How to use a baking stone

Written by julie elefante
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How to use a baking stone
A baking stone can give extra lift to your bread through even baking. (stock.xchng)

A baking stone is a large round or rectangular piece of stoneware that helps disperse heat evenly throughout your oven. This even heat prevents any hot or cold spots, which means even cooking, which means fewer instances of parts of your food burning and/or other parts not being cooked through. For instance, you can bake a pizza on your baking stone and get a crisp crust without burning it. A thick baking stone, at least 1 inch thick, will be most effective at retaining and dispersing heat evenly.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Quality baking stone
  • Baker's peel (optional)

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place your baking stone in your oven.

  2. 2

    Preheat your oven to 260 degrees C, even if your recipe instructions instruct you to bake at a lower temperature.

  3. 3

    Let your oven preheat for at least 30 minutes, although an hour would be better to allow a thick baking stone to heat up.

  4. 4

    Reset your oven temperature to the temperature at which your recipe instructs you to bake.

  5. 5

    Place your food directly on the baking stone, using a baker's peel if necessary. Make sure no liquid gets on the baking stone. Bake your food as the recipe directs.

  6. 6

    Allow the baking stone to cool to room temperature after use.

  7. 7

    Use the plastic scraper that should have come with your baking stone to clean it. If it did not come with a spatula, use a plastic spatula or bowl scraper.

  8. 8

    Rinse your baking stone clean in hot water. Never use soap on your baking stone.

  9. 9

    Combine equal parts baking soda and water to make a cleaning paste for stubborn stains or stuck food. Rub the paste into the baking stone and let it sit for 10 minutes. Rinse and rub it clean with hot water. Don't worry about discolouration in the stone; this is a natural process the stone will go through as you use it.

  10. 10

    Allow your baking stone to dry completely before using it again.

Tips and warnings

  • If your baking stone comes with manufacturer's instructions contrary to these, follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • If your baking stone is new, soak it in hot water for about 30 minutes to remove any dirt in the pores. Make sure the baking stone is completely dry before using it.
  • You can leave your baking stone in the oven at all times. It will help regulate your oven's temperature as long as it's in there.
  • If you must remove a hot baking stone from your oven, use a baker's peel. Most oven mitts will not provide enough protection to handle a very hot stone. Place the hot stone on a heat-resistant surface.
  • Never put your hot baking stone in water because it may crack. Allow it to cool completely before attempting to clean it.

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