You may have wondered why your handmade bread or pizza does not taste the same as the one from the pizzeria or bakery. There is a rather simple explanation for this, and it is known as a baking stone.
A baking stone is a portable natural stone surface that is used for baking. Its purpose is to absorb moisture from the dough and aid in the creation of a crisp, uniformly baked crust similar to that of a bakery or pizzeria.
As a result, the baking stone is an excellent option for items produced from dough that have a crispy texture with a touch of crunch.
- How Do You Use a Baking Stone?
- Types of Baking Stones
- Size Considerations
- Taking Care of Your Baking Stone
- Best Baking Stone for Bread Baking
- Other Baking Stones to Consider
- Final Thoughts
- What is the best type of baking stone?
- What stone is used for baking bread?
- What is the best surface to bake bread on?
- Is it better to bake bread on a stone?
- How thick should a baking stone be?
- Is a soap stone better than a pizza stone?
- Is it better to bake bread in stoneware or cast iron?
- What metal is best for baking bread?
- Are all baking stones the same?
- What do bakeries use to bake bread?
How Do You Use a Baking Stone?
When used to bake pizza, the baking stone is also known as a pizza stone. However, this should-be kitchen essential is more than just a pizza-making equipment; it can be used for so much more.
In fact, one of the finest applications for a baking stone is to bake bread. The end product will be delectable artisan loaves that nearly resemble bread baked in a brick oven.
If you’re new to bread making, check out my article with bread baking tips and tactics.
This characteristic is due to the baking stone’s greater heat absorption and retention. The intense heat from the porous surface of the stone removes moisture from the outside edge of the dough, resulting in an absolutely crispy crust.
However, in order to get these outcomes, you must first prepare your baking stone as follows:
- Prior to beginning the baking procedure, preheat your baking stone. The suggested preheating time for inch thick stones is half an hour, but for thicker 1 inch stones, the duration may be increased to a full hour.
- When the dough is put on the stone, it heats up and transfers heat directly to the bottom of the bread.
- This differs from utilizing a baking sheet, when the dough is put on a cold surface and the bread begins on a cold surface.
- Because of the warmed surface, the bread bakes at a more consistent temperature all around. This results in a better crust, particularly for artisan breads.
- The metal baking sheet, on the other hand, is not porous and cannot absorb moisture. This is also why, when using a metal baking sheet, you may get softer, even mushy crusts.
- Because the stone holds heat so efficiently, it also keeps the interior of the oven at a more consistent temperature.
- They are typically safe to use up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the kind of baking stone utilized.
Some Very Important Considerations:
- It is vital to remember that the oven’s preheating time differs from that of the baking stone. While your oven may have reached the proper baking temperature, the baking stone will not have finished heating.
- Make sure the oven is cool before starting the stone. This prevents the cold stone from shattering due to a quick temperature shift if put in a hot oven. Instead, the stone should heat up as the oven warms up, avoiding thermal shock and potential breaking.
Types of Baking Stones
Baking stones may be made of a variety of materials, including clay, marble, tile, firebrick, and even cast iron and steel. Your decision may be influenced by the outcomes you want.
For example, do you want a stone that produces an ultra-crispy crust or one that is easy to transfer in and out of the oven?
Do you consider yourself a dough professional prepared to spend a premium amount for cutting-edge equipment, or do you just want something that produces great results with no effort?
Here are some options based on your unique requirements and cooking habits:
This traditional baking stone retains moisture while baking to produce a crispy crust. These stones, however, may fracture or shatter if not handled correctly. This is also the least expensive choice.
Cordierite, a somewhat more costly and exceptionally durable mineral, is widely recognized for its ability to withstand severe temperatures. A cordierite stone can be easily moved from a low temperature to a very high temperature without breaking.
Cast iron will not crack, will heat up fast, and will be simpler to clean than stone. Most versions will also have handles for ease access in and out of the oven.
Baking steel is the most recent addition to the baking stone family. These steels may attain greater temperatures while radiating heat less uniformly than ceramic or cordierite cousins.
They are highly durable and do not shatter, but they do need more care than stones since they must be seasoned from time to time to avoid corrosion.
Glazed or Unglazed:
This is more of a consideration than a material choice for baking stones. Natural materials such as clay, stone, ceramic, or cordierite are marketed unglazed because they absorb moisture while producing uniform heat.
Others advertised as glazed are micro glazed because the glazing includes small fractures or fissures that enable some moisture to permeate. So whether you choose the glazed or unglazed variant is a question of personal choice.
Glazed items, which cost somewhat more, are touted as being simpler to clean.
Baking stones come in a variety of forms and sizes, so keep your oven’s dimensions in mind when purchasing one. There are round, square, and rectangular forms available.
If all you want to do is use the stone for making pizza, then we would recommend opting for a round stone, but if your baking needs go beyond pizza to breads, calzones and cookies, consider a different shape.
Rectangular stones provide a larger surface area and are more suitable for breads and other irregular round or square forms.
Taking Care of Your Baking Stone
Because natural stones are permeable, they should never be washed with soap. Also, clean the raw stone only when it has totally cooled.
Putting a heated stone in lukewarm or cold water might weaken its structural stability and cause cracking or shattering.
Get a thicker baking stone since the thinner it is, the more likely it is to shatter and fracture.
Best Baking Stone for Bread Baking
We’ve put together a selection of the top baking stones that will last you a long time:
1 – SOLIDO Rectangular 14 X 16 Baking Stone (Top Pick)
This solid pizza stone from Solido (available on Amazon) is the perfect size for all standard ovens. As a result, you may keep it in there without having to take it out over and again. This baking stone is 1.1 inches thick and evenly distributes heat.
It has a bottom-side heat helix for equal heat distribution and retention. This is an excellent approach that works well and consistently produces great outcomes.
This device is recommended for bakers who wish to use their baking stone for purposes other than pizza.
For starters, you may keep this stone in your oven to ensure uniform heat dispersion while baking other items. Then, because of its big work area, you won’t have to exchange baking stones.
This item is very simple to clean by scraping off debris and cleaning with a moist cloth. While grease may leave streaks on it, this has little effect on its baking efficiency.
- Fits into standard ovens
- Thick stone with excellent heat distribution
- Rectangular shape ideal for baking breads
- Easy to clean surface material
- Comes with feet
- Heavy stone making it difficult to handle
- More expensive than the competition
2 – Pizzacraft All-Purpose Baking Stone (Budget Pick)
This Pizzacraft ThermaBond baking stone, which measures 15 X 15 inches and is perfect for grill and oven usage, is also available on Amazon. This is a good, thick stone that keeps heat for a long time.
It is very resilient, resistant to thermal stress, and safe to use at temperatures up to 900 F.
Cordierite ceramic stone is very porous and absorbs a lot of moisture. Equal heat dispersal reduces hot spots during baking, preventing the crust from becoming too crisp in specific areas.
ThermaBond technology increases the longevity of the stone, decreasing the danger of thermal shock and ensuring consistent cooking in the oven or on the grill. We would happily suggest this stone to anybody who wants to make artisan-style loaves with excellent outcomes.
- Suitable for larger ovens baking larger breads
- 2/3 inches thick
- Durable cordierite stone
- Does not require conditioning or seasoning
- Produces high quality crusts
- Quite heavy to handle
- Comes with no feet making it hard to handle
- Because of its great size, it may break on the sides if it comes into contact with the oven sides.
- May not fit in all oven types
- May give off a strong smell during first few uses
Other Baking Stones to Consider
3 – Old Stone Oven 14 X 16 Baking Stone
The Old Stone Oven baking stone is thicker than most other stones on the market and comes from a pioneer firm that was the first of its type to offer baking stones for household usage.
This stone has excellent porosity and heat retention, resulting in a beautiful crust every time.
its baking stone is suitable for professional grade pizzas and artisan style breads and is 14 X 16 inches, making it one of the biggest in its category. The rectangular baking stone gives enough of surface area for making breads with a lovely, chewy crust.
This thick and strong stone is made from a lead-free clay mix and has eight inch protrusions on the bottom that serve as feet. This innovation not only makes lifting it off the counter easier, but it also secures the stone on top of the oven grill.
This is a very robust product that can be used in both the oven and on the grill. Despite the fact that there is no guarantee against breaking, this device has been rigorously tested for durability and has satisfied numerous consumers.
- Large size suitable for baking breads
- Comes with raised feet that wont slide around
- Handles thermal shock well
- Heat safe up to 2,000 F
- Specially engineered Heat Core
- Made in USA
- Because of its size and weight, it must be handled with care.
- Some people have complained about the chemical odor emanating from the stone.
- Stains easily so cleaning can be a challenge
4 – Dough-Joe 15 X 18 Baking Stone- 5 piece set
This Dough-Joe baking stone comes in a package of five cordierite bricks that can be stacked in the oven to form a baking surface. This is a one-of-a-kind design innovation that enables you to tailor the size of your baking stone to your specific requirements.
The five pieces together measure 15 X 18 inches, providing a vast surface area. This is a perfect surface for bigger loaves, but if you need to bake anything smaller, just remove the excess bricks and make a smaller surface.
This feature also enables you to use the bricks in any oven size without having to worry about how to put your baking stone in there. The inch thickness of the bricks provides great heat retention and is suitable for temperatures up to 700 F.
Simply warm the bricks for 30-40 minutes before putting any dough on them.
- inch thickness
- Modular design
- Saves the hassle of handling a large pizza stone
- Less prone to stress breakage
- Seasoning not required
- Very versatile- easy to handle and store
- It is not suggested for baking cookies since the dough will not rise correctly.
- According to some users, the pieces may come apart in the oven.
5 – ROCKSHEAT 14X16 Baking Stone
By uniformly dispersing heat and absorbing moisture from the dough, the ROCKSHEAT baking stone mimics professional brick ovens. Its rectangular design gives a big work area, making it an excellent option for dealing with various items such as breads, cookies, and biscuits.
The cordierite stone can withstand temperatures of up to 1400 F and has a long lifespan. This baking stone has a unique double-sided built-in handle for removing and inserting the stone into the oven.
With four handles on two sides, all you have to do is turn the stone over to get a fresh side.
The ROCKSHEAT baking stone is 0.67 inch thick, so it does not take as much preheating time as thicker stones, yet it has been proven to offer the durability of other high-end brands.
This product is FDA approved and has no dangerous ingredients. Overall, a high-quality product with promising effects.
- Even heat distribution
- Space saving double face built in handles
- Can handle high levels of heat well
- No seasoning required
- Reasonably priced
- Stains quite easily
You may have noticed that this list of suggestions has a strong preference for rectangular baking stones. However, this does not imply that we are opposed to round or square stones.
It’s simply that we’re seeking for the greatest baking stone for bread, and rectangular choices provide more working space than circular alternatives, which might be fairly restricting.
Similarly, we have a preference for ceramic or cordierite-based items since they offer the best porous surfaces for producing bread with a beautiful crust. And we would not compromise on the porosity of your bread’s surface substance.
By all means, investigate rounder choices if you intend on producing more pizzas than bread, but for bread baking, we would strongly suggest rectangular stones with good porous surfaces.
You can bake everything from giant country breads and rolls to ciabatta and even pita bread on these baking stones and obtain consistently good results.
What is the best type of baking stone?
Cordierite ceramic, which is often used in professional bakery ovens, is ideal for baking stones because, as William Carty said, “it’s rather insensitive to rapid changes in temperature” (i.e., it won’t fracture if you place a chilled piece of dough on a hot surface).
What stone is used for baking bread?
A baking stone is a movable cooking surface that is used in the baking process. They may be made of ceramic, stone, tile, or other materials. The baking stone contributes to the golden, crispy crust of bread and pizza.
What is the best surface to bake bread on?
It is best to use a warmed baking stone or quarry tiles. Allow at least 45 minutes for it or them to warm. The stone maintains heat, giving the loaf more oven spring or rise, and absorbs moisture, resulting in a crisper crust.
Is it better to bake bread on a stone?
1. Flawless crusts. A baking stone is designed to heat uniformly, which means that the whole surface is warmed to cook your goods. Because baking stones are porous, they absorb some of the moisture in your bread or dough, resulting in a slightly crispier crust.
How thick should a baking stone be?
A stone with a thickness of around 1 inch will absorb more heat and distribute it more evenly. Thinner pizza stones can break more easily, so choose a stone that is at least three-quarters of an inch thick—it will be more durable in the long term.
Is a soap stone better than a pizza stone?
Soapstone retains heat better than other natural stones. Because of these thermal qualities, your pizza will cook quicker and have a crispier crust than other produced pizza stones.
Is it better to bake bread in stoneware or cast iron?
Bread cooked in stoneware will have a crustier crust in the pan area than bread baked in metal. With quickbreads, this is a more convincing benefit.
What metal is best for baking bread?
Casseroles, cakes, breads, pies, and other delicacies work well in carbon steel baking pans. To keep carbon steel pans in good condition, clean the inside with hot water and a soft-bristle brush; avoid using soap.
Are all baking stones the same?
Because pizza stones are constructed of ceramic, cordierite, or a composite substance, their heat conductivity varies from model to model. Composite and cordierite pizza stones are more durable and often more costly than ceramic pizza stones.
What do bakeries use to bake bread?
Convection ovens are a popular component of commercial baking equipment. They bake a wide range of items fast and uniformly, from bread loaves to cookies to cakes, pies, and brownies.