The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Baking stone question

Vtg79's picture

Baking stone question

So, I've been hunting in my pantry for anything that may resemble a baking stone and I found I have a lot of these:

Has anyone experimented using glazed stone dinnerware in place of a baking stone? It does take well to microwave heating... not sure if its oven safe (I'm okay with sacrificing a plate or two to experiment but I want to be sure it won't damage my oven)

Also if I do get my hands on a tile (don't want to invest in a proper baking stone yet) what kind of thickness should I be looking for to be used in a gas oven?

tptak's picture

These are not for baking. They are very fragile and tend to crack from the tiniest hit. I don't think they will withstand warming up to 190-200 C. If you don't want to buy a proper stone, think about unglazed, non-coated, natural colour clay tiles.

I got myself a cast iron baking stone this month and am quite happy with the results it delivers.

dabrownman's picture

dollar Thursdays along with most of the rest of my baking kit.  I also tried out putting crushed granite landscape stones between two jelly roll pans and it worked pretty well too.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I started with unglazed quarry tiles and gave up after using them two or three times. They had cracked into so many pieces it was difficult to keep the bits all together.

I went to a guy that sold off-cuts of granite counter top (you can try a place that sells it or someone that installs it, and ask for leftover pieces) and got two slabs that fit on two shelves in my oven. They're about 1.25" thick and work beautifully. Use them unpolished side up.

kendalm's picture

Looks a bit like my setup only they are really thick ! I use basalt at 1/2 inch thickness and can do full length baguettes (55+ cm) love them they are great !

tafkas's picture

I went to a place that sells steel (google fabricators) and had them cut me a piece of 1/4" stock to my oven size.  Cost about $30.00 (US), fits perfectly and works like a charm.


PeterS's picture

Steel is excellent for pizza, but I found it to transfer heat too fast for bread leading to overcooked or burned bottoms, especially with a gas oven. Ceramic tiles and baking stones release their heat that much slower and are ideal for hearth breads.

I go to a Menards or Home Depot and buy the cheapest 16" tiles that I can find. The thicker the better. I use them double stacked--greater heat capacity, good for 1-3 loaves at a time.

Sure, every so I often I crack one (like forgetting & wiping it off it with a wet rag or accidentally tossing an ice cube onto it when I miss the preheated cast iron frying pan on the rack above), but at a couple dollars apiece they are is easily replaceable. I've stockpiled a few when I found some that I really liked.

Much has been made in the past of the possibility of lead in the tiles and or glaze. This is a non-issue. The likelihood of lead in the materials is slim to none these days. Even if there was, the baking conditions (high heat, relatively low residence times and ceramically encased) and the nature of bread doughs (chemically relative weak acids) do not facilitate the transmission of lead.

Vtg79's picture

Now I actually have a gas oven that goes upto 270°C, wonder if steel wud be better option than stone. The interior attracts a magnet so I guess its iron (similar functionality as steel?). Perhaps a stone wud help me maintain a more consistent temperature? Or is a ceramic tile too unsafe in a gas oven?

PeterS's picture

In a home oven: use steel for pizza, ceramic/stone/tile for bread. I have safely used ceramic tile in my gas oven for 10 years; what are your concerns?

volare71's picture

Walmart sells a pizza stone with a stainless steel carrier for $21.95