seems quite durable. I've had food burned on it and been able to scrape it clean without any problem. Not even a scratch. It is seasoned and that's fine, but never had any problems with it cracking, chipping, shattering or anything else. And the nice thing is, I think I paid $29 for it.

But the NY Bakers has specific sizes they sell, but will also cut custom sizes. I've also been told they don't charge for shipping on stones, but I CANNOT confirm that. 

Good luck and happy baking.

PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

Like you I went through numerous stones before giving up on stone-baking at home. Fortunately, we had an intern who taught me a trick.... Companies that do kitchen countertop remodels, and other stone work get huge pieces that they cut to shape. That means they also have scraps that are useless to them.

After a little hunting, I found a piece of scrap travertine (a type of marble I am told) that was shaped sort of like a rough rectangle with one side poking way out. They sold me the piece for $15 and charged me another $15 to cut off the point. I now have a rectangle-ish slab of travertine that is about 22 X 26 inches, and about 1 3/4 inches thick. Takes forever to heat up but works well and I haven't busted it yet (about 14 months now). It actually looks good too, so I store it right on the kitchen table.

foodslut's picture
foodslut

.... how much does your slab o' travertine weigh?  Any problems with it warping the stove racks?

PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

no idea, but it is heavy. No damage to racks, but I did drop it on the door once and busted the oven window. Not fun

Now that you mention it though, my racks are quite a bit thicker than those on my brother-in-laws oven. I don't think his would hold up. It should be possible to have a frame made to support it, but at that point the cost would fly up.

BTW I also use it cold when tempering chocolate at home.

 

PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

Sorry (typo) 3/4 inch thick NOT 1 3/4 and it weighs about 40 pounds

Chuck's picture
Chuck

...I would prefer a stone ... that can be left in the oven constantly. ...

That's every baking stone I've ever heard of. Where did the idea of taking the baking stone out of the oven come from?

(Putting it in and taking it out of the oven all the time is known to lead to baking stones cracking; maybe that's what's been happening to yours. The other frequent cause of cracking is trying too hard to "clean off" all the stains - of course use something like a dough knife to scrape up spilt pizza cheese, but don't worry about the deeper stains  ...which you'll never even see if the stone stays in the oven:-)

phxdog's picture
phxdog

dwfender,

After cracking my third pizza stone, I went to my local brickyard and bought some refractory brick. This is the brick used to create teh bottom of fireplaces and brick ovens. I do not remember how much I payed for them, but I think it was under $25 (certainly less than I paid for the 3 stones that I broke).

At first I lined the bottom and 3 sides of my oven. This worked great for bread, however, my wife did not like the reduction in oven space and not having shelves. 

Now I just have the bottom lined & they stay in the oven always. I cook artisan loaves directly on the bricks (or sometimes on a piece of parchment paper), and yeasted breads in pans on the rack in mid-oven. I usually preheat for 40-60 minutes, then toss a cup (or so) of water directly onto the bricks as I load the bread. Steam goes everywhere but I loose very little temperature and no cracking or breakage in over a year of doing this 2-3 times eack week. Another advantage is baking multiple batches; the mass of those bricks really hold the heat.

Phxdog

dwfender's picture
dwfender

http://www.amazon.com/Rutland-604-Replacement-Firebrick-lx4-1/dp/B000LNOAP2

So are you sayingnsomething like this would suffice? Is there a specific material I should be looking for in this application or a way to know if one specific material is unhealthy to cook on.

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

I would stay with a kiln shelf made of corderite,  it will heat up much faster than firebrick. You can probably find a local supplier to the pottery trade, or go online.  I went with Axner and am pleased with the pricing and the service http://www.axner.com/cordierite-kiln-shelves.aspx